MAUVEINE (mō-VEEN): The name given to the first synthetic dye discovered accidentally by William Henry Perkin in 1856. The luminous purple color became popular when in 1851 Queen Victoria wore a silk gown dyed with mauveine.
My name is Debra. My entire life I’ve wanted to make things… bright colored Crayolas and construction paper; popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, glitter and Elmer’s; clay and tempera paint and scissors and colored pencils… you get the idea. I got my creative gene from my dad – I remember him painstakingly assembling intricate ship models or painting lead military miniatures in exacting detail. The huge difference between us is that I tend more toward the “splash and smear and see what comes out” school.
I worked in the graphics/commercial art field for over 25 years and am currently a medical transcriptionist, self-employed and working from home which enables me the freedom and flexibility to work on my silk creations.
I’m married with two grown children and a very large dog. I garden, I can jars of salsa and marinara and pickles in autumn; I tend to fall into the “if I can’t see it I don’t clean it” group as far as housekeeping goes; I’m a chocolate junkie and love to bake.
I can’t remember exactly how or why I started looking into silk painting, but the jewel colors and the way the dye flowed and blended on the fabric was magical! The first silk scarf I made was a “free form” crunch-it-up and pour dye that wound up with a sort of Shroud of Turin look to it. Neat! Okay, I’m hooked. I became much more interested in exploring making different effects and textures than painting flowers or tropical birds and totally playing to my “splash and smear” strength.
On a constant quest for new information and techniques, I stumbled upon examples of marbling on silk. My first thought was, “Oh. my. gosh. How do I do THAT?!?!” Some ingenuity on the part of my handy husband soon had me set up with a marbling tank and stretcher frames and Mauveine was born.
I was so excited about how the scarves were turning out I decided to see if other people think they are as beautiful as I do. With the help of my graphic designer son, his marketing genius girlfriend, and my style and color expert daughter, Mauveine was born.
All items created are 100% handcrafted with natural fabrics and repurposed finds. Color and stitching, fiber and fluid come together in unique and surprising, fun and fashionable ways! Each piece is absolutely unique. There is no overthinking here – it’s just me, the colors, and the fabric. The process is organic and natural; I just let the paint or dye do what it wants to do and the results are always a surprise!
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