Photo Credit: Courtesy Bryony Shearmur
The first time that fine art photographer Bryony Shearmur tried to print her evocative, nature-inspired images onto fabric, the results were less than fabulous. “It was 2005 and I wanted the highest level of digital printing—so that the fabric would actually become a photograph—but the technology just wasn’t there. I joke that I twiddled my thumbs for five years until science caught up with my vision,” says London-born Shearmur (who actually spent those years shooting for private and corporate clients in Los Angeles).
Luckily, by fall 2011, fabric printing had evolved to match Shearmur’s standards and the first Silk by Bryony Shearmur collection debuted. Aptly named ‘Really Beautiful Things,’ the series features scarves and handkerchiefs based on photographs of landscapes, skylines and natural specimens—among them a haunting underwater scene and a dreamy tableau of pink cherry blossoms against a cerulean sky. Each piece is an original artwork in itself, individually printed on 100% Habatai silk and finished by hand. And judging by the reaction of buyers, editors and accessory addicts, Shearmur’s approach has struck a chord: “Customers really seem to respond to the combination of craftsmanship and emotion I put into each scarf.”
Asked why she chose scarves as her medium, Shearmur responds, “A scarf is such a deceptively simple thing. It’s just a long stretch of fabric really, but it manages to say so much. When women wear my scarves, people want to talk about the imagery and touch the fabric…the scarf almost has a life of its own. Also, there’s something personal about the way you choose to wear it or tie it—and the fact that they’re potential heirlooms doesn’t hurt!”
Does being an artist ever get in the way of Shearmur’s business plan? “Actually, it’s the commercial component—the act of sharing my vision with the world at large—that I find most satisfying,” she says. “As an artist, it can feel strange to work on the non-creative parts of yourself and suddenly become an entrepreneur and administrator, but it’s been very empowering for me. I would tell any creative person who has a vision to go for it!”
So what’s in store for “Silk” in 2012? “I want to stay true to our initial mission statement of creating really beautiful accessories that are full of emotion. Collaborations with other artists and designers are in the mix, and I’m thinking about silk tops and skirts. I also have this idea of making gorgeous silks for aerialists to incorporate into their circus performances. My feeling is, the sky’s the limit—in this case quite literally!”
ENTER TO WIN ONE OF BRYONY SHEARMUR'S DESIGNS!
Shearmur's scarves can range from several hundred to over a thousand dollars, and the designer has created a custom look exclusively for one iVillage reader. The 17th person to email us (see details below) will receive a cherry blossom-inspired scarf similar to the one featured above.
To apply just send us an email with your full name, address and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org (See the official rules below.) Good Luck!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to legal U.S. residents of the 48 continental states who are 18 or older. Commencing on December 15, 2011, at 5 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) and continuing through December 31, 2011, at 5 a.m. PST, iVillage will give away one (1) Bryony Shearmur scarf. To enter, submit your name, mailing address and phone number to email@example.com. Emails must include "Bryony Shearmur Giveaway" in the subject line. The winner will be notified by e-mail. Offer valid while supplies last. Prizes selected by iVillage in its sole discretion.