Featured Designer - Smudged Textiles Studio July 01 2015

This month’s featured designer is Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Textiles Studio.  Lynn is a self-taught surface designer and textile artist, published author and teacher.  Her first fabric line is Inked for Red Rooster Fabrics.

I met Lynn a self-described paint flinger, maker of parts, coffee drinker and all time creative at Fall Market in Houston in 2014 where I was mesmerized by her sense of color and design.

Jen:  Where were you born and raised?

Lynn:  I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.  I live in a suburb of Southeast Michigan now, but I'm a lifetime Mitten girl.

Jen:  How and when did your passion for textiles begin?

Lynn: I discovered crazy quilting in my early twenties.  I was recovering from back surgery and bored out of my mind (I don't sit still well) so I was checking out heaps of books from the library to entertain myself.  I got a few craft books, one of which was crazy quilting, and something clicked. I fell madly in love with the idea of fabric as art and the beauty of stitching and patterns really struck a chord with me. I followed with art quilts and then surface design, which is where I spend a lot of my time now.

Jen:  How did you learn to quilt and embroider? Did you stitch as a girl?

Lynn:  I actually didn't stitch as a girl.  I flirted with cross stitching off and on over the years but for the most part, I didn't do much art when I was a kid.  I learned when I got into crazy quilting through books and videos.  Then I joined a couple of guilds, took a few classes and went from there.

Jen:  Complete this sentence. When I am not creating, I am…..

Lynn:  I'm drinking coffee and *thinking* about creating!  Hahaha!  Projects are never far from my mind and although I have a day job, my Art Brain is always fully engaged.  I keep a sketchbook with me so when I need to jot something down, I have a place to put it.

Jen:  So, how did Smudged Textiles come to be?

Lynn:  I had a brick and mortar store many years ago, and I really enjoyed running a business.  The shop closed when the economy slipped, but I knew that I always wanted to come back to having a creative business again.  Since I do have a day job, having an online shop is far easier.  No need to pay rent or make sure the place is staffed at all times.  I just really enjoy sharing my art and my process with other people, and I'm really fortunate that artists are willing to hang out with me during their creative time.  It's a synergy thing - we're all better at what we do when we come together as a group, even if it's just through online connection.

Jen:  How would you describe your style?

Lynn:  I describe myself as a pattern and color junkie.  The majority of what I do falls into abstract artwork.  I love the freedom that comes from that style of artwork...it feels so fluid to me, and it makes the process of creating work more enjoyable.  I usually have an end goal in mind when I start working on something but most of the time I just go with the flow and let my Art Brain guide me.

Jen:  Tells us about your creative process for Inked.  What were your inspirations?

Lynn:  I'm so excited for Inked!!  The line came about from me really wanting to share my hand printed fabric.  I'm asked frequently by quilters if it's for sale and while I'm happy to adopt the fabric out, the brutal truth is that since I work primarily with paint, it's not well suited for quilts or anything that you want the hand of the fabric to be soft.  No matter how good the paint is, it will introduce some stiffness.  So I decided to try to find a commercial partner, and I was fortunate to hook up with Red Rooster Fabrics.

All of the designs of the line were originally screen printed by hand by me.  I created Thermofax Screens from a pattern and then hand dyed and hand printed the samples.  The element that ties all the colors and patterns together is the process by which they were originally printed.  So Inked refers to the screen printing ink that I used to create them.  Kind of a roundabout way of honoring the screen printing process.

My inspiration for it really comes from my love of really saturated colors.  And since I'm a collagist, I adore riots of pattern.  I think the line represents both of those loves really well.

Jen: Any big plans for the year ahead?

Lynn:  This year started off really busy.  I filmed a new DVD workshop with F&W media called "Thermofax Screen Printing Essentials," and I also taped three new segments for Quilting Arts TV.  I decided after that to take a little bit of a breather.  I don't have any big projects on the books right now, but I just finished a huge clean up and organize and sort in the studio so I'm really ready to get back to work!  Sometimes you have to slow down to recharge and then it's full speed ahead! :)

Next time I need to get the scoop from Lynn on her process to clean up and organize her studio...mine is in desperate need!  In the meantime, if you are looking for some eye candy, be sure to check out Lynn's blog.

You can also view the Lynn Krawczyk collection at Red Thread Studio.