I’m Deb Spofford, owner, and designer for Made on 23rd. My studio and production space are in Vancouver, Washington, right on the border near Portland, Oregon.
I’ve always had a passion for textiles. They fascinate me! The abundance of color, pattern, texture, and intricate design speak of history and purpose. Each one so inspiring!
While my children were little, I worked in the DIY industry writing how-to books and magazine articles. Soon after the kids were grown, my family and I moved to China. Our travels took us all over the country where we were introduced to the rich history of textiles in China. This renewed my passion for the process of creating fabrics. Luxurious embroideries, batiks, and silks spoke of centuries of artisans dedicated to their craft.
Upon returning to the US, I was inspired to learn more about fabric design and production. This took me 2800 miles away from home. After a 3 year course of study, I received a Masters of Science degree in Textile Design at Philadelphia University. When school finished, I returned to Washington and began exploring block printing.
Woodblock printing is an ancient technique for printing images or patterns on fabric and is still widely used throughout East Asia and China. Early examples of block printing date back to 220 AD! I love the wabi-sabi of the process, perfectly imperfect. As each print is made by hand the signature of the artist is embedded in the cloth.
After an additional 1 1/2 years of experimentation, Made on 23rd was born. As each season approaches, I am inspired by the world around me to create a new collection. Each collection has a theme in mind and is cohesive. The designs are then hand-printed on cotton, linen, wool or velvet with heat set eco-friendly inks. Each piece can be machine washed or dry cleaned.
As someone who returned to school at the age of 50, I encourage all to follow their passion no matter what the age! Pursue your dream, discover your purpose, inspire others. You won’t regret it!!