• What: Painted decorative silk
• Company: Silk by Claire Vassort
• Address: 660 S. Moore Road, Rising Fawn, Ga.
• Website: www.clairevassort.com
• Telephone: 706-398-9175 / 243-7699
• Owner: Claire Vassort
• What’s special: Although it can be displayed like canvas paintings, silk offers more versatility in its presentation, said painter Claire Vassort. “The medium itself is special,” Vassort said. “It’s a light fabric, and a very versatile thing that you can use to decorate your home in a number of ways. Each time there’s a draft in the room, things shudder and move, so it’s alive.”
• The origin story: Vassort, 45, became interested in silk painting as a teenager while living in her native France, where the art form was in vogue. After attending a silk painting class, her mother gave her the necessary materials and left her to experiment. With the exception of a decadelong hiatus to compete on a hang-gliding team, she has been selling her pieces since shortly after she started painting. Vassort moved to the U.S. when she was 23 and to Chattanooga in 2001. She founded her company, Silk by Claire, five years ago.
• How long does it take to make: Large pieces can take up to 40 hours.
• What it costs: Smaller pieces are $95; larger, pieces can exceed $900.
• Lessons of the trade: “You have to try just about everything and see what works and stay true to yourself,” Vassort said. “Especially as an artist, I feel like marketing detracts from creating and creating detracts from marketing. I had to learn not to think of it that way. Over the years, I’ve learned to manage that.”
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...
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