Whitney Robinson is rockin’ the handmade leather jewelry. I’m still trying to figure out how you move from a career in computer science to handmaker, but nevermind that. Her collection is fresh, modern and full of color. You’ve just got to check out this collection.
Whitney’s leather jewelry is made from recycled high-end leather pieces. Each of her creations is made by hand and numbered. The findings she uses are made of solid brass (which is naturally lead-free) and then plated with lead-free plating. For the plating, you get a choice of sterling silver or 24k gold. The price point is perfect, which means these would make a great 1AM Promise purchase.
In the meantime, I would love to know more about Whitney and her work, so I’ll be reaching out to her for an interview on the LAB. Got any questions you want to ask her? Leave them in the comments below.
Connect with Freshly Given:
SHOP | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG
Today’s See/Wear posts feature the mysterious Miette and Rebecca J Kaye’s cool prints.
Miette: So you’re probably wondering why I called Miette mysterious. OK, hear’s the story: I’ve featured Miette on every blog that I’ve started. That covers about 5 years of my blogging. I’ve reached out to them about 5 or 6 times, hoping to find out something about this crazy-amazing collection. Guess what? *crickets* I have never heard from them. I’m not sure if humans run Miette or if that weird blinking woman on their shop page is the real designer. Maybe she’s Max Headrooms’ sister or something. Anyway, this is one of the most creative collections in the entire universe and I can’t resist featuring them AGAIN. If I ever hear from them, I’ll let you know. However, if I mysteriously disappear, it’s that blinking woman’s fault. She finally got kidnapped me through my Mac and I’m locked in a world of bits and terabytes. HELP!
Rebecca J Kaye: Less mysterious (thankfully), but equally talented, Rebecca spell is out for you on her homepage: illustrator, designer, printmaker. This color lover and cycling enthusiast lives in Edinburgh and is a marvelous artist. If you are a lover of the two-wheeled mode of transport, you will love these great prints. In fact, I think you’ll go nuts in her shop; it’s all about the bicycle.
See: 1 OF YOUR 5 A DAY print by Rebecca J Kaye
Wear: Spiro Gear Necklace by Miette
See: PEDAL POWER print by Rebecca J Kaye
Wear: 7 Leather Forget Me Knot rings by Miette
See: HIGHLAND FLING print by Rebecca J Kaye
Wear: Forget Me Knot bracelets by Miette
Sarah Holden has created a very modern and sculptural collection of handmade baubles, found in her Facet and Forge Shop. I really like these three dimensional diamonds. This is the kind of collection where, the more you look at it, the more you realize just how talented the artist is. So many connectors and findings! I can’t imagine how much time it takes to put these together. What I do know is this: if you like a more contemporary collection, this is the one for you.
Sarah is one of the few artists I’ve featured who is using steel as a medium. I love the look of these Gear Cog Ruffle earrings. Sarah flat forges the steel, then she ruffles and curves it into these gear-like hoops. They come in various sizes and you can even request them to be made in sterling silver, yellow gold, rose gold or brass. Brass sounds pretty spectacular, doesn’t it?
Connect with Sarah Holden:
SITE | SHOP | ETSY | TWITTER | BLOG | FACEBOOK
It’s such an ethereal word, authenticity. I find that the full scope of its meaning is often really unknown to most of us. I mean think about it, what’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word? For many, it’s a synonym for truth or genuine. And at its core authenticity is about being true and genuine. But there’s so much more, especially for the artist. Let’s expand on the meaning of the word and see how it relates to our love of creating.
- Truthfulness of origin. When we scan the vast wonderland of the handmade universe, from print makers to jewelry designers, there is a terrible trend of needless copying. I say needless because it just isn’t necessary. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being inspired by someone else. But when we lift and copy the work of others, authenticity disappears. This following statement isn’t meant as a slight, just a true observation of the human experience: there are very few new or fresh creative ideas. Almost everyone is inspired by someone. Sometimes the true genius is to take a previous idea and to make it better or as they say on those combative singing shows, to make it your own. What makes this a path of creativity authentic is when we take the time to acknowledge what or who inspires us.
