Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt

Tomorrow—October 1, 2009—is the release date of my new craft book, Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt, published by STC Craft (an imprint of Stewart, Tabori & Chang/Abrams Books).

The process began in the summer of 2008 with the creating of a list of projects; it then continued with the process of making those projects, deciding which ones to include, and then making them again—but this time documenting each step of the way.

[BELOW] Kata Golda's studio, with pincushion (a project from the book Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt).

This included calling out which stitches and design elements many of the projects share, and then thinking/writing about the origins of the projects and the origins of how I came to this place of making things — all of which was studied by my editor, Liana Allday, who demonstrated a careful balance of questioning and clarifying while also making sure to honor my voice and style.

I am thrilled to hold a copy of my finished book and hope you are inspired by the simplicity, story, charm, color and texture of the projects within it.

~Kata Golda

[BELOW] More projects from the book Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Almost Ready: Kata Golda's New Print Catalog

At last we are nearly ready with our 2010-2011 printed catalog…addressing
envelopes, stamping them with postage and decorating them with rubber stamps. The 'waiting table' is staged with envelopes and lists, with pens and letterpress printed note cards.

It's the process of preparation, the hand-writing of notes, the organizing and reorganizing of stacks and the changing configurations of the piles that I enjoy so much. It's also a math lesson for my daughter: How long does it take to decorate and put postage on an envelope? How many cents would be reasonable pay? And how many envelopes do I need to stamp in order to earn enough to buy a colored lip balm?

The making of Kata Golda's new print catalog took about a year. From careful study of our last catalog, through drawing then creating new designs and objects...all along deciding what works, what doesn't, what can be fixed by redrawing a line, what I feel conflicted about because it does not fit in with the collection and what just simply becomes removed. The process of elimination is both liberating (I don't actually need to make item this work, I can just drop it) and a little painful (working a lot on the pages of a baby book and deciding it's just not right yet, and not knowing how to make it right).

Once all of the products are decided upon and made, then it's an organizational task of creating categories and cohesiveness. This is where I owe so much appreciation to my photographer, Frank White, who photographed each and every product and tolerated my inexplicable and unpredictable critique of the artistic photographs.

And I also owe great appreciation to the girl who puts it all together...who designs, debates, edits, organizes, and explains...Amy Redmond.


I hope that you enjoy my new collection.

~Kata Golda

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Process: The Anticipation of a Flower

I am surrounded by the successful planting of well-timed flower blossoms.

In early spring I feel a panic that I should have planted more bulbs in the winter time; that the dry sticks that were once lush plants are actually dead and the empty spots in the garden that I have just heavily mulched will stay that way.

Mid-summer brings on a new perspective; the blossoms exploding into full flowers timed like a show of fireworks. I am most pleased by the anticipation of the flower.

When I have an idea I usually write it down because the ideas — unlike flowers — don't arrive in my mind at predictable moments. When I take the idea further with drawings and pull materials suitable for making it, it feels like the unfolding of a blossom.

[BELOW] A page from my sketchbook.

Most often the anticipation of the making and process of creating are the most exciting. The results may have a specific application, may be part of a work-in-progress, or may just need to be seen through and discarded.

It is important to be able to let go and to see the value in the process as a practice.

~ Kata Golda

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Waiting Table

It's never a good idea to rush.

I have a big table that I call "the waiting table." It is a required resting spot for all completed pieces. Here it is with all of the possibilities for the 2010–2011 Kata Golda card collection.

This is the final editing stage, where the cards have successfully made it through the process of idea, drawing, pattern, color choices, stitching and pairing with words/phrases. Here they will stay for a few days and be frequently visited and altered before finally arriving at the finish line: the upcoming 2010–2011 Kata Golda catalog.

~ Kata Golda

[BELOW] Contenders for Kata Golda's 2010-2011 card collection take their turn on "the waiting table."

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I'd love to hear from you by e-mail, or better yet, an old-fashioned letter. Here's how you can reach me: Kata Golda Contact Info