About Suzanne Bates, the artist behind Oh Suzanni:
As a working graphic designer all of my life, I have always been in love with pattern and textiles. In particular, I’m inspired by folk and ethnic fabrics, and many of the mid-century female designers working in textiles throughout the 1950s and 1960s. My inspiration for Oh Suzanni scarves and accessories, came out of a desire to get away from the computer, get my hands dirty, and just create pure and hand made design.
My explorations with fabric patterning began with several traditional dyeing techniques for pattern repetition – resist dyeing, batik, and block printing. Primarily though, I am intrigued with Japanese Shibori, a very broad form of resist dyeing that incorporates the use of blocking, wrapping or stitching fabric before placing it into a dye bath. The resulting patterns can be very modern and graphic, yet at the same time organic, nature inspired – and rather unpredictable. I think that is what I like most about it.
My process usually begins with some piece of inspiration from my surroundings. My southern coastal backyard always provides inspiration in abundance; whether it be sand or a sea shell pattern, driftwood, or flowers from my garden. For many of my designs, I use wood blocks specifically shaped for the particular pattern I want to replicate. The blocks are then clamped to the fabric before dyeing, to create the design. All of my colors are blended by hand from dry pigment, and each scarf design is usually a layering of multiple dye baths as well as processes. This unique combination of both color application and technique, truly makes my scarves one-of-a-kind wearable art.
Thanks so much for stopping by.