I have long been a fan of Peter Fasano‘s appealing fabrics and wallpapers, so when designer friend Mally Skok (below) asked if I’d like to join her, along with Amy Dragoo, at his Great Barrington, MA studio last month, I was thrilled. Peter also prints Mally’s ever expanding delightful fabric lines, available in showrooms in the US, London and Australia.
Peter’s studio is in an unassuming building in this western Massachusetts town, now home to many creative types. In fact it was the Fasanos’ friend, the late textile designer, Alan Campbell, who originally lured them up to the area, nearby in Connecticut, where other design luminaries such as Bunny Williams also have homes.
Fasano started out as a design student at Parson’s, studying with legends such as David Easton, and moved on to a position at Dorothy Draper. But it wasn’t until he started painting at The Arts Student League, that he discovered his true love of repeated patterns.
The studio is full of inspiration. Everywhere you look is evidence of artists at work – one of my favorite sort of places! Every aspect of production, except the final finishing, is done in-house.
Peter walked us through the studio, showing us the painstaking process of hand silkscreening, starting with the creation of the designs, which are then transferred onto the screens using a photographic emulsion set with ultraviolet light.
Each color is then applied by hand at the required repeats along the 30 yards or so of fabric, which is then hung above to dry.
Each additional color requires this labor intensive process but results in a fabric with a distinct artisanal hand that just can’t be imitated by machine. Many of the fabrics include hand painting in addition to the silk screened pattern. Here is his Kinomi fabric in progress, where one color has already been set.
Even the naked surface is a thing of beauty.
Mally was in the process of developing a new colorway for one of her fabrics – Ikat Crazy.
She just received the new sample as I was writing this piece – isn’t it fun?
Because Peter and his staff mix their own paints, it is conducive to creating custom colorways. In fact, custom orders account for about 40% of their work, with surprisingly reasonable minimums.
The variety of color and pattern is overwhelming and temptation was everywhere!! I loved these beautiful blues
And the textural quality of the elegant Egerton Garden.
For over thirty years, Peter’s wife Elizabeth has been working behind the scenes, helping the company to grow into the well respected establishment it is today, with a who’s who clientele ranging from designers Bunny Williams and William Hodgins to Tiger Woods and Laura Bush. The news is that Elizabeth has now developed her own distinctive collection under the Elizabeth Hamilton label and it is stunning!!
In all my favorite “stepped on” colors, the fabrics have a stylish laid back elegance that I’m sure many will find easy to love. I know I did.
I came home with a pile of picks from both hers and Peter’s collections, some of which I’m confident will be making an appearance in my home in the not too distant future.
But that wasn’t the end of our inspirational day. We then took a little drive out the Fasano homestead. Originally a ranch from the 70s, they executed a thoughtful renovation, adding a new garage, using the original space as a family room and reorienting the interior. Local favorite Michael Trapp designed a beautiful bluestone courtyard outside the entry that sets the tone. Inside, the art filled house has a stylish eclectic feel with a subtle, slightly retro vibe. Upon entering, I was delighted to see a fabulous piece from one of my favorite artists, Walton Ford.
But much of the artwork is Fasano’s own.
The living room affords beautiful views across the protected landscape.
Love this fabulous end table in front of the Fasano velvet clad sofa by George Cameron Nash, whose showroom carries Fasano’s line in Houston and Dallas.
The Fasanos live and breathe their craft. They produce a beautiful usable art form that people can appreciate and live with every day. Delighted to collaborate with designers and artists, they have found a successful combination of art and commerce that represents everything that is right with made in America.
34 thoughts on “Road Trip: Peter Fasano”
Wow. Beautiful textures and colors. Really lifts one’s spirits.
How fascinating this must have been to watch this process…gorgeous fabrics with amazing colors. Loved this post!!
Stacey, this is one of my favorite posts that you have done in quite some time. I am so grateful for all that I learn and all of the inspiration that you offer. Just fantastic.
PS. I keep forgetting to email you. Do you remember the linen sheet that I bought that had the initials of your maiden and married names? Well, I saw the seller again and he has another one with the same initials in a beautiful lit de vin color. They ship to the States all the time. If you are interested, I’ll happily give you the contact info. :)
What an incredible experience! I love seeing the textiles “in the making” and the art is fabulous too. Thanks for sharing!
