art. block. ink. print. sew.
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Our connection to the cloth.
I’m Deb Spofford, owner, and designer for Made on 23rd. Our studio and production space are located in Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon.
I’ve always had a passion for textiles. The abundance of color, pattern, texture, and intricate design speak of history and purpose. Whether utilitarian or decorative, textiles are an important part our lives.
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. 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. Our collections start with themed inspiration and hand drawings. The drawings are then cut into woodblocks and used to hand-print linen, wool, or velvet with heat set eco-friendly inks.
I am privileged to work with two young designers that have joined our company. Thomas and Heather are skilled artists, printers, seamsters, and problem solvers. They bring youthful perspective to our design process.
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!!