Kayla Kennington is an artist, designer and educator. Sewists everywhere love her clothing patterns for their universal appeal, ease of fit and clear instructions. But she does so much more as an artist and has crafted a drool-worthy studio.
Tell us a little about what you do and your studio.
I make clothing (mostly silk), patterns, art dolls (sculpted with wire armature), illustration, mixed media painting, teaching, writing . . . and more!
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40 years of studios . . . It has evolved to a sort-of “pop-up studio” as I also surrender to being somewhat of a gypsy. Everything comes apart and can be wrapped up. There is nothing I can’t carry myself and reassemble.
How to you organize your garment fabric?
It’s bigger and I struggle with how to keep track of it all. Racks from Elfa or Ikea work great for me, with lots of smaller cuts of fabric. I also use them under my cutting table and sewing tables. I also use the plastic art bins for all my art supplies and adhesives etc. My P-Touch labeling machine gets frequent use! More recently I put L brackets (with 1/4 inch holes in them) into the wall and ran a metal rod thru and used hooks with clips (Ikea) to hang my 1/2 to 2 yard pieces…looks pretty and keeps them safe and organized.
Here is how I organized my smaller pieces by hanging them.
Do you keep your fat quarters for quilting in a different place? Or the same organization as your garment fabrics?
I keep my quarters in shallow plastic bins.
How do you organize all of your notions – zippers, buttons, etc.
In the plastic Elfa/Ikea bin drawers (an option to the wire drawers).
How often do you ‘clean out’ your stash & supplies? Do you regularly go through and release unwanted items to new loving homes? If so, where do you give your orphans?
I sort and release often! ( but its like fish and loaves!) I usually give my designing friends first choice, donate to my kids creativity classes and Goodwill…but now back in Sonoma County we have a recycle sewing shop called Legacy….great place to give and get cool stuff.
How many UFOs do you have? How and where do you store them? Do you ever go back and finish any of them?
Lots! Sometimes I just do a project long enough to figure out a technique to perfection, then move on to do the ” real” piece…but often save a sample and sometime use them in new projects.
Do you have a dedicated space for creating? Or do you share your space? Or have already taken over the entire home?
Have had my home living-room as a studio, but now have a shop with a back room for much of the supplies.
What inspires your work?
What is your most productive creative time?
10:am to 7: pm…then, at age 66, I am pooped. (I used to work 16 hours a day).
Are you the kind of person that needs to work in a neat and tidy space, or are you more inspired with all of your colors and options near you . . . ie. in a clutter?
Neat and beautiful and organized (although it can become a mess by the end of the day, then I put stuff back for the next day). Here is a picture of my work in progress — it can be a mess!
LOVE my studio stuff ( creative supplies) . . . I am far more attached to my supplies than to any finished piece!
And, a little more about Kayla:
Kayla has been a professional designer & artist over 40 years. As an artist she has created over 3000 one-of-a-kind (mostly hand-dyed and embellished) art-to-wear garments, showpieces, art- dolls, art-quilts, hats, Illustrations, paintings, and more. As a Designer she began designing the layout of Integrated Circuits early in the high-tech industry (including drafting and Computer Aid Design), created and published patterns for her own pattern company “Modular design for Couture Artwear”, custom patterns for individual clients, and currently designs for Vogue Designer Series Patterns.
Kayla has many “features” and “how-to” articles in Threads and other publications, she has demonstrated her techniques on television, taught workshops, retreats and has been an inspirational keynote speaker at events across America and Canada.
Kayla is an Ambassador for Bernina Sewing Machine Company and has created materials for their worldwide ad campaigns. She won three international awards for my museum-quality showpieces and is featured in the San Francisco DeYoung Museum Textile Archive as an Obiko Designer.
Kayla’s latest creation is an adult coloring book published by Taunton Press and available on Amazon as well as stores worldwide.
Kayla says, “I continue to grow my creativity and artistry by challenging myself with innovative ideas and techniques. I love to share these ideas by teaching children and adults the joys of creativity”.
Here are ways to follow and reach Kayla:
email: [email protected]
Interview posted August, 2017.
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