We love learning different ways of designing textiles. We feel deeply connected to the ancient Japanese dye technique called Shibori. Shibori comes from the Japanese verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.” Dyeing cloth with a Shibori technique requires folding, crumpling, stitching and twisting the cloth to create the design pattern you hope to achieve. What we all love about the Shibori technique (besides the lovely Tea favorite indigo hue!) is the mystery around the process – you never know what type of design you have made until it is done. Learn how to make your own shibori dyed fabrics below!
What You’ll Need:
– An indigo dyeing kit like this one or indigo dye, wood blocks, rubber bands and rubber gloves
– T-shirts, cloth napkins, towels or any other fabric you wish to dye. Cotton responds best to dye.
– Two large containers, one for the dye, one for water.
– Newspaper or plastic to protect the surfaces around you continue reading →
We’re excited to announce our first collection of Citizen Blue – a semi-annual collection that celebrates the magical spots we stop along the way to somewhere else. Rooted in rich indigo hues, Citizen Blue revisits heritage Tea styles and favorite prints from places we’ve already been and offers new designs inspired by places we’ve seen only glimpses of.
Citizen Blue is a voyager, a nomad. Not quite here or there, the collection draws inspiration from the journey and all of the magical spots we stop along the way to our final destination. It is truly global inspired, as pieces within a single collection range from Japan to Mexico.
Since our holiday collection is our most dressy, we wanted to balance out the elegance with a healthy dose of fun. After all, the holidays are a time of laughter and parties and glitz—so we styled our holiday Tea models to match.
We imagined a chic holiday party in Berlin with a mix of opulent elegance and punk irreverence. We paired gorgeous gilded dresses with black tights, twirly embroidered skirts with skater-style high tops and festooned cozy sweaters with sparkly skull brooches.
David Bowie and Iggy Pop in Berlin 1977 // Courtesy of shapersofthe80s.com
While in Berlin, we were inspired by very the pop-punk scene of the late 70’s and 80’s. The music of Berlin in this era inspired everything from hairstyles to culture and it traveled all around the world. Let your little ones be inspired, play music and put on a show at your holiday party!
Images pulled for inspiration for the Tea Collection Holiday catalog photo shoot.
For hairstyles, we took a look at West Berlin’s punk style and Neue Deutsche Welle(New German Wave) in the 70’s and re-imagined those audacious mohawks in fun bouffant styles with braids and retro finger waves.
It’s lighthearted style that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Time to dress up, turn up the music and dance!
“My way of working represents an artistic creative process: irrational, intuitive, inquiring and interwoven. As a designer, however, I reserve the right to always keep the goal in mind and seek for solutions to existing problems. I test, scour, question and reject methods and in the best case new is discovered this way – always challenging the innovation in consideration of the real customers needs.”
Anna Niestroj founded BLINKBLINK in 2012 as an open interactive design studio.
We collaborated with the talented pattern designer Anna Neistroj for our Germany Collection. Here is a little interview with our favorite guest artist.
Where do you live now? In Berlin!
Favorite destination in Germany? Berlin… and surroundings. And any old town in the country.
Favorite destination worldwide? Seasides, Riversides, Lakesides! I wouldn’t prefer a specific place.
Did you always want to be an artist? As a child what career did you want? As a 5 year old: violinist. Soon I wanted to be an entrepreneur: doing things and selling it to people. As my father was an artist I considered myself even so 😉
Favorite Color? Turquoise
Where do you get your inspiration? From materials, printed matter, the internet, travels and the city I live in (+ people that live here.).
We were thrilled to discover your work while we were researching for our Germany collection. Your collages feel like a contemporary evolution of the Bauhaus artists. Is Bauhaus a strong influence on your work? It makes me happy to read this! I actually didn’t think of bauhaus while I created the collages but I think it still came to me via ‘zeitgeist’ 😉
left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Gunta Stölzl, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink
left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Wassily Kandinsky, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink
Who are some of your favorite contemporary German artists? David Schnell, Katharina Grosse, …
Will you send us a picture of your studio and tell us a little about your typical work day? There is no typical work day, except for being in the studio a lot (experimenting, printing, etc.), using the computer a lot (designing, communications, etc.) and welcoming all sorts of people. I have a fiew clients that I work for repeatingly. But the most jobs I do are on project-base and singular.
some shots of Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink’s inspiring workspace
Emily and Anna in Anna’s Studio/ Anna standing in the doorway to her studio space.
