Interview by Jill of glazedOverI’d like to introduce you to Dawn of LaTouchables. I love Dawn’s eclectic, high quality work. She has an uncanny ability to weave poetry and romance into her creations and it is an absolute JOY to feature her here.
Hi Dawn! First, tell us where you live and describe the sights and sounds of your world.
I live in Germany’s Silicon Valley—but you’d never know that. Our village, which calls itself a city, was built on Roman ruins and goes back to the year 800 AD. I can hop on my bike and in five minutes be on a dirt path in the woods, or a country road, zooming through the corn fields; and in 40 minutes of peddling, be on the mighty Rhine, flanked by mountains on both sides, with vineyards as far as the eye can see. From my house, I’ve taken biking holidays up the Rhine and into France, into the mountains…am I gloating?
We go to the baker to get bread, of which there are hundreds of varieties. In this country, everything is closed on Sunday, which is a day of rest, a day of placing your worries in a box on a shelf. This strikes me, an American who has been living abroad for twenty years, as ultimately civilized. I love it, and I have grown attached to Sundays. What I love about Germany: it is multi-culti, self-critical, quietly humorous, passionate.
As you know, I’ve long admired your eclectic balance of fabrics and textures and your bohemian chic vibe. Can you describe your process for us?
I go into my studio, turn on the music and open the windows, and begin with the simplest possible thing like, ‘Now I’m going to pick up this piece of fabric, oh—it’s small, actually a scrap, but if I…let’s see, yes, it’s actually big enough to wrap around my wrist..uh-oh, it’s irregular, no matter, that’s an interesting shape. What if I put that on the back? Is it too thick?’ That’s how I work. Intuitively.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m inspired by the simplest things…an emotion, the weather, a feeling in the air, another art-form (film, music, literature), the limits of my materials. You can compare it to cooking with what you have in the kitchen: dress up those earthy beans with some fresh chopped onion (take the red) and sun-dried tomatoes, and you have something special—you’ve made beans become desirable.
When and how did you learn to work with fabrics?
My exposure to sewing, thanks to my mom, was at the age of nine. I’ve never stopped learning. My formal education was in painting and music, with a lot of other stuff thrown in, but ‘fabrics’ per se are something I’m continually learning about.
What was the very first thing you ever made from fabric?
It was a peasant blouse, at the age of nine, on a Singer machine.
What did you have for lunch today?
I’m going to make a bean salad. And if I can find some, I’m going to fry up a pan of oyster mushrooms. I’m addicted to them—and this is mushroom paradise!
If you could improve one thing about Etsy, what would it be?
If I could improve one thing about Etsy, it would be to put a daily time-limit on how long we could actually be on-site. Etsy is addictive, and I spend way too much time browsing when I could and should be doing other things.
Where can we find you on the web?
I have a blog: http://latouchablesbagsandthings.blogspot.com/
My etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaTouchables
Thank you for a fascinating and inspiring interview, Dawn!