The best assignments are labors of love.
When Mary Kay Bauman, the Art Director of American Craft magazine, called, asking us to create a cover portrait of artist Mariko Kusumoto, we were in the midst of some of the worst snowstorms that New England had ever seen and feeling grumpy about going out.
But our grumps vanished when we first entered Mariko’s workshop. Mariko who was already well known for her work in metal was turning her powers of vision and invention to fabric. Her studio had become a world of miniatures: on a single square foot of table there were dozens of nearly weightless, three-dimensional objects that looked like delicate jewels, sea creatures, flowers, and those other worldly electron microscope images of pollen.
Each work was a joy to behold but how could we make a portrait of Mariko with such tiny work? We decided to photograph the pieces individually and “float” them in space around her.
We moved hundreds of pieces into our studio where we could give each the light it needed to make it glow. Babs roughed out the composition of artist and art and worked closely with Mary Kay so that the final composite would fit the American Craft cover.
Rick Kyle of 5000K crafted the final composite and color correction to make it sing.