Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

The tactile feeling of a lush, hand-knit sweater or an embroidered top provides a bit of comfort in an increasingly unpredictable and progressively digital world, where even socializing takes place onscreen. Sitting down with a pair of knitting needles and fluffy merino yarn sparks a deeper connection than mindless scrolling ever could.

Kristen Bateman – Contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar.

Knitting, sewing, quilting, you name it we’re doing it. Even before Pandemic 2020, crafting was on the rise as interest in commercially manufactured goods declined. People are realizing that creating their own clothing and accessories is much more fun and easier on the environment.

On weekends I stay away from my laptop and spend time working on sewing projects, knitting, embroidery or whatever inspires me. It’s a treat to create with my hands and shift my mind from working words to working yarn or fabric. (And much more satisfying than scrolling social media looking at what other people are doing.)

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One of the many disappointments this year due to the pandemic was the cancellation of the American Craft Council show usually held at San Francisco’s Fort Mason in August. But as they say, The Show Must Go On and on it will …

The ACC show gathers top craftspeople from around the country (many are from the Bay Area) to exhibit and sell their wares, which includes one-of a kind jewelry, clothing, gifts, and home décor. Instead of showing in person, the ACC has worked hard to shift to a virtual show called San Francisco Bay Area Craft Week, running September 7-13, 2020; there will be an online marketplace where shoppers can see available crafts as well as “visit” artists’ studios, their hometowns, hear their stories, hear their playlists, see artists at work and more.

Participants include:

Kiss of the Wolf (women’s hand-painted clothing –   my sis-in-law!)

Modern Shibori (clothing, local)

Audrey Modern (handbags)

Scott Wynn (furniture)

Sam Woehrman (jewelry, local)

There will be 130 artists in all. I don’t know about you, but I’m already thinking about the holidays and wondering what the heck I’m going to do about gifts. ACC and these participating artists are here to help. And perhaps part of gift-giving this year will be supporting artists who really need our help as much as we need them!

“It’s an opportunity for everyone to ‘travel’ and discover in a time of physical distancing. We believe the creative diversity of object making, craft, and design in the San Francisco Bay Area is a wonderful way to launch this new program,” says Sarah Schultz, American Craft Council, executive director.
Mark your calendars, make your lists, and tune in September 7-13. Click here for more information. 

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Paper birds by Aimee Baldwin.

In the last few years I have become fond of birds. I live in front of a hill full of springtime birds and what a treat it is to awake in the mornings listening to their melodious chatter. Last year when a set of wrens built a nest on my patio, I was forever perched at the window watching a family of four baby birds hatch, grow, and finally (sadly) fly away.

So, I was very excited when I found Berkeley artist Aimee Baldwin and her paper birds. Aimee creates all kinds of birds and their environs from a special crepe paper imported from Germany. She started her craft by making flowers with the paper and soon realized that its pliable quality would work well for birds. 

Since 2006 she’s been sculpting and showing her feathered friends at various fairs and galleries around the Bay Area. Aimee refers to her art as Vegan Taxidermy and says she’s inspired by her affection for nature and concern about habitat conservation.

Aimee’s entire bird collection is now on display at Castle in the Air in Berkeley. Included are owls, parakeets, hummingbirds, and more. Each is handcrafted without animal products and takes a week or so to complete. In addition to the crepe paper she uses salvaