Hello! My name is Carlin Ash, I am an illustrator from Philadelphia. I enjoy working with watercolors, gouache, ink, and digital mediums to create my illustration work. While illustration is typically thought of as two-dimensional, I often attempt to incorporate my passion for fibers and textile work into my illustration practice. I currently find inspiration in medieval marginalia, European and American folk painting, and Minoan frescoes.
The quilted jacket is the culmination of my first-semester thesis. I began by digitally illustrating repeating patterns and printing them on fabric, which can be seen on the sleeves. I then wove a length of fabric on a floor loom using matching cotton yarn that was used for the back panel and front pocket. The sewing pattern was drafted using only rectangles and triangles in order to minimize textile waste and create a more sustainable garment. I was strongly influenced by different medieval and folk garments that use the same drafting method in order to preserve as much of the textile as possible. I added drawstrings to the sleeves to preserve heat and give the wearer a choice of puffed sleeves or not. The jacket can be worn open by fastening the front flaps to hooks that are sewn close to the hem.
During my second semester, I still wanted to combine fibers and illustration, but on a smaller scale. I took what I learned about quilting through the jacket and decided to create these quilted appliques. I wanted sustainability to still be a part of my practice, so I decided to sew them to existing second-hand clothing instead of making a garment from scratch, and to only use fabric that was already in my stash to avoid buying any new materials. After that, I created a matching illustration based on the applique that included the sewn objects somewhere in them. In a way, the applique almost served as the sketch for the final illustration.