Artist's productions in silk offer colorful versatility

Artist's productions in silk offer colorful versatility

September 16th, 2011 by Casey Phillips in Business Around the Region

This painting by Claire Vassort is on silk.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

• 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."