Taratories Blog

Balloons and Cupcakes

This week, our local Anthropologie was having another workshop to create some new installations for the spring.  This is my little Sawyer standing in front of Anthropologie's storefront.  This was the first time I attempted bringing him along to one of these events and, needless to say, it was an adventure.

The materials that were used for this installation were balloons in 3 different shades of purple, twine, and dyed cupcake wrappers.  Inhaling the fresh flowers on the work table gave me visions of Spring, and the beautiful combinations of colors before my eyes gave my soul hope of seasons yet to come.  

We were instructed to tie the different sized balloons on the twine at various lengths, and then the cupcake wrappers were hot glued in between the balloons.  

There was no tying for Sawyer of course, but he found ways to keep himself occupied ;)

The result were strands of wisteria which made a greater impact when hung together.  I love how Anthropologie takes every day items and uses them in unexpected ways.  It always inspires me to take a look around me every day and imagine what alternative purposes objects could be used for.  So next time you are at a birthday party and you are eating your cupcake and holding your balloon, be reminded of the possibilities... 

Anthropologies Earth Day Window Display

A couple of weeks ago I went in to Anthropologie to help them with their newest window display for Earth Day.  They needed all hands on deck, because this window was going to have a lot going on in it including many details.  Any time I can go in and help them I am THERE!  I just love working with my hands and working with people to create beautiful installations.  Even though I may be there to help with just a small part of it, I enjoy hearing about the vision, working on some details, and then seeing my little contribution come together with the rest of the window's details to form a beautiful masterpiece!

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The window was going to be inspired by a rainforest, and I helped work on a ton of bananas that were going to be included in the banana bunches hanging from the trees. 

We made these origami bananas out of thin cardboard cut out from a template and then formed into the different sized bananas.  We held them together with masking tape which prepared them for the next phase which would be the paper mache and paint that would be applied over them. Since I knew we were doing origami, I thought it would be appropriate to eat some sushi as I worked :)

It was a really time consuming process and this basket was all that was accomplished in about 3 hours with a handful of people.  Enough for probably one or two bunches.  The amount of time that goes into Anthropologies installations are unbelievable, but that is what makes this store unique from other stores.  Although they are time consuming, the love and hard work that goes into the details of these displays are evident by anyone who lays eyes on them!  

I love the richness of all of the foliage in this rainforest, and all the texture going on in this display.

I also love how they created all of the layers here in such creative ways.  Notice the piping holding the bananas and flowers.  This really helps to give the display another layer and visually give the window more depth and interest. 

This display came together beautifully! It is so rich and beautiful and says "Earth Day" all over it!

That'swan fine swan: Anthropologie window finished

My husband and I started our Christmas shopping a couple days ago, and of course, our first stop was Anthropologie, at my request.  Greeting us was the beautiful holiday window display that was just in the beginning stages a few months ago.  I had a blog post in October about helping work on this display which included two of these photos.  At that stage it was a swan with no wings, and cardboard cut out leaf shapes that we painted in shades of green.

I thought everyone would enjoy seeing how it all came together!  I love all of the texture on the wreath that was created with the leaves and all the other additions.  The swan looks like he's about to take flight right out of the window!  This art installation creates a warm, yet wintery, vibe and gives the passersby a lot of details to soak in.  The simplicity of the white swan focal point balances out the variety of colors and textures going on in the wreath.  Also, take note of the styling of the mannequins... PERFECTION.  The shirt closest to the wreath tells the woman looking in the window, "you can BE this beautiful swan, just step inside these doors!"  And I did.  Well done Anthropologie.  

Molly Hatch: Artistically Generous

A couple of years ago I was trying to figure out how to merge my two loves... ceramics and drawing.  I majored in Art Studio with concentrations in ceramics and drawing and after years of exploring both mediums, it dawned on me that I should look for ways to bring them together.  I then got online and typed in "drawing on ceramics" to see what kind of techniques and options were out there for incorporating drawing on my pottery.  

As I was researching, I came across the talented Molly Hatch, who does this very thing.  She too found a way to merge the two together and I was interested in her technique.  I decided to email Molly to find out more about what she does, and It turned out that she was more than just a studio potter, she was a surface designer.  Somehow I went my whole life up to that point never hearing the term "surface designer" so when she began to explain what that was, I was intrigued!  

After years of browsing Anthropologie's isles admiring the beautiful ceramics there, I never knew who the face was behind those pieces and how they were made.  Molly brings prototypes to Anthropologie's production teams and then the product is manufactured.  Their design team also use her paintings on other things like tea towels and drinking glasses, etc.  

Last week I decided to take an online class through a website called www.creativelive.com  ( https://www.creativelive.com/instructor/molly-hatch) where Molly taught a class called Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface.  It was so great to see her working on her designs as she talked about her process, her story, and answered questions!  

I was talking with a friend the other day and I was telling her how awesome I thought it was that Molly was openly sharing her techniques and was not hoarding her process to herself.  I love to see a generous artist who delights in sharing her story and her process!  Too often artists miss the mark when it comes to generosity.  Usually, anything that we learn as artists comes from some other artist that has paved the path before us, and many forget that truth.  Art is to be shared, and we are to help each other along in these artistic journeys that we are on.   I hope I always remember to be artistically generous.

Anthropologie Holiday Window Display

Yesterday I spent the afternoon helping Anthropologie with their holiday window display that will be installed some time next month.  Right now the front window is looking very "fall", which will all change soon!  Due to the detail of the amazing window displays in Anthropologie, at times it takes a crew of people to come together to pull it off.

The display coordinator constructed this swan out of wood, cardboard, chicken wire, and crepe paper.  I think this guy is adorable and he will be featured in the holiday window with a wreath that will surround him.  One of the tasks at hand was cutting a TON of cardboard shapes that will come together to form the wreath.  

After that, we painted the cut out foliage with different shades of green paint.  This part was welcomed, because my fingers were really feeling it from using the scissors so long!

I can't wait to see all the pieces come together and to see the swan in his full glory in the window!!