It's Science! Origamizer

Nova, the PBS show, has just made a show on folding that I can't stop talking about. 

Their decription: The centuries-old tradition of folding two-dimensional paper into three-dimensional shapes is inspiring a scientific revolution. The rules of folding are at the heart of many natural phenomena, from how leaves blossom to how beetles fly. But now, engineers and designers are applying its principles to reshape the world around us—and even within us, designing new drugs, micro-robots, and future space missions. With this burgeoning field of origami-inspired-design, the question is: can the mathematics of origami be boiled down to one elegant algorithm—a fail-proof guidebook to make any object out of a flat surface, just by folding? And if so, what would that mean for the future of design? Explore the high-tech future of this age-old art as NOVA unfolds “The Origami Revolution.”

Here is the episode link.  I really like paper folding.



Trouble in River City

We are facing difficult times.  We are all trying to figure out how to be a nation again.

Image: Rago Arts

Nostalgia has the problem of letting us choose the slant we look at history with.  I think Americans had a stronger national spirit even just a few years ago.  Maybe we can get that back with more can-do and less derisive anger.  I’m looking at these as a kind of Valentine for that nation.

As we regain that spirit - let’s use this time of chaos as a kind of hot house and move culture forward. 

Glenn Adamson has made a succinct and great show called Static at Friedman Benda that talks about the late 70s and 80s and shows inspired responses.

Or we can just let it all slide.

Hubby Watch: Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Centerstage

Fabio designed the costumes for Les Liaisons Dangereuses directed by Hana Sharif. 

The fabrics are lush and there are many very special touches

photo Richard Anderson

photo Richard Anderson

photo Richard Anderson

photo Richard Anderson

photo Richard Anderson


One review said:  Costume Designer Fabio Toblini excels with his elaborate designs that spare no excess or detail. From Cécile’s youthful debutante gowns and Madame de Tourvel’s just demure enough day dresses to Valmont’s velvet waistcoats and brocade dandy vests, he uses fine fabric, texture, and color to perfectly define his characters. But his sumptuous designs reserved for Merteuil, flowing visions in electric jewel tones, trump even the best of his plot. Miss Douglas’ talent and persona draped in Toblini’s extravagant creations espousing Hampton’s sublime words combine into the mesmerizing force of nature she creates in Merteuil. Toblini provides her with every tool she needs to commandeer the stage with minimal effort.

We were ready for our close up with a rare inclusion of our favorites.

photo Richard Anderson

Hotly Contested!

Our linen and glow in the dark sheer Moonlight is in Interior Design magazine's Best of the Year contest.  There are 2 days left to vote.  If you would vote, I'd be thrilled.  The contest is great and the award is really pretty.  No registration necessary and you can vote once from any screen.

Friends and Heroes

Two dear and formative friends just had shows open in New York.  Luisa Cevese is part of a three woman show at the Cooper Hewitt called Scraps and Roy McMakin's A Table at Garth Greenan gallery.

Roy tells me the four green tables are meant to be bought by a collector who would get and use one table, Roy would get and use a second table, a museum would receive and keep pristine the third while the fourth would be anonymously donated to a thrift store.  God I love that guy. 

The work in his show is gorgeous- often pairing found furniture with large constructions.  While I don't fully understand the relationship, I do respond.  The drop leave table in a white monolith made me tear up a little.

Luisa's show has her paired with Christina Kim of dosa, inc., and Reiko Sudo of NUNO.  All three use industrial waste with originality and surprise.

Luisa and her recycling are, of course, very dear to my heart.

Summer Roundup! Hot Town, Summer in the City

Sure is August in NYC right now.  The city really gives a lot to people who stay in town.  Right now there are a bunch of shows I love.

From the Antonio Lopez show, photo by Scott Bodenner

Portrait of Mariana de Silva y Sarmiento, duquesa de Huescar (1740-1794) from

The Met is doing double duty with Unfinished and Manus x Machina.  Unfinished is at the Met Breuer, whose renovation is understated and stunning.  The floor of not modern art delivers a view into the workings of artists that we never get to see.   There is a room of Turner paintings found in his studio after his death.  They are only background- it's unclear if the boat had yet to be added or if he had made the leap to pure abstraction.  What is clear is that I cried a little in there.  It's up until 4 September

Manus x Machina is a showstopper because who doesn't love handmade vs computers.  Everyone winsAND there are four Fortuny Delphos dresses on display!  The show is up until 5 September.

FIT's gallery has a hot hot small show called Uniformity.  Beautiful and susinct.  Totally worth a visit before 19 November.  Starting 23 September FIT is showing Proust's Muse, The Countess Greffulhe.  Based on this dress alone it's gonna be great:

House of Worth, tea gown, blue cut velvet on a green satin ground, Valenciennes lace, circa 1897. © Stéphane Piera/Galliera/Roger-Viollet.

El Museo Del Barrio has a show on Antonio Lopez.  I love this show so so much.  Antonio's brief career had a huge influence on fashion at the time and was formative for both Fabio and I.

Finally my dear friend Randal Stoltzfus is showing on the 7th floor of Bergdorf Goodman starting 16 August.  That's two great tastes that go great together!



Standard Incomparable

Helen Mirra has an installation at the Armory Arts Center in Pasadena called Standard Incomparable.  In it she asked weavers to weave 7 stripes of alternating local natural undyed fiber.  Each stripe should be a hand width wide and and arm’s length long.  Each weaving becomes a description of the locale and of the weaver.  

Photo by Jeff Mclane

My contribution was woven on our Mixtape Light Neutrals warp.  Since I live in a city and local can be defined many ways, I unraveled 2 vintage sweaters I bought here- brown Peruvian alpaca and the other Irish fisherman’s knit natural white wool.

Photo by Kiera Coffee

Photo by Kiera Coffee

Each weaver made 2 pieces.  The second became part of an exchange with the other weavers.  I received Liz Gipson’s beautiful work.

Thanks to Eric for the heads up on this project.

The show got a lovely write up in the LA Times.





We are so happy to announce our presence in the Savel Showroom on the top floor of the D&D building.  We are in great company- come on in and check us and them out.


In the USSR music was strictly censored.  As a kid I had a chance to visit the USSR as a ‘student ambassador.’  A fella named Sasha made friends with me and was so happy to receive my copied cassettes.  One was Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave.  The was particularly exciting as he’d read about her but hadn’t yet heard her.  He promised to share the music widely and without cost.

Maybe some went out on X-ray films etched with sound grooves and using a cigarette to burn the center hole like these I saw in New Scientist:

Here in the studio we have been weaving cassette tape into 5 colors of Mixtape: Light Neutrals, Greens, Blues, Reds, and Greys and Browns.  

Our perfect soundtrack for that weaving is from Bow Wow Wow.


It's Science! Plastic Eating Bacteria.

The PBS Newshour has an article on a newly discovered bacteria that digests PET!  There is a lot to learn, but maybe we have a tool to not just degrade but digest the most common plastic.  Maybe even the microplastic floating in the ocean.

Scanning electron microscopy image of the degraded surface of a piece of PET after 60 hours with Ideonella sakaiensis. The inset shows the original smooth surface of the PET plastic. Scale bar, 1 μm. Photo courtesy of Yoshida et al., Science, (2016).

Don't worry- it won't eat all the rubber seals in our underground facility: