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Sunshine Post :: Xsilk

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hello, dear readers. Inherent in the mission statement of The Bright Side Project is the unspoken belief that to “Do What You Love, Love What You Do” is an absolutely essential component in creating a happy and healthy lifestyle. Every now and then, we will ask our contributors to answer a few short questions on the ideas of happiness, creativity and sunshine. We hope these rays of light help inspire you to find the sunshine in your day, today and everyday.

Today we are honored to introduce you to Dani from Xsilk.

Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.

Xsilk comes from a silk workshop based in Brooklyn, NY. Headed by Dani K, an artist by training, Xsilk was launched in fall of 2011. At Xsilk we believe in the marriage between the role of designer and that of a maker. Carefully selected silk is lovingly hand painted and/or hand dyed in small batches then tailored locally in New York City. We are mindful of being environmentally responsible in our production process – only non-toxic dyes are used and colors are set using the age old method of air curing and slow steaming. Our designs and process reflects both old and the new. Based on the tradition of calligraphy-on-silk (China, Korea, & Japan), Xsilk translates the old tradition into modern designs.
The start of Xsilk came about unintentionally. I have been working as an artist and designer since I received masters degree in combined media fine art. Early last year, I was working on an art project and planning a performance/installation art. I picked up silk painting, designing customs for the performers. I really fell in love with the process as well as the result. I was trained in sumi painting (ink painting on rice paper) and calligraphy as a child. And to my surprise silk painting was very similar. My mother-in-law is a classically trained Kimono silk painter in Japan, so I had been keen on learning more about silk painting ever since I saw her beautiful works. As my collection grew, I realized I had something useful, something people might want to own.  A friend told me about Etsy two years ago so I set up shop.  I wanted to make something I would wear myself and wanted to make them in the right way.  Most of the process of making Xsilk products is hands-on. I hand paint and dip dye, and I don’t use any mechanical or semi-mechanical method of printing or dyeing, because I want each piece of Xsilk to be truly one-of-kind. I found Etsy to be a great platform. Response has been wonderful. Xsilk garments have recently been featured on Fab.com, popular Indie-designers website.  Xsilk garments can now be found in boutiques in New York, Chicago, Ohio and California.

We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?

It’s a great philosophy.  Generally speaking, I think each has different idea of what “happiness” is, but doing what I like to do definately give a sense of purpose in my life. Designing and making clothes or making things in general is a fun activity for me.  Creating focuses all my experiences and my sensibility into something tangible, somthing that can be put to use in the world.  It grounds me and keeps me happy.

Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?

This is a tough question because inspiration can come from anywhere. Most of my inspiration comes from observing things/people around me. Each has it’s own unique rhythm. I think creativity is like creating a new dance, it’s about understanding a rhythm different than your own and submerging yourself in that new rhythm. I often find myself mesmerized by sight of sparrows hopping about on the sidewalk or watching the rhythmic dance of leaves on a breezy day.

On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?

I love to work when it’s dreary outside.  It’s a perfect excuse to hole myself up in my studio and make something nice.

At this very moment, what are you most grateful for?

I am grateful for my health!  I know this is a cliche thing to say, but I really am grateful for being able to do all the things I do because I am in good health.

Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from Xsilk!

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