I promised I would tell you about Laurel Burch. One of my favourite designers, probably my all time favourite, she passed away in 2007, and with her passing, all production of her fabric designs ceased. Finding her fabrics became a case of international ebay’ing, or spotting the odd leftover in local shops. In 2015 Laurel’s daughter Aarin reawakened Laurel Burch Studios and a new line of the original fabric designs is now available in the States, and will hopefully be with us soon!
Laurel Burch was born on December 31st 1945 with Osteopetrosis. As a teenager, falling out with her parents had her living as a penniless teenager in San Francisco, cooking and cleaning to support herself. She made jewellery from old bits of metal, coins and beads and sold them on the streets. She married at 19 which lasted a few years and had two children, Aarin and Jay from that relationship. Her jewelry business grew when a Chinese businessman discovered her work and backed her financially. She discovered Cloisonné, a kind of enamel work, and began to cast metals, work with wood and porcelain and paint. In 1979 she split wit hthe Chinese businessman and started Laurel Burch Inc and had her designs licenced.
Laurel married twice more and died on September 13, 2007, aged 61, from complications of osteopetrosis- a rare and painful bone disease from which she suffered more than 100 bone fractures. She was survived by her husband, two children and two grandchildren.
In 2015 Laurel’s daughter Aarin, a filmmaker, took over Laurel Burch Studios and reawakened the lines of jewellery, bags, art, ornaments, clothes and so much more. The good news for us, a quilters, is that the fabriclines are being produced again and while currently are mostly only available in the States, they will eventually make their way here.
Laurel’s designs are easy to spot, the gold outlines and distinctive animals and figures are so different to anything else. Even the basics, the randomness of the dots, the tiny triangles and swirls that detail every image are truly Laurel Burch’s.
Laurel Burch truly has a style you won’t find anywhere else and as someone who has a whole box of the original fabric line, I’m very excited to add to it. I have made a few Laurel Burch quilts from kits I bought many years ago, and I still have a few kits to make! I have a couple of bags, an umbrella and earrings too. I can’t explain why I love them, but something about these designs really resonates with me. There’s so much love and joy in them. Laurel’s ethos was to celebrate life with her paintings.
“As an artist my life is deeply connected to the purpose and joy of creating for so many wonderful kindred spirits. We share similar passions and sdeams about the importance of magic in our everyday lives, and the kinship between all living things.” – Laurel Burch
Below are some of my Laurel Burch makes…
I guess now that there will be more available I can use the rest of my fabric and kits up and stop hoarding them in the back of a cupboard like it’s my treasure hoard that no one else can ever see or get near! My precioussss
Do let me know in the comments below if you’re a Laurel Burch fan too, and which other designers you don’t just love, but really feel something deep about, something inspiring, like these do for me.
And if you are nutty enough, you can see all my blogs with this link! https://ukqu.co.uk/members/juliet/blog/ xxx