What a day trip. To witness the creation of these beautiful textiles would be a dream-come-true. The hand made quality of the fabrics gives them soul. To know that we (USA) still have the capability and will to manufacture our own textiles gives me hope for the future. Some of the examples that you showed are paintings in their own right. Mary
In a different life, I would have been a textile artisan. What a fantastic tour…I would have been in awe.
fascinating. I love having the chance to see the creative talent and the process that leads to this beautiful product.
Love seeing this insider tour! and Mally’s Ikat Crazy!
Looks like you all had so much fun! I’m going to have to ask Mally for a sample o Ikat Crazy! It’s crazy good looking!! I just finished a dining room with Peter Fasano fabric as my drapery in a gorgeous pink, ..
Thanks for sharing these. Another great post
How fascinating. I really had little idea how one creates unique fabrics. That was much fun to go inside the studio and see the process ‘unfold’.
Those fabrics are fabulous and I need to take a drive down and have a visit. What a wonderful experiance you had and I can’t wait to see what you do with the fabrics. Thanks for the tour!
He was featured on Life of Luxury, too.
I have some awesome photos of Trapp’s gardens.
What a fun tour! It looks like their work would be a perfect job for my artistic first born — plan to show him the post!
How much fun! I would be like a kid in a candy store. I love Mally’s Ikat fabric – gorgeous! Thanks for the insider look.
What a wonderful field trip! Inspiring on so many levels. I’m loving seeing the painstaking process in which the fabrics are made. Thanks for a fascinating look at these talented people.
Thank you for sharing this artist and his work. Put me in factory setting and I am happy. I designed a clothing line at one time, and the factory was my favorite part of the process.
Love the work here. Stunning fabrics.
Have a nice Monday.
Wow – interesting post! So much attention to detail – beautiful textiles and colors. Thanks for sharing.
Another incredible field trip! Those fabrics are truly works of art and I must admit I am crazy for Ikat Crazy – the colors, the design. LOVE!
What a great experience. I’m always so excited to see the artistic part of the development of textiles. I’d love to design my own fabric line someday! These are some beautiful fabrics. You’re right….it’s so good to see these made in America success stories! Thanks so much for sharing with us!
Love this look behind the scenes! Excellent post.
Love the GB area as we are up there almost every weekend and so many home stores are opening up. Peter’s work is truly beautiful and I would take any of his fabrics in any of the colorways! Love the larger font on your blog as these eyes are needing help to read these days. Hope you are well!
How fun that must have been, getting to see the entire creative process behind the beautiful fabrics! And what gorgeous fabrics, prints and colors….scrumptious. I will have to take note of this name…definitely worth remembering!
Q you get to the most fascinating places! Loved this post!
As a total fabricaholic, I totally enjoyed the post. I was reminded of a wonderful trip to Sweden where I toured hand-screened fabric plant. Thank you!
I so enjoyed this Stacey–textiles are just so fabulous and interesting! Great post!
xo Mary Jo
Wow! What an amazing place you got to visit!!
One of each, please! ;)
Peter Fasano has always been a favorite of mine. I use lots of his small prints on casual chairs and benches.
Just love everything about this post!! I adore looking at amazing fabrics and printing techniques; thanks for the lovely tour!! ox
Fantastic post and roadtrip. I teach Textiles classes so I am beyond envious! Great Barrington is a beautiful area. I used to have accounts there when I was on the road and always love the days I have to be in that area. I’m with you too absolutely love elizabeth’s line. Thank you for sharing your visit!
This is so fun! I work at Cowtan & Tout in the D&D. We sell gorgeous fabrics, but I’ve never been able to see the behind the scene process! Now I get to see the whole printing process… thanks for sharing!
I could spend hours and hours looking at gorgeous fabrics like this!! Seeing the process, fantastic.
Also love all of the artwork!
Art by Karena
This was a great post on the making of gorgeous fabrics. I loved seeing the process and this particular designer is very talented. I will look for her fabrics here in Los Angeles, especially as I am getting ready to recover some furniture.
my heart just skipped a beat. fabric design does have that affect as does made in america.
What a great post Q! How fun to see the behind-the-scenes of such a great designer. Really enjoyed this and am loving your new look : ) xxKelly