For the past nine years Kate has been making silks in her home in East Central Minnesota. Being a dyer means being part chemist, part artist, and part mad scientist and the only thing that's guaranteed is that just as no two pieces will ever be alike, no two days of dyeing will never be alike either. The variables in dyeing are many and despite the best attempts to control the environment, things such as the age of the dye, the temperature of the water, and the saturation of the silk can all mean the difference between something working out beautifully one day and far less nicely the next.
Lady fo the Lake Silks is the epitome of a cottage industry. Kate's studio is better known as her kitchen and she is responsible for all aspects of her business (while also working her full time job). She has a few workers who help with the dyeing process when they can and several other essential minions who help sell the silk at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee and the Scarborough Renaissance Fair just outside of Dallas.
Since teaching herself to dye in 2007, Kate has dyed over five hundred veils and thousands of scarves. She's proud to have her work living in 47 states, 29 countries, and 6 continents. Another benchmark she's proud of is that her business has grown strong enough that she can work directly with a factory in Sichuan Province, China, to produces high-quality white habotai silk specifically for her needs.
In addition to making her signature ombre and mottled silks, Kate also has experience creating more intricate silks using a serti-technique silk painting using resists. She also has experience with batik and has studied fabric marbling. Plans are in the works to offer some of these more intricate pieces in the near future.