Thursday, May 29, 2008

Featured Designer #4 Lauren Scanlon of Lavender Zebra Press

June is already here and for those of you in Milwaukee you most likely have your fingers crossed along with me that you can bust out some of you cute summer clothes before Fall arrives!! Lauren Scanlon of Lavender Zebra Press has been making the most beautiful one-of-a kind hand-dyed slips for the past few years and Paper Boat has carried them since we first caught a glimpse!

Since Lauren filled out her featured designer questionnaire for us she has emailed us saying "I am phasing out of slips and into just prints and illustration" so people, get her inventory while it lasts!!!!

Paper Boat will continue to carry prints from Lavender Zebra Press, but for now, ladies, get em while the getting is there! Without further adieu....

Name: Lauren Scanlon
Business Name: Lavender Zebra Press
(all photos courtsey of the artist)

Lavender Zebra Press

1. Tell us briefly what you make/do:
I make one-of-a-kind hand-dyed and screen-printed slip dresses out of vintage slips. I also work with camisoles and half-slip skirts. Recently, I've started doing some altering which usually means just adding a little bit of extra color or pattern to a part of the piece, like the waist for instance, to emphasize a particularly nice element in the design.

2. How long have you been doing it?
I've been playing around with these for about 4 years, but this past year has definitely been the most serious.

3. Where did you learn your skills?
I am self-taught when it comes to the slips, so it has mainly been trial and error. As far as the visual design and prints go, I am a printmaker/drawer and painter by trade - that's what I went to school for.

Lavender Zebra Press

4. What's your current inspiration?
My inspiration for the slips comes out of whatever I am working on in my print/drawing studio. I'm strongly influenced by narrative including fairytales and folklore. Right now I am really interested in the combination of pattern, text and figurative image. The latest slip prints have been layers of pattern with heraldic animal imagery. I recently learned that someone very close to me has Asperger's (a mild form of Autism) and I have been reading about how Asperger's people have strong animal instincts and connections to animals, so I have been interested in creating these animal/human figurative beasts. I think those inspirations will be bleeding into my slip work over the next few months.

5. What have you been listening to while you work?
I like listening to public radio; local call-in shows, This American Life. I also listen to Uke of Spaces Corners, Shep and Me, Pink Fever, Woody Pines, Lucinda Williams, Bessie Smith, Geechie Wiley...there's a pretty big range. I like to listen to WEVL from Memphis, TN.

6. What else do you do to keep busy?
I teach workshops in wood engraving and drawing, I read, play piano and clarinet. I walk my dog a lot. And I am working on building a new garden.

Lavender Zebra Press

7. Any summer plans you are looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to gardening, riding my bike and opening the windows of the house to let the sun and breeze in when the weather warms up! I am also taking and teaching a few workshops (you can see some of them at Of course, I am hoping to do some craft fairs with Lavender Zebra Press.

Lavender Zebra Press

If you can't make it into Paper Boat to check out the work go to these numerous links....

Personal Website/Blog:

Lavender Zebra Press Links:

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