Monday, July 15, 2013

Artisan show reflections

Hello, friends. It was great fun to exhibit my work in Concord this past Saturday with Portsmouth watercolorist, Amy Brnger. The weather cooperated and people seemed to enjoy having the opportunity to mill about without having to tote umbrellas. Here is a photo of our stall:

It was a slow day for me in terms of actual sales, but I did have the opportunity to strike up some conversations with very nice people. Several people inquired about whether I teach weaving (I do not at this point). It seems that at nearly every public event there are at least 2-3 people who aspire to become weavers. I have given teaching some consideration, but at this point I am not sure that it would be feasible for me since I do not have a second studio loom or a good place to put it. But it is good food for thought.

It is also interesting to take note of what fabrics/colors seem to draw the most attention. My red and cobalt blue items were spotted most often, and I received several comments on the fabrics for my clutch handbags:

My next event will take in September, when I participate in the Londonderry Apple Tree Craft Fair (see my 2013 exhibits page for more information). This will be my second year exhibiting there, and I am really looking forward to it.

On tap for this week are custom kitchen textiles for a very nice gentleman who has recently renovated his Boston home. And I hope to work out a pattern for a simple foldover clutch with a zip top. I think that a simple bag will work well with handwoven fabrics. I envision something a bit more casual with the foldover clutch style. Perfect for everyday. :)

Be well,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Purses & Peonies

Hello, friends. I've had a bunch of metal clutch purse frames hanging around my studio for several months now and have finally gotten around to doing something with one of them. Have you ever made purse using a metal frame before? You can buy the frames with punched holes, for sewing the handbag to the frame, or you can get frames that allow for the handbag to be glued to the frame. Gluing the frame to the purse seems to be a popular way to go - it is a lot faster to use glue than it is to use needle & thread - but I don't like to use glue near my handwoven fabrics. Too much work goes into weaving the fabric to have it turn into a sticky mess.

So, if you decide to use a purse frame like I used, you have to first draft the pattern to accomodate the size of your frame. This involves some math - even a protractor - but it is not too hard to do. There are some really good tutorials on the web to help you accomplish this.

Here is my first clutch purse that is NOT coin purse sized:

There is a small pocket on the inside and the purse is lined with broadcloth and stabilized with a heavy-weight interfacing. I use a heavy-duty nylon coated thread, doubled, to stitch the frame to the handbag.

I have a few more frames on hand and a bit more fabric that I wove for this purpose, so I hope to work up a few more clutch purses as time and materials permit.

This Saturday, July 13th, I will be exhibiting at the Concord Arts Market with my friend, Amy Brnger, who is a very skilled watercolorist. Here is one of Amy's delightful floral paintings:

We will be sharing a booth -  how fun will that be? The weather looks to be promising, so if you're in the area, do stop by and say hello. 

Be well,