Cheers to Fiber Art!
November 28, 2016
SDA Member Cameron Anne Mason recently had the wonderful experience of being selected as the first fiber artist to take part in the Chateau Ste Michelle Winery’s annual Artist Series. Below, she details the selection process, turning her work from dimensional fiber pieces to two-dimensional labels, and the wine release party.
The Artist Series wine has featured artwork by Pacific Northwest artists like Dale Chihuly, Alden Mason, Bratsa Boniface, and Ben Darby, and this year was the first time a fiber artist was selected for the winery to showcase. Each year, Chateau Ste Michelle Winery’s design team visits Foster/White Gallery (where I’ve been represented since 2009) to choose artists for consideration. The Chateau Ste Michelle team then chooses the artist that best represents the flavors and aromas of the year’s blend. I was thrilled and honored when I got the call that my Madrone series had been chosen for the 2013 Vintage.
Last April, I got to visit the winery and meet Bob Bertheau, the Head Winemaker at Chateau Ste Michelle. He explained that the Artist Series is the first red wine they blend each year, and it is an intellectual and complex blend of aromas and flavors with excellent age-ability. The 2013 blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc from sunny Eastern Washington locations including three estate vineyards; Horse Heaven Vineyard, Canoe Ridge Estate, and Cold Creek Vineyard.
The design department then showed us three beautiful labels they created based on my work. I was amazed by the care taken to reproduce the “feel” of my textile works on the printed labels. The images were enlarged by 400% to trace every single line of stitching to be embossed. The linen pattern was also debossed to create a subtle texture.
The label was finished with a matte varnish to complete the tactile feel that textile work possesses. The three bottles were presented in a gift box—featuring the artwork and an enclosed brochure informing about the wine and the artwork.
A sample of my wine was brought to the meeting straight from the cellar. Its label was filled in with Sharpie pen, much like any work-in-progress would be in my studio. We drank that bottle at lunch and toasted to the collaboration in Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Library surrounded by past years of Artist Series.
This past July, the winery’s team also visited my studio to shoot footage for a Tasting Notes video. They interviewed me and did product shots in my studio.
The wine release party this past September was well attended. Bob Bertheau spoke about how the wine is blended to find the perfect flavor profile, which reminded me of how I work in my studio. It’s all about finding that magical combination of chemistry and intuition to creates something that is more than the sum of its parts. As Bob says in the wine brochure, “Each vintage is a personal statement for me; I feel like an artist when we’re blending and our media happens to be all of this wonderful Washington fruit.” As artists, we are all striving to create that personal representation of the highest art of our craft, regardless of our media.
– Cameron Anne Mason
Chateau Ste Michelle Artist Series Red Blend is available at the winery, on the Chateau Ste. Michelle Website, and at fine wine retail stores and restaurants nationwide.
Check out more of Cameron’s work at cameronannemason.com