The Story Behind Flowering Blues

 

Before I created Flowering Blues, I was documenting the landscape of Louisiana as a painter and sculptor.

An interior designer I worked with jokingly admitted that she wished she could stretch one of my paintings over a chair – and instead of being offended, I was delightfully inspired.

What forms would I take as a fabric object, beyond painting?

I practically grew up behind a sewing machine – my grandmother immigrated from Spain and worked as a seamstress to create elaborate draperies, and I learned to sew by assisting her (while making clothes for her dog on the side).

The first items I made using digitally printed fabrics in 2012 were enjoyed, but I didn’t like offering things that faded after a couple of washes. So I went back to my roots as a Printmaking major at the Memphis College of Art and set out to create a line of durable AND authentic hand-printed products that represented my appreciation for life’s small details that are often overlooked in the bustle of everyday life.

My heroes were found in the wildflowers that grow along the highways and open ditches where I live in Southeast Louisiana. People are so busy in their own worlds, plugged into whatever…they rarely get a chance to just stop and gaze at the open wisdom of nature. And yet, the wildflowers show up regardless, enduring the harshest of climates, getting whacked repeatedly for the sake of civilization – but they somehow manage to bloom anyway.

The more I learn about the landscape where I grew up, the more I have learned about things like the names of trees, the songs of birds, herbal medicine, and Victorian Floriography. The more I learn about wildflowers, the more I learn about the people who are attracted to them. My fabric customers have become my muses and still inspire me with their stories of overcoming hardship and cultivating beauty. We find answers to most things out in nature, even still.

It means the world to me to make these items for you, and the ones you love. There’s a positive message behind the work – that in spite of having the “blues” now and then, we must learn to flower anyway.

Mia Kaplan
Proprietor & Designer, Flowering Blues