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Local Designer Offers Berkshire-Inspired Fabrics

Tammy Daniels
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Store owner Tom Quinton poses as the front desk.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Walks along the Hoosic River inspired Martha Flood's line of designer fabrics displayed in her new studio space on Eagle Street.

The fabrics also mark the freelance surface-pattern designer's first step in producing and marketing her own patterns.

"It's so fun to take a concept and produce it as a reality," said Flood recently in her new studio. "I spend a lot of time engineering the pattern so it looks like it just fell out of the camera."

A sign announcing the store sat the window of the former Skiddoo retro shop since she'd received Planning Board approval last September, but elements had conspired to prevent its renovation and opening until late last month. http://www.iberkshires.com/story/32378/North-Adams-Planners-Approve-Ballet-Textile-Spaces.html

Flood, a Syracuse (N.Y.) University graduate, has been working in textile and wallpaper design for 30 years. She was working on a camouflage design a couple years ago when she got involved in the North Adams Artists Cooperative and expanded upon the concept. The results were shown at the co-op's gallery during Downstreet Art.

That became the jumping off point for The Woodlands Collection, a set of six designs echoing the Berkshires forests and riverbanks of bark, leaves, stones, water and brilliant Queen Anne's lace.

The very green-inspired cloth is also green in intent. The heavy canvas weave is produced by a company in North Carolina out of recycled plastics. The digital printing non only reduces waste, it signficantly cuts the time from concept to production. "It opens up a range of possibilities for what designers can produce," said Flood.

The fabric, which runs $64 a yard, is heavy enough for upholstery and light enough for use in products such as totes, pillows and shades. Right now, Flood has four designs - Black Cherry Bark, Hoosic River, Autumn Leaves, Lichen Wood, Savoy Birch and Queen Anne's Lace. She's considering with playing with color for several of them, such as a bluer "Hoosic River." 

She's shopping the designs commercially but the fabrics are available off-the-rack at her studio.

Flood's decision to move her studio from the Eclipse Mill to the more visible Eagle Street location comes in part from her participation in the local Assets for Artists program, a collaborative effort of several cultural, educational and business entities that helps artists develop business plans and access grants. 

"I felt really empowered to have a place and to know what to do," she said.

Store hours are Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 6 and at other times by appointment or chance. For more information: Martha Flood Design.

Tags: Flood, Eagle Street      
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