Summer of Stone

by Leigh Reveley

          Summer of 2016 has been a summer of marbling for Libellule. we are pleased to announce that our new hand marbleized silks are now available at Peony.

          One summer when I was about 15, my whole family lost their minds over paint. To the chagrin of our neighbors, my mother paid my friend Laura and me to paint every ring on the outside of the Victorian “painted lady” we lived in a different color. One of the neighbors pointedly told us he no longer needed coffee in the morning, he just looked across the street. My stepfather learned to stipple brush our kitchen cabinets in a beautiful blue. Although the paint job on the house was tempered down to more neutral colors, the bright blue cabinets are still in use.

My heavily painted house c. 1994

My heavily painted house c. 1994

            The fireplaces and the indoor columns, she left to a genius painter who specialized in faux- marble. He was able to slyly paint all of our pets into the marble- even down to our goldfish. They watch us celebrate family gatherings like hidden talisman.

      The fireplace downstairs was done in traditional grey, ivory and peach tones. The fireplace in the master bedroom was a little more bold, malachite in bright shades of green. I think this must be where this obsessive aesthetic started.

            I have always loved interesting marble, real or faux. I often sneak into the gemstone exhibition at the Museum of Natural Science here in Houston to gaze at the amazing color combinations provided by nature. The brighter the color, the better. Crickett pulls images of natural gemstones for inspiration- they are all over our pinterest accounts.

            I took a class on dying techniques when I was in school at FIT. Out of all of the techniques: shibori, gutta resist, ombre; hand marbleizing silks was always my favorite. It is a ton of prep work- days, of prep work, in fact, but the act of dye spreading out and making patterns is so zen-like, it is worth the sore arms and dyed fingertips.

           Crickett actually got a little addicted to it. Once we got started, she loved it. We started with a few small samples to figure out our color and pattern combinations, and then we built a large vat to produce fabric for our signature blouse. They are available at Peony on Magazine Street this summer, and more to come in fall!

           Our next adventure in marbling is a going to require a VERY large vat- as we will be making dresses for Fall 2016. We may even have some malachite, in honor of my adolescent summer of paint.