The first time I saw some of Katie Kantley’s beautiful work was at one of her Fashion Shows last year. I was amazed by her talent, and also by the fact that her studio is located in New Haven, Missouri. Which goes to show that there is more to Washington and the area than we think. You have never heard of Katie before? She is a textile artist that creates scarves, jackets, and other women’s apparel in luxurious and easy to care for silk. Each piece is individually hand-dyed using the ancient shibori process which is native to Japan.
In a word, Katie creates beauty. Here is a glimpse of her world!
Katie, how long have you been involved in art?
As long as I can remember. My mom was always big into doing crafts with my siblings and I. We never had cable and we lived out in the country, so we only got channel 13 and it was always fuzzy. We were always busy making things instead of watching TV.
What sparkled your interest in dying fabric and vintage fashion?
I started collecting vintage clothing when I was 7. I bought my first vintage hat at the year round Christmas Mall in downtown New Haven. After that I was hooked. I asked for vintage clothing, hats and hat boxes for every birthday and christmas. I still get vintage clothing from my mom every christmas.
What is your favorite media?
Textiles are my specialty. I am known for my shibori dyeing and use that technique to create beautiful and unique women’s clothing and art.
What is your favorite place to create art – home, studio, outdoors?
I prefer working from my home, but I do the most work at my studio in New Haven.
What is the most challenging project you have completed?
I once made a dress out of Catawba pods for a “Green” fashion show. It looked dangerous with all of the spiny, dried out pods jutting out in every which direction. The dress was auctioned off and the money went to an animal shelter.
What are you currently working on?
I’m producing my spring/summer collection, and am starting to design fall. I have a few ideas on styles, but haven’t decided on any colors yet.
What inspires you?
Everything. My eyes and mind are always open. Some seasons I design based on the weather, sometimes it’s music, other times it might be a movie, or an ideal.
What does your art mean to you?
Art is necessary for my happiness.
Katie Kantley’s studio and boutique is located at 103 Franklin Avenue in New Haven, MO 63068. You can reach Katie at 573.680.0785 or visit her website www.kantley.com. Follow her on Facebook for news and upcoming events. Katie has a Vintage Fashion Show tomorrow! Read more about it here.