Artist in Residency: Hannah Ross

Artist in Residency: Hannah Ross

April 18, 2018

About Hannah 

This past December I had the privilege of attending Miami Art Week for the first time.

After receiving a message from Joel insisting I meet his friend Hannah, we connected at dinner with Matt Eskuche and Eusheen on South Beach. We had a marvelous pizza dinner, a spontaneous violin & dance performance, and planned a shoot with the infamous Mick Jagger speedo photo for the next day (story coming in a new blog soon).

As the adventure of our weekend progressed, I learned that Hannah was a clothing designer and fabric maker, and it became obvious why Joel had connected us. Hannah’s color matching capabilities, and attention to detail, are what make her clothing the perfect mix of function and fashion. Her work is truly the best fitting and feeling clothing I’ve ever had (I’m sitting in my one of a kind Hanoux sweat shorts as I write this).

I've wanted Drinking Vessels bandanas made since early on, it seemed like a perfect way to connect the colors of our philanthropy partners with a product that everyone can afford. I had a designer create an image two summers ago, which took me until now to get produced into actual merchandise. The quality is well worth the wait. - Ben Belgrad

 

The following are some questions I asked Hannah after her two week residency at the Drinking Vessels HQ in Minturn, Colorado.

Hanoux Tie Dying Process Shot drinking vessels bandanas

Hannah Ross; Color & Fabric extraordinaire, the perfect mix of fashion and function

Ben: Tell us about the idea for Drinking Vessels Bandanas

Hannah Ross HanouxHannah: Creating bandanas for Drinking Vessels was a stellar collaboration and full hand crafted experience that started when we met at Art Basel in Miami last December. Ben and I were instantly drawn towards one another. We both hand make all our creations and we connected on so many levels; Gallery hopping through the city, sparking ideas about our future collaborative endeavors everywhere we went. The universe brought us together with some help from our mutual friend Joel.

 

B: How did you create Drinking Vessels Bandanas

hanoux ice dying bandanas dye on snow hanoux ice dying bandanas dye on snow and wood pallets

hanoux ice dying bandanas dye on fabric   hanoux ice dying bandanas finished dye fabric

H: During my two weeks in Colorado, I dyed 120 bandanas. These limited edition, 100% cotton bandanas are sourced from a California Company called Dharma Trading. 

Printing: The printing was all done by hand in Brooklyn NY by an independent business called The Brooklyn Printing Press.

Dying: They were dyed using low-impact fiber-reactive dyes (to create subtle patterning) and shibori methods (the ancient Japanese art of twisting and folding cloth). I changed it from pure white to multicolor organic patterning using snow from the rocky mountains using a process called Ice Dyeing that allows you to use half the amount of water you normally would.

  • Prep the fabric: washing & scrunching
  • Cover the fabric with ¾ inch of fresh snow
  • Sprinkle the snow with dye particles
  • Melt outside for 24 hours

As the snow melts, the dye soaks into the fabric creating an organic pattern that mimics melting ice crystals. It’s a nature-friendly alternative to tub dying, which uses 1-2 gallons of fresh water for each yard of fabric. The results were beautiful. In addition to Drinking Vessels scarves, I ice dyed about 45 yards of organic bamboo fleece to create scarves, hand warmers and various garments.

B: What got you into fabric making and dying?

H: I love everything about fabric; the feel, color, stretch, fiber content. It’s my favorite medium and has been since I was a very small child. I started dying my own fabrics when I found myself continually dissatisfied with the color choices at all of the fabric stores. I realized that creating my own custom textiles allowed for a larger range of color options. I also have a deep connection to color's effect on our emotions, researching how wearing or seeing a certain shade can affect one's self acceptance and over all mood.

During my time at Pratt institute studying fashion design, I spent 4 months studying abroad in Copenhagen at the Royal Danish Academy. There I refined my color matching and screen printing skills. Falling in love with the hand done processes of creating your own fabrics.

Joel Siegle melting glass in drinking vessels bandana ben belgrad with hanoux neck warmer  

I create colors that are of the earth and have a natural hue to them. The cotton Drinking Vessels bandanas are bright custom colors that represent 4 different charity organizations. Green plant trees, blue feed the hungry, pink is breast cancer, and orange is multiple sclerosis. You can read more here about each charity we choose to support with our work.

B: How was your experience blowing glass?

Hannah Ross blowing glass at Drinking Vessels in Minturn Colorado

"The feeling of melting glass is extremely meditative and using the natural element of fire in such a controlled way is my favorite part!"
H: Blowing glass was difficult and an entirely different medium than I am used to. With fabric you can be very hands-on, touching all aspects of the clothing, and sewing/resewing until you get it right. With glass it is a one shot deal; If you handle the art too much it will crack in the kiln and you’ll have to start all over. I enjoyed trying it out in Ben's studio, and the more I worked on it, the more I figured out. The feeling of melting glass is extremely meditative and using the natural element of fire in such a controlled way is my favorite part!

B: Anything else?

Ben has an unwavering dedication to his craft that was apparent to me from the first day we met. I’m so overjoyed with my time creating Hanoux fabrics next to him in his Minturn glass blowing studio. His energy is contagious and constantly motivated me to work very hard creating while in his presence. I would recommend any working artist to visit his studio and come in contact with his creative life force energy.

 

 


My studio is larger than I need; It was built in anticipation of growth and collaboration. As an artist who spent years without a dedicated working space, I’m thrilled to share with artists who can use it. I have 4 extra spaces for glass artists, and the front half of the room is easy to organize for other mediums. I love having my own time and space to create alone, but it's motivating and inspiring to host other artists here as well.

When Hannah and I discussed snow dyeing, it seemed like an excellent use of my space, so I invited her to come create. The experience sharing space, while working on independent projects was very powerful. I spent time exploring color theory & she tried blowing glass for the first time. As I watched Hannah’s process, I found inspiration for colors and patterns I had never explored.

She started experimenting in the mountains and she designed a beautiful line of winter wear, that otherwise would not exist, and she has hand dyed fabric to make an entire collection back home in New York. She gifted me a neck warmer and I wear it every day, blowing glass and around town. It’s an essential part of my wardrobe, and was developed in my studio from our collaborative efforts.

As our brand has evolved, it has become obvious to me that one of our core values is supporting crafters and artisans hand making incredible functional art. In addition to the handmade drinkware, we carry handmade merchandise (like our hand-burned cork coasters from Grayson Certain) and now these bandanas from Hannah. Hopefully these bandanas are only the beginning of a collaborative line of handmade Drinking Vessels x Hanoux merchandise. 

Checkout the bandanas we made together and you can find more of Hannah's work on her website Hanoux.com or on Instagram @hanoux_

 

 




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