Making a Life: The Conversation with Guests Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafill

Hosted by Melanie Falick
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About Event

Please join host Melanie Falick and special guests Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafill for an intimate Zoom conversation about the power of making to give our lives authenticity and meaning, and to celebrate the publication of COLOR DUETS, Kaffe and Erin's new book and an upcoming exhibition at the Monterey Museum of Art.

For over twelve years, Kaffe and his niece Erin have been coming together each May to paint complementary still-lifes in a cabin next to the home in Big Sur where they both spent their formative years—on the grounds of the famed Nepenthe restaurant. In this stolen week, they sit side by side, surrounded by palettes, easels, and brushes. In COLOR DUETS they share not only their paintings—and stories about the making of them—but also their thoughts about the family and artistic legacy they share and how it has influenced the hands-on way they live their lives.

About the upbringing the two shared, 25 years apart, in the family's log cabin, Erin says, "Knitting, macrame, papier-mache, sewing, cooking, and painting were all regular activities that erased artificial boundaries between art and craft and life."

ABOUT THE GUESTS KAFFE FASSETT is an internationally renowned artist, lecturer, and teacher who has inspired people around the world with his colorful work in fabric, knitting, needlepoint, patchwork, painting, and mosaic. His artworks have been featured in museum and galleries worldwide, and he was the first living textile designer to have a one-person show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He is the author of many books. Instagram: Website:

ERIN LEE GAFILL is an award-winning artist, teacher, and author. Her first art teacher was her uncle Kaffe Fassett. Her work is collected internationally and exhibited around the United States. Erin has been leading creativity and painting workshops for the past two decades—she is a regular teacher at the Esalen Institute, California; Rancho La Puerta, Mexico; and Tenuta Spannocchia, Italy—and recently began offering online classes on her YouTube channel Awaken the Art Within. Instagram: Website:

ABOUT THE HOST Melanie Falick is an independent writer, editor, and creative director—and a lifelong maker. She is the author, most recently, of MAKING A LIFE: WORKING BY HAND AND DISCOVERING THE LIFE YOU ARE MEANT TO LIVE, named one of the best books of 2019 by Publishers Weekly magazine.

Melanie met Kaffe for the first time in the early 1990s when she interviewed him during a knitting-themed tour in the Shetland Islands. Many years later she edited several of his books, including his autobiography, DREAMING IN COLOR. She met Erin in 2012 when she traveled to Big Sur to celebrate the publication of DREAMING IN COLOR. Instagram: Website:

ABOUT OUR BOOKSELLING PARTNER For this special event, COLOR DUETS and MAKING A LIFE. COLOR DUETS will both be available through our bookselling partner The Phoenix Shop at Nepenthe (where Kaffe and Erin grew up). COLOR DUETS will be signed by Erin. MAKING A LIFE will be accompanied by a handwritten note from Melanie.

ABOUT MAKING A LIFE: THE CONVERSATION Making a Life: The Conversation is a new online and in-person conversation series developed by Melanie Falick, author of MAKING A LIFE: WORKING BY HAND AND DISCOVERING THE LIFE YOU ARE MEANT TO LIVE. The goal is to bring friends, old and new, together to generate lively public discourse about why making by hand and making the ordinary extraordinary are vital to our personal, community, and environmental wellness today.