Do you have a cause or charity that is important to you? I think that the place I choose for my studio is a special form of charity. I’m ‘donating’ some color and joy to a pretty rough area / neighborhood. Also I think that ‘Think global, act local.’is a good leitmotif.
Tea will be making a donation in honor of Anna to himmelbeet, an intercultural community garden in Berlin that focus on organic farming. Here people of all ages come together to garden, build with recycled materials, cook and participate in environmental education workshops.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a German expressionist painter & printmaker from Bavaria. Kirchner was one of the founding members of the group ‘Die Brücke’ and we were lucky enough to see several of his pieces in person during our visit to the Brücke-Museum in Berlin.
Gabriele Münter was a German painter who was one of the founding members of the artists’ group, Der Blaue Reiter (“The Blue Rider”). This organization of artists based in Germany, contributed greatly to the development of abstract art.
Münter was born to an upper middle class family in Berlin. From a very young age, Gabriele knew she wanted to become an artist. In 1898 at age 21, she decided to take a trip to America with her sister to visit family and explore other parts of the world. They traveled around America for over two years, spending the most time in Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. Her childhood and early adulthood greatly impacted her future artistic career.
She led a free and unrestricted life that was not limited by convention, allowing her to experience the world in a way most women were unable to at this time. She began talking classes at the Phalanx School in Munich, where she studied woodcut techniques, sculpture, painting and printmaking. It is here were she met Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky, who happened to be the school’s director at the time. The two became very close both professionally and personally and ended up traveling widely together before settling again in Germany where they divided their time between Munich and the village of Murnau in the Bavarian Alps.
Our trip to the Die Brücke museum was a very inspiring one. We fell in love with the contrast color palette and knew it was going to be an important story to tell within our own collection.
Our visit to the Bauhaus museum and library left us in awe. We were so inspired by Gunta Stölzl’s weaving and beautiful use of color. The watercolor sketches she used to plan out her weaving were especially inspiring. We used them as inspiration for our Berlin cityscape for girl and as print inspiration for our women’s blouse. Gunta Stölzl’s watercolors and Tea Collection’s Berlin Cityscape Graphic Tee. Gunta Stölzl’s watercolors and Tea Collection’s Berlin Cityscape Artwork. Gunta Stölzl’s weaving, photo of Gunta Stölzl’s weaving fabric, photo of Gunta Stölzl, Gunta Stölzl’s watercolor and Tea Collection’s Norderney Silk Blouse
Think of Germany and you might picture fairytale forests and snow-covered slopes. Bratwurst and flaky apfelstrudel. Multicultural cities and ancient stone castles. Here’s something to add to the top of that list: Artists whose explorations changed the world.
When we moved into our house 4 years ago, there was a cozy, sun-filled room adjacent to the kitchen that I felt would be a great mini-play space. I envisioned the kids creating artwork in this space and proudly displaying their creations on a large wall inside the room – it would be their very own art gallery! We covered the wall with magnetic paint and then added a few layers of chalkboard paint. (The kids still don’t know that the wall is actually one large chalkboard… too messy and dusty near the kitchen!) At first, we tried to mount the kids’ paintings with magnets, but they didn’t stick well (most likely because we have chalkboard paint over it), so the artwork is now mounted with colorful tape.
A deep dive into five of our favorite big cat graphic’s from past destinations…
Destination: Japan Fall/Winter 2009
Tiger Mask is a Japanese manga (comic) series written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Naoki Tsuji. First released in print in 1968, Tiger Mask was later adapted into an anime series in 1969. After 105 episodes, the series ended in 1971. In both the manga and anime, Tiger Mask was a feared wrestler in America who was ruthless in the ring. However, he became a face (“good guy”) after returning to Japan when a young boy told him he wanted to be a villain like Tiger Mask when he grew up. The little boy lived in an orphanage… the same one that Tiger Mask grew up in during his childhood. Frightened that the boy would idolize a villain, Tiger was inspired to be a heroic wrestler.