Posts By: Barbara Jacobs

The Dyer’s Art: Ikat, Batik, Plangi

Anyone who has an interest in the origins of textile design will enjoy this in-depth view into the world of color and design in textiles. Major types of resist dye are explored in this instructional visual resource, complete with numerous photos of textile work in their extraordinary processes, in their original tribal environments. Authors: Jack Lenor Larsen: Renowned designer, craftsman and colorist; anthropologist Dr Alfred Buhler; ikat specialists Bronwen and Garrett Solyom.  c. 1976, Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Decor and Fashion Connect in Traditional Textile Techniques

In my recent blog post in which I showed a few some images of  the “Decor and Fashion” connection, I presented a brief description of the intricate dye-and-weave process knows as “Ikat.” Now, for those of you who have an interest in what’s behind the fashion aspect, I’m happy to introduce two wonderful books on the subject of Ikat, and other traditional dye techniques. The Dyer’s Art is an exciting compendium of many resist-dye techniques.  The author, Jack Lenor Larsen, is a renowned designer, artist, and authority on weaving. “Resist” dyeing is most recognizable in it’s most simplistic form as… Read more »

September is Colorful at the BDC–and more

A brief visit to the Boston Design Center yesterday inspired me to take some quick shots of colorful displays that include some interesting patterns. Chocolate brown with turquoise was a theme at a few locations. Looks like this beautiful combination is here to stay for a while! Another view of this combination This is Not at the BDC–but you can see the color combination works here at Silk Road Weaves, as well Back at the Boston Design Center, adding a twist of earthy yellow-green, Lee Jofa shows this great skirt! Personally, I love the connection between decor-and-fashion. (More about this… Read more »

Happy Colors Inspire a Rainy Day

Here we are in Boston, chilly and rainy. Finally, some water–it’s appreciated. But thinking of colors today, here’s a bit of what comes to mind: Remember “Don’t Worry, be Happy?”  Sometimes hard to do these days, but looking at this helps make it  possible! In case you can’t read the fine print, the saying on the bike is this (and please note: it’s NOT a typo)! HAPPY LIFE Benny present mellow breezy cycle to you! Happy Life match your good sense! In a different medium, it’s inspiring to look at and handle the beautiful wool and silk colors, and all… Read more »

Color for a group? It’s a historic Boston building!

We’re familiar with the ‘old song’ about  the difficulties that can occur getting 2 people who share a home to agree on design decisions. As pleased as I was to be asked to consult with the owners of a historic Boston co-op building, I was equally aware of the challenges in satisfying the requirements of a group of property-owners sharing a very real interest in the same building.  The subject of my work for them was to create a new color palette for the lobby and vestibule of their  1924, “classic Old-Boston” building in the historic heart of Boston. The… Read more »

Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe

Decorative, functional and symbolic, the art of the tribal Ndebele women of South Africa continues to amaze us with its beauty, simplicity, and drama. This book was first published in 1986. Many of the buildings shown are no longer standing, giving us even more reason to appreciate these amazing painted dwellings and the people who created them.

The Ultimate Painted House(s):are you ready for this?

Are you ready for this? Beadwork and Painting of the Ndebele women.      Click on the image to go to our Design Library, where you can order this book. Decorative, functional and symbolic, the art of the tribal Ndebele women of South Africa continues to amaze us with its beauty, simplicity, and drama. This book was first published in 1986. Many of the buildings shown are no longer standing, giving us even more reason to appreciate these amazing painted dwellings and the people who created them. I could not say it better, so will quote from the statement of… Read more »

Is it Physics, or Magic? How about Both!

Believe it or not, I can actually be a bit reserved. But now that I’ve seen other people call it “magic,” I will come out from behind my little curtain and say… “Yes!” Actually, when clients become exuberant about “my magic paints” I’ve always replied,” Well, maybe not ‘magic.’  Maybe it’s Physics and Artistic Vision.”  OK, that’s my pragmatic side speaking.  But, however you want to describe it, Full Spectrum is a wonderfully beautiful and–dare I say it–the Most FUN and inspirational way to work with paint color! Architect and interior designer Richard Morrison is also an enthusiastic advocate of… Read more »

Traveling Toes and Other Color Inspirations

At the airport…waiting in line, I noticed this amusing color story: reverse/matching toes and shoes.  Looking for a reason to talk about it I just decided to post it anyway. You never know when a color inspiration will strike! This is the kind of thing that just brings a bright spot to a day, when you look up and see a color connection. Maybe it’s even your view through a window to the outside, as you see something in your immediate space that connects visually with something in another room or exterior. I like to think of this as a… Read more »

Strangers on a train

Overheard on the commuter train Two 60-something businessmen talking about their latest passion: Baking! The agreed-upon favorites?  Dense rye, sourdough.  Taking professional baking courses. And their other really big, Hot topic: Comparing kitchen appliances! Was I surprised? A little. It made me smile, about how we can’t begin to guess what people are interested in–unless we see, hear, or ask. It’s similar with choosing colors…we see what people wear, but that’s not always a direct reflection of what they like in their environments. Even though some  “conventional wisdom’ about choosing color is to look in your closet and replicate it,… Read more »