- Being being faithful to internal ideals. I think this one is the easiest for handmakers. Most of us start with the idea that to make by hand is a privilege, a gift. We’ve fully embraced the concept that there is something intrinsically human about making real and tangible objects de art. Some of us swear that no matter how successful we become, we will never ‘sell out’ and head down the path of mass production. First of all, yeah to the intentions of success! You have to have that in order to get through the growing pains, disappointments and setbacks of starting a successful handmade enterprise. However, have you thought about what you will do if you actually do become successful? How far do you want to go or maybe how far do you want to grow? We need to know the answer to these questions now, right at the beginning. This will determine the path we take and whether or not we will stick to our initial ideals, holding authenticity up as a guiding light.
- Truthfulness of devotion. Being authentic in this sense means that we follow through with our goals and dreams. You may conceive the perfect handmade project, source the materials, sketch some ideas and so forth. One of the biggest areas where we can shoot ourselves in the feet, is when we just don’t follow through. Well, don’t give up! If you’ve gone this far, take the path a few steps forward. If we are devoted to our art, to our designs, success will come. Even if you don’t sell a ton of your creations, to know that you tried your best is a triumph of authenticity.
Now you may be thinking, after reading my mellifluous diatribe: What in the name of cheesecake is he talking about?!? Authenticity doesn’t mean any of those things to me! I have my own definition of authenticity. Good for you, because that’s the LAB Assignment for this week: Tell us in the comments below how you define authenticity. Feel free to comment on an reply that resonates with you. Be kind, as you folks always are, and I promise to respond as well.
This is one of those Get Inspired! posts where I really feel like I am living up to my mission. Laura Caldentey is a wonderful artist and it is a real privilege to feature her handmade work here. First up, enjoy this lovely video. Every artist on Etsy needs one of these!
Tote bags on Etsy from Lauryn Green on Vimeo.
I’m a sucker for cuteness and Laura has filled her Lauryn Green shop with a modest selection of her handmade bags. I think the Autumn Leaves canvas tote is my favorite.
Laura’s bags are hand-sewn, hand-painted and feature a personalized pocket inside, perfect for your phone. Why settle for an ordinary tote when you can have one that is a customized work of art?
With all the talk I do around here about blogging, I think Laura might be the first header artist that I’ve featured. Here’s the one she designed for her blog:
You can see a few more examples of her work here and here. What a great way to personalize your blog! Laura is really willing to work with you on the design. Why not start you handmade blog with a hand-drawn header? It just feels right, doesn’t it? Be sure to check out Laura’s site to see more of her splendid illustrations. Here’s one to whet you appetite. You know I never pass up an opportunity to feature a tiny trailer!
Connect with Laura Caldentey:
SHOP | SITE | BLOG | TWITTER | PINTEREST
Jessie Ford is a wonderful artist and her collection of illustrations showcases her immense talent. Jessie work has been featured all over the place and now you can get a copy of her signed Giclee prints for your home from her online shop.
Looking for a fresh premium font? Try this one called Ipanema from Ernesto Alonso, featured in the Ten Dollar Fonts shop. Ipanema is a typeface influenced by 60′s and 70′s aesthetics, old street’s signage and vintage typography used in sports. I’m sure you can think of some fun ways to use this cool font. It’s only 10 bucks for personal use and $20 for commercial. Of course, you won’t pay that because of the LAB’s special discount. Use code LABLOVE13 to get 10% off your order.
Here are 10 more fonts, all free. Please be sure to donate to the font makers when you can and to check for the usage limitations. Enjoy!
1. Kankin by Alexey Frolov | 2. Nexa by fontfabric.com | 3. Grand Hotel by Astigmatic | 4. Moonshiner by Mattox Shuler | 5. Oranienbaum by Ivan Gladkikh & Oleg Pospelov | 6. Barkentina by Kiril Zlatkov | 7. Acorn by William Suckling | 8. Weston by Pavel Pavlov | 9. Dude by Dan Gneiding | 10. Geogram by filiz sahin
I received an email from a very talented artist about a month ago that somehow ended up in my Spam folder. Shame on Gmail! It’s a good thing I checked, because Keema Haynes has built one impressive collection of graphic art she called Pencil Me In. Here are a sampling of her pieces. Be sure to head over to her Society6 shop and grab one for yourself.
