Studio Visit: Kay Sekimachi

Through work, I’m lucky to visit the studios, homes, and workspaces of many inspiring artists and designers. On a recent Friday morning, our team ventured to the humble abode and studio of Kay Sekimachi, a Bay Area-based fiber artist.

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Her home, remodeled by Ruth Asawa‘s husband Albert Lanier in the 70s, was a wonderfully surprising interior contrast from its standard Berkeley exterior. Despite being close to 40 years old, the space felt modern and timeless. It has aged almost as well as Kay herself. 😉

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Her fiber work was so beautifully minimal but with just enough complexity to keep it interesting – and remove any doubts that Kay is anything less than a master of her craft. Notice in the hanging piece how seamlessly the additional colors are added in to the larger piece. And on the right, the dark fibers in the weaving are “dyed” by Sharpie!

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Kay’s collections of objects were inspiring. Not unlike the Eames house in Pacific Palisades, her home is full of small mementos and tokens that serve to inspire and document. Quite unlike the Eames house, however, they were all neatly organized into shelves, drawers, and cubbies, often with each item having a divided space meant solely for it. The applied order yields a calmness to the space (and makes amassing large collections of shells seem like a reasonable pursuit).

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The kitchen is carved out from the space behind the staircase; the staircase is arranged on a diagonal to the lot of the house. By using it to bisect the space, it gives an incredible sense of direction and movement to the interior. And check out that brown refrigerator – the most perfect use of color in appliances.

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