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CARYNE MOUNT

Artist in Textiles
and
Couture Artwear

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Caryne Mount

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How would you describe your art/craft? I would describe my art/craft as definitely, art to wear, or artwear at the couture level.

How long have you been doing this? While I have been sewing all my life, I first started working with kimono and obi in 1987. I was highly influenced by Fifi White, the owner and designer behind Asiatica in Kansas City (where I grew up).

What kinds of items do you sell? I sell wraps/shawls and coats, usually reversible, made of vintage kimono and obi fabrics. I am going to move into pin cushions from left overs of these amazing textiles! What is the price range? $50.00-$4500.00

Have you travelled to Japan? Yes! In 2010, I had a brief, whirlwind , 10 day visit to Yotsukaido! My daughter was awarded one of 20 spots for 8th graders in our entire school district of the city we were living in at time, Livermore, CA, to be a cultural ambassador. Livermore and Yotsukaido are sister cities, and each year (usually, baring emergent situations), each city plays host to the students as well as adult chaperons. I had THE best time, and my host family was incredible. Yuko, my hostess, is a Tea Ceremony teacher. I had wonderful cultural opportunities I will never forget. One of my favorites was Yuko dressing me in traditional kimono-all layers! One of my future goals is to visit Kyoto, and study dyeing there.

What is your favorite thing about working with kimono fabric? My favorite thing about working with kimono fabric is their unique beauty. I deeply value their history, the layers and amount of work that went into each one-even the simplest-and that a real human with a history, and sincere love to their core of their craft-made it. I try to honor and respect this by making something exquisite out of them.

What is the most challenging thing about working with kimono fabric? The most challenging thing about working with kimono fabric is their “history”...there are often creases in the fabrics that will not relax even with all my textile/sewing knowledge tricks. Of course, there are often pin-sized, or larger, holes that are in the fabric, or marks and stains, but I find these things just spur my creativity, and push my imagination, to create design opportunities. I have learned so much from working with such situations I find with vintage kimono. In fact, my entire journey into hand beading came about because I found a hole in kimono fabric I’d used for a custom coat piece-after the coat was sewn! It was a bit stressful at first, but I found a beautiful solution in the end.
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Here are some of Caryne's creations:

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