Artist and designer Brandon Mably entertained an easy-going audience in the Chicago Room at Vogue Knitting LIVE with his slideshow, sponsored by Clover needles. His fascinating story and clever wit was the perfect balance with the show of his inspirations for his colorwork, both in intarsia and fair isle knitting.
"Is that true, you met Kaffe Fassett by accident?" a member of the audience asked. Mably nodded his head "yes" emphatically; he tells the story of how he was standing next to a man at a bus stop, and he asked what the man did for a living. When the man said he was an artist and designer and invited Mably to his studio, Mably arrived and was hired by Fassett, a color aficionado who had designed for Rowan yarns, among other facets of artistry shortly thereafter. Six months later, with no art background and originally not knowing how to knit when he met Fassett, he had his first published design.
Mably's engaging display of slides included everyday items ranging from a brick wall to a roll of bar codes. "Just have a go," said Mably, discussing both following your passion and experimenting with color. "It's all about finding your voice."
His love of geometry and mosaics is apparent in both his home and work inspiration. "I actually enjoy the process more than anything," said Mably. He showed a slide of the wall next to the front door of his residence, which was created by taking all of the broken china he had accumulated and setting it in diamond shapes on the wall. "We are not big on shapes," says Mably, referring to fitted garments. "We would rather just show the piece as it was meant to be seen, like a canvas."
Mably's humor made the most of the audience's funny bones, showing a design from a photo shoot from several years ago and pointing out the model's hair. "I love his haircut...he looks like a newborn eagle." When showing a photo of two models wearing colorful jackets, Mably relayed the story of how the photo shoot took place next to a dumpster full of tulip tops. "Could you have told us yesterday that you were planning on cutting off the tops of the tulips?" he joked.
A room full of color enthusiasts walked into the Chicago Room at the Palmer House Hilton, feeling inspired by color, and they walked out an hour later feeling inspired by color in every surrounding they encountered.
His most recent book with Fassett, Knitting with the Color Guys, can be purchased on Amazon and at local bookstores now.
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