As the founder of a successful screen printing and design studio, Kingsland Printing, Sara Gates spends most of her time surrounded by paint. But when she and partner Ethan Cook decided to try their hands at hand-dyed accessories in 2010 with their shared label, Cook & Gates, they weren't entirely sure what to expect.
"We definitely were not master dyers when we started," laughs Sara. "I was actually pretty new to dyeing, [but I was] drawn to it because of its opposite nature to screen printing. With screen printing, you can so easily create multiples that are exactly alike, with dyeing its the opposite. No two are never alike."
While Ethan left the project to focus on his painting career, Sara has continued to expand and develop the collection they started together, with great hand-dyed canvas bags as well as zip bags and canvas wallets. "I decided to keep the name to represent the collaborative nature of the line," says Sara. "Plus, it just really sounds good."
But don't think she's content to keep things just as they are. With new projects and collaborations in the pipeline, Sara is keeping herself extraordinarily busy this season. "I recently started working with Meagan Morrison, an amazingly talented illustrator," she says. "We're working on turning these irregular dye patterns into repeats for printing."
Experimental new techniques and treatments are also underway for next season. "I'm loving working with indigo dye, " she says. "We are doing a lot of experimenting with leather, so expect to see some tie dyed leather pieces coming up."