transfer offers endless possibilities for creating custom décor
elements. I recently came across a company that expanded my ideas
regarding the medium. The company, Orangepiel of Sausalito, California
offers creative technology that has intriguing possibilities on a grand
scale. With one decoxr panel they can completely infuse a room with the
mood and style that is desired. They have the ability to custom print
virtually any text, graphic, photograph, or pattern on an almost
limitless size panel.
Orangepiel is on the forefront of this technology and as they say they are “redefining atmosphere through innovation.” They have created and patented a textile system that looks and feels like an artist’s canvas stretched. The fabric and process is environmentally friendly and can be applied without any adhesives. The panels are installed on a perimeter tracking system, which can create seamless walls and ceilings up to 16 feet by 165 feet run lengths. They have the flexibility to create unique design shapes, drop ceilings and backlit panels. Imagine the possibilities!
I went to beautiful Sausalito to visit the Orangepiel Design Studio, which is located in the old shipyards from World War II. The owner of Orangepiel, Daniel McCool, showed me around the studio and discussed his work and his artful approach to the medium and life. His studio showcases some of the design applications of transfer, from watercolors and photos, to photos of photos. The studio ceiling is a huge black and white photo of a full moon which can be lit from behind at night.
The material was developed to accommodate the Asian and European markets where they have older construction made with plaster, concrete and block. The material was created as an efficient way to reskin the ceiling or walls. What makes the material unique is its technical properties, it can be stretched wide widths up to 16 feet by 16 feet without deflection, it will not sag in the middle like fabric would. The material creates a perfectly flat plane, which is really important for construction or architectural applications. Where you need to know standard deviations and how the material is going to react.
The technical side is the less glamorous side of what Orangepiel does. They have been importing to the United States and have gone through the process of learning how to print on it. McCool has been working with the printing aspect and one thing he likes about it is that it is not limited to any particular medium. It’s a digital transfer taking something that has been digitized and reproducing it but it lends itself to photography, to the graphic arts and even a poet’s text on watercolor. They can take all sorts of mediums. McCool expressed his views in what they are doing by saying that to him it is like that transition that was made around the turn of the 20th Century. How long did it take before photography was considered art?
Through this medium he is providing a pallet to people who approach it in new ways that he has not even thought of and to be involved in the creative process.
McCool says “The way I want to approach and take this medium is to create atmosphere and the way to do it efficiently and without using vast resources. We can get a lot of bang for the buck with what we are doing. The footprint of how much we can create verses how much material we are really using, it’s not that much so it gives the artist that flexibility to create a space or to really set themselves apart.”
The applications are almost unlimited not just for the home but can be used in the hospitality industry, commercial space, retail or by an artist that wants to create an experiential installation it works across all applications.
The way most other digital transfer companies work is you send them an image and they will reproduce it. It is a business-oriented transaction. Orangepiel offers design services to customize and create a unique piece.
“The reason I do this is because I like to make beautiful things and I feel like as a business model that sets me apart from other digital transferring and large printing houses,” McCool said.
McCool likes the process of connecting and collaborating with the artist and creating unique and beautiful settings. He feels the beauty of his job is others coming across incredible artists and experiencing the diversity of their art. This is a lot of fun for him.
McCool is philosophic about his work in the world and questions if he is doing enough to make it a better place by intending and bringing beauty in the world.
“We have a unique product but my big word is collaboration, we are about making sure we can connect the right artist to the right client and really go that extra step to give the client what they really want.”
What I left with after visiting with McCool was that his business is about beauty, people and connection which to me is the new healthy model of growing and being in business as well as being in the world.
What a surprise to see Diane's article in craftstylish http://www.craftstylish.com/ she mentions Barakah Life's "Sew Giving" Baby Blanket Drive.
Please check out Diane's blog Craftypod; http://www.craftypod.com/ and her fun crafting podcast which you can find at itunes by the same name.
Our next Sew Giving Drive is just around the corner in January of 2009. We've been coming up with new ways for more people to get involved and double the goodness.
As a crafter, you possess an important power: the power to use your creative skills to bring comfort to people in need. There are so many charity crafting projects you can participate in on a local, national, and even global level.
Let's start locally. Check with your city's volunteer centers to find out where there might be a need for handmade items in your community. A local homeless shelter might be in need of warm knitted hats. A children's hospital might welcome a donation of handmade soft toys. Or there might be a senior-care center that would appreciate a gift of your time to bring craft projects to its residents. You can use your local phone directory to find ways to contribute in your city, or try these websites: SmartVolunteer, VolunteerMatch, or 1-800-Volunteer.
On a national level, there are lots of charity crafting projects being organized on the web:
• ChemoCaps seeks donations of soft, hand-knit caps for cancer patients.
• Care Wear coordinates volunteers across the United States who sew, knit, and crochet baby items and donate them to hospitals.
• Warm Up America! collects handmade blankets, clothing, and accessories for people facing crisis or receiving medical care.
You can also find a long list of nationwide charity crafting projects at Sewing Charity and another at Wool Works.
If you read craft blogs, you can often find limited-time projects to participate in. A couple of wonderful recent examples were Tricot du Coeur, Softies for Mirabel, and the Barakah Life Handmade Baby Blanket Drive.
On a global level, you can use your crafting skills for good through these projects:
• afghans for Afghans collects hand-knit or crocheted blankets, hats, sweaters, and socks to send to refugees from war-torn Afghanistan.
• The Animals Asia Foundation recently put out a call for hand-knit mittens for bears that have been rescued from China's bear bile farms. The mittens keep the bears' paws warm and protected while they undergo medical treatments after rescue.
This list may seem overwhelming—there seems to be so much need out there for your crafting skills! When you're first exploring the world of crafting for charity, it's wise to start small. Try making one item for one of these projects. If you find that you enjoy the process of making things for charity, then you can take on more. But be careful! It's so easy to overcommit.
Many charity crafting projects operate on deadlines, meaning that if you volunteer to help, you'll be expected to turn in your handmade donation by a specific date so that it can be distributed to someone in need. When you agree to participate in a charity effort, make sure you have plenty of available time in your schedule for the project.
Another important point is that when you decide to participate in a charity project, be sure to read all of the project guidelines thoroughly. Some projects require specific materials. Some require items to be made in specific sizes. Be sure that your donations are something the project can use.
Keep in mind, too, that if you're too busy to craft for any of these projects, you can always make a cash donation—any of these charity crafting efforts would be grateful for your support.