Creative Quarantine: Artist/Designer Wendy Kaplan

Wendy Kaplan

1. How are you holding up?

I’m doing ok. I’m lucky that my studio is in my house; I’ve been pretty productive lately. My kids are home from school, so being in the studio also lets me have a private space for at least part of the day. It’s a symbiotic situation. I lock myself away from the din and then I have no choice but to make stuff.  

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?

COVID hasn’t really affected the content of my work except I’m using more vibrant colors. Being stuck inside, with many gray days outside, has made me want to surround myself with color. Right now, I have an entire wall of orange, red, and pink fabrics, like an ever-present sunset.  

3. Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to keep after this is over?

Focus has never been my strong suit but the quarantine has made me assess what I want to focus on in my business. For the past ten years, I’ve done vintage furniture with other people’s fabrics and was hesitant to shift the focus to my own fabric. That’s going to change. At least I hope it will. I don’t know. We’ll see.  

4. Of the artists you follow, who’s handling this particularly well?

A dear friend of mine is a painter and teacher, and she’s been teaching watercolor classes via Zoom. I don’t know how she does it, but she does it! Another friend is a textile printer like me and she started selling her pillows through the new Lillstreet website, which only came to fruition because of the COVID situation. The quarantine has been an impetus for them to expand their creativity and work. As we say in the printing studio, a happy accident.  

I started my company, The Chair Affair, ten years ago. It was a marriage of my love of printed fabric and vintage furniture. While I enjoy being a purveyor of other people’s beautiful fabrics, my dream has been to print my own. My newest venture, Near and Far Textiles, was born 10 months ago. I use both vintage Indian blocks and my own original designs to create fabrics for the home. Website is forthcoming.