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by Iris Mack Dayoub in Insights from Iris

I love design. My first exposure to design in a formal way was an elective I took at Morris Harvey College in 1953 — Interior Design. Being required to describe what I saw and why I liked what I did was a huge challenge, but one I loved. Many years later I discovered the magazine Elle Decor and devoured every issue. I enjoy reading about designers and especially what designers have to say about their art.

Flower Box by Kate Spade


Recently Kate Spade came onto my horizon with her fabric designs and a few weeks ago needing an upgrade for my dining table, I found her “Flower Box” napkins and placemats while shopping at Home Goods. Two days later she killed herself.

Suicide is something close to home. My precious aunt who was only a year older than me and more like a sister killed herself and left 3 children, one of whom lived with us for a while.  My sister-in-law who is more like a sister lost a granddaughter to suicide recently. And my real sister has to live with the memory of one of her grandsons killing himself in front of his girlfriend and a long lost love committing suicide in front of his father.

As a member of the Landing Art Association (LAA), I wanted to make something that would qualify for the July show — Antiques and Relics. Remembering a glass pitcher that my Uncle Amidee made for my mother as a wedding gift in 1935, I incorporated other relics — a glass lemon juicer and a depression glass compote. Adding lemons to make lemonade, I started working on the design and actually did one that was not to my liking.

 Glass Pitcher made by my mother’s brother — a wedding gift to her in 1935


Then comes Kate Spade and another artist Shirley Trevena. Shirley has a style that is so appealing to me. I immediately purchased three of her books when I discovered her through a friend in my painting group.

So today I hung up one of Kate’s placemats beside my workbench, surrounded myself with photos of my loved ones who have lost loved ones to suicide, and my uncle’s pitcher and painted away. I hope you like it.


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