Connect with Pencil Me In:
SITE | SHOP | BLOG | TWITTER | PINTEREST
As many of you know, I am a huge fan of letterpress. Hence it feels very appropriate that our Get Inspired post for today features a unique attempt to raise money for one of the most respected repositories for letterpress history, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. First watch the video, featuring Brooks Chambers from Mama’s Sauce, the originator of this project:
Love Letters from FCTN on Vimeo.
I think the video is pretty self-explanatory. Here are a few of the coasters for you to check out. Each image has been linked to the Mama’s Sauce shop page, so just click and go!
If you would like to donate directly to the Hamilton Museum, you can do it here. To show my appreciation and support besides this post, I will be featuring the work of the some of the artists (the ones with web shops) who contributed to this project on the LAB in the coming week.
Connect with Mama’s Sauce:
SITE | SHOP | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK
Isn’t that the perfect first image for every post? It’s what we do and why we do it, all wrapped up in the perfect package. That stamp and everything that follows comes from Think & Ink Studio, the creative playground of Bambs Hemmings, Vancouver, BC’s one woman creative powerhouse. I just love this collection and am privileged to feature Bambs’ work in the LAB Pop Up Shop. As with all of the artist I feature in the Shop, there is more to Bambs’ creative story than the 1 item I feature. Just feast your eyes on all this handmade goodness.
Bambs does something which I believe is truly innovative. Besides her printed goods, which we’ll get to in a moment, she also offers downloadable files so that you can create your own cards, with her designs, in the comfort of your own homes. She offers 12 different cards and tells you exactly what you will need to make this happen. What a great idea!
The shop features so many of Bambs’ original designs. I love these little triangles. You can get variations of them on her cards, gift tags and stationery. It’s modern and so fresh. Here are a few more items that are sure to please. I’ve linked each image to their spot in the Think & Ink Studio to make it easier for you to get these handmade goodies today.
Connect with Think & Ink Studio:
SHOP | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST
I’m usually knee-deep into my Print & Ink posts, this being Thursday and all, but I had a few more jewelry makers that I wanted to feature this week. I can’t remember where I first saw Dinosaur Designs. It could have been a blog or a magazine since they’ve been on and in plenty of both. I just have a note in my records that I needed to feature them. And for good reasons: Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, the masterminds behind the collection, are creating resin jewelry that is just mind-blowing.
You can really get a sense of Louise and Stephen’s love for modernism and self-expression in the collections they’ve produced. I love the way these two express themselves about what they do:
‘When you create a piece from scratch, you really bond with it, that’s why we design pieces to last a lifetime. We’re excited by the new possibilities and creative challenges that designing and hand making each new range provides. We feel as passionate about Dinosaur Designs today as we did 27 years ago when we started and we’d like to continue for another 27 years.’ Louise Olsen, Designer, Creative Director and Co-founder
We were just talking today during the #omhg chat about letting your passion become your career. 27 years is a long time to be doing what you love as an artist. Here’s what Stephen has to say about his work:
‘Each collection is a journey and you never quite know where the final destination is going be. That’s exciting but you’ve got to learn to trust your eye and trust it to build a relationship between tone, texture, colour and form.’ Stephen Ormandy, Designer, Creative Director and Co-founder
Ah, the journey. Well, the destination is one of the most inventive baubles I’ve ever seen. Here’s just glimpse of their expansive collection. Be sure to read their complete bio and grab one of these innovative pieces for yourself.
Connect with Dinosaur Designs:
SHOP | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK
I like to check in with Sketch Inc. from time to time to see what’s new in Becky Kemp’s fun shop of colorful handmade goodness. As always, there’s something fresh and vibrant for the eyes, like these Painted Wooden Dolls. Aren’t they amazing? Each doll is cut from laminated plywood then sanded, buffed, stained and painted by hand. What a unique gift.
While you’re there, why not check out the other colorful goodies in the Sketch Inc. shop. These brooches are just amazing! If you haven’t made your 1AM Promise purchase for the month, this would be a great place to start.
Connect with Sketch Inc.:
SHOP | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK