Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Artist Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: Ragged Edge Print Studio

Nestled behind a yoga studio in Cohoes New York is Ragged Edge Print Studio. It's a wonderful workspace where handmade silk scarfs come to life with vibrant colors and organic shapes.

Many of the creations from Kathy Klomaps remind me of an earthy, nature loving woman. You'd love to sit with her on a comfy couch and share a calming cup of vanilla chai.

I had the honor to spend time with Kathy and can't wait to take a class from her.

1)--Kathy, your designs are so beautiful. While recreating your design may be difficult, you told me the actual process of printing your own silk scarf is not difficult at all. Can you explain?

A) The process is a version of monoprinting, a very painterly type of printmaking that creates single, unique images.  I start with a silk scarf blank, the edges are already finished.  As I want the scarves to be soft, vibrant and colorfast, I use a fiber reactive dye, rather than a textile paint.   The dye is mixed with a thickener derived from seaweed , and soda ash is used to initiate the reaction between the dye and silk molecules.
The fun begins when the dye paste is manipulated on a large plexiglass plate - as large as the scarf.  I use a variety of tools to achieve different textures - paint brushes, Q-tips, silicone pastry brushes, combs, cardboard tubes, sponges.  Finger painting would be fine too, as long as you are protecting your hands with gloves.

Once the details on the printing plate are complete, I set it down on the scarf, and apply some light pressure.   What I love about the process is the looseness.  You have to love the quirky patterns that may result from thick globs of dye squishing, thinner areas of dye imprinting brush marks and other textures, colors merging and creating fresh colors.

Sometimes the scarf is complete with one plate, but often I will paint another plate, and print on top of the first pattern to get  more complex patterns and richer colors.

2) -How did you go from working a 9-5 job to creating scarfs and teaching your art for a living?

A) I have always loved fabrics,  textured or printed.  I studied textile design in college, both weaving and surface design.   Busy with a career in the retail field, I took lot's of classes, but mostly  I satisfied my creative urges by enjoying the drama of the clothing and accessories I was surrounded with, and took satisfaction in encouraging woman to express themselves creatively with their clothing choices.

But the hands on playing with color and pattern was missing, and to fill this urge I began taking classes in printmaking.

Funny, though, my work on paper so often was reminiscent of fabric patterns!

Soon I was tearing up my monoprints and stitching them back together!

When my studio mate and I set up Ragged Edge Printmaking Studio, we were focused on traditional fine art printmaking.  Having the luxury of a spacious studio just seem to gel all the creative energy, and I ended up back at my roots, using a process I learned for paper to be applied to fabric.

3) -What inspires you and how does that translate into your work?

A) I just love to see how the patterns change, the colors come alive,  and a positive  energy is brought forth when the scarves are worn.   Much as the one might notice the light flickering through trees on a walk through a forest.

4) -What piece of advice would you offer to someone who wants to create their own scarf?

A) For this process, stay loose!  Just dive in, go for it!  Work quickly, don't fret over your color choices, be ready for surprising and luscious details to emerge.   Use your whole body, feel free and trust your instincts.

5) -Where can people get your scarfs and find out more about classes?

Folks should check out, and for schedules classes.  If you don't see one that fits your schedule, contact me.   I can do a class for 3 to 6, so consider getting some friends together.

My scarves are available by contacting me directly, The Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady, The Textile Studio in Saratoga, and The Artisan's Gallery in Middleburgh.   Dec 3 and 4 she will be at the crafts show at the Women's Building in Albany. Also you can find her work at Boght Art Center in Cohoes, where a portion of the sales goes to support their wonderful programs.

Kathy, thank you so much for being in the Artist Spotlight!

Would you like the beautiful scarf Kathy is wearing in the picture to the right? Kathy is giving it away to one lucky reader!!!

*Drop us a comment on this blog post. Tell us what you love most about this blog post.
* For a second entry be a follower of our blog and leave a second comment telling us you are follower. Just press follow- to the right of this blog! It just takes 2 seconds to do it but it makes us oh so excited!
* Contest ends Wednesday November 17th at noon.
* One person will be randomly selected!
* Winner will be announced Thursday November 18th.



  1. Hey there ... beautiful scarf - absolutely love the colours - suits Kathy too! Cheers :)

  2. Just wonderful! Makes me think that this is like "Adult Finger-painting" how lucky she is to have come up with an artistic idea that keeps the fun in her job! Good luck to you Kathy!

  3. I LOVE the colors in the scarf - beautiful. What an interesting technique, I would never have guessed!

  4. I love the process that she uses to prints the scarves.

  5. The best thing is that Kathy is following her dream - she may be poor, but she is happy! And the scarves are beautiful too. For someone like me who likes to wear basic black, wow!

  6. The processes she uses are fascinating! Good questions on the interview! Congrats!

  7. I love Kathy's silk scarves and just signed up to take her class with my sister and Mom! Your photos of Kathy and the process she goes thru just makes me want to take the class sooner!

  8. I really can't wait to take this class. Even though I am not eligible for the giveaway I just had to comment...CAN'T WAIT!!

  9. Kathy, lovely art from a lovely person! Your colors are intense yet soft and blurry (how do you do that?) Well done!

  10. What an amazing process, with such a beautiful, unique result! Thank you for a chance to win this, enjoy your day and be blessed!

  11. I am now a follower of your blog!

  12. Love the scarf! I can't see me making one, so I am glad there is an offer for this give-away. Thanks for offering this!

  13. Having the photos that coincide with descriptions of the process and the authors personal story is my favorite part of the website

  14. I am so happy I found this blog and learned about Ragged Edge Print Studio right in my own neighborhood. Kathy's scarves are so beautifully unique. I can't wait to take the class. But I still hope to win the scarf pictured here. I am now a follower as well. Thank you Diane from Harmony House to directing me here.


Hearing from you makes us so happy! Please leave us a kind word.