Design Challenge Two: Michele Rosenboom

Mechanized Embellishment, Colorway One/Fat Quarter

Mechanized Revolution, Colorway Two/Single Repeat


Mechanized Revolution, Colorway Three/Single Repeat


Michele Rosenboom, textile designerIt was so fun to see everyone’s workspaces. (Thanks, ladies!) I am so excited to see what everyone has come up with for this challenge. It’s always fascinating to see how others interpret the same topic.

For me, the most difficult part of this challenge was deciding what to do. The Industrial Revolution is a 100+ year time period…and a lot happened during that time. I can’t pack everything into one pattern, so what would be the most indicative of that era?

Mechanized manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution made the application of decoration more affordable. Due to a rising middle class, more people had money and they were looking for ways to show it. It was the perfect environment for people to celebrate pattern. The Victorians loved complex, ornate, and extravagant embellishment and applied it to everything from silverware to furniture and architecture (Meggs’ History of Graphic Design). During the Industrial Revolution, and the Victorian era that overlapped it, embellishment in excess was the trend.

The inspiration for my pattern came from the aesthetic sensibilities and the mechanical advancements of the Industrial Revolution. I combined popular motifs from that era – like scrolls and floral elements – with imagery that represents the wide-spread mechanization that took place.

Photo Credit: A Pictoral Guide to Biltmore

Photo Credit: A Pictorial Guide to Biltmore

My husband is a mechanical engineer, so he provided a lot of inspiration for my designs, too. I poured over his engineering textbooks, (ok, I just looked at the pictures) which were full of diagrams of mechanisms. When he saw what I was doing with them, he says to me “hey, your gears don’t line up”. And this is reason 2,056 why I don’t design machines.

Color was a big part of this challenge. I normally develop my patterns monochromatically, so when I apply the color, it really starts to get fun. My color palettes were again inspired by my photographs, including one of an old railroad track, which seemed fitting for our topic.

My pattern is named “Mechanized Embellishment”. It’s a larger-scale “statement pattern” that has lots of elements that could be pulled out to form simpler coordinating patterns for an entire collection.

Alrighty everyone, I’m off to finish up preparations for the defense of my final project for school.  By the time you read this, it will be done…and I will be celebrating with a long, luxurious nights’ sleep.  I hope to see you all again next time!


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6 comments on “Design Challenge Two: Michele Rosenboom

  1. Timothy J Arand-McIlrath on said:

    I really respond to the rhythm and flow of your second design challenge. The unit of repeat is really lost in the overall pattern. I also really like the color ways. I cannot figure out how to vote?

  2. Thinking I would love to see some coordinating patterns of this! Awesome colors here!

  3. jackie on said:

    hi michelle- wow- these are lovely pieces. i too would love to see some coordinating pieces- nice job!

  4. Wow! The gears are so beautifully integrated into the fabric design. I’m very impressed! Very beautiful!

  5. Fred Malven on said:

    Michele, your work (and, for me, especially the developmental background[!]) has been terrific fun to follow. You are squarely in your element with this undertaking. I particularly like this Rube Goldberg-contraption of a design. Particularly in Colorway Two, the mechanisms cleverly anthropomorphise into bright, blue-eyed, mustacheo old gents, and the scallops morph into wild, drunken roosters, all as the crank-rods and gears whirr happily along. Whew! I love your work– keep it up. F

  6. Michele Rosenboom on said:

    Thank you, everyone! Glad you enjoyed these designs. And Fred, I kept seeing the mustaches too!

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