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Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas red kimono

"I've had a lifelong love and fascination with the Japanese kimono. The clean, classic shape and simple lines make it an ideal canvas for the hand-painted print. I'm particularly interested in using unconventional motifs and imagery while maintaining the kimono's core iconic tradition. I always love to see the innovative kimono print."

Mark Thomas is a former textile and apparel designer. He spent twenty years creating artwear apparel and hand-painted silk velvets for the artwear market, so it was a natural evolution for him to move into fiber art. His creativity is driven by a great passion for color, pattern, textiles, art, music, and the three-dimensional geometry involved in patternmaking and object construction.

Mark Thomas's self-devised technique bonds silk to paper using acrylic polymers, creating a tough, flexible material that can then be cut and sewn with traditional sewing techniques. The bonded paper surface allows the kimonos to be painted with a variety of painting techniques. The artist uses materials including acrylic paint, silk, and a variety of paper including fine mulberry paper and recycled Vogue pattern paper.

Mark Thomas was trained in apparel design and patternmaking at the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Trade Tech. Mark is a self-taught painter and textile artist.

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Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Best of Show - La Quinta Arts Festival, California, La Quinta, 2006
1st & 2nd place Awards - Sausalito Art Festival , California, Sausalito, 2001, 2003, 2005
Award of Excellence - Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, California, Mill Valley, 1999, 2003, 2004
Award of Merit - Crafts Boston, Massachusetts, Boston , 2004
Niche Award - Retailers Award of Excellence , Maryland, Baltimore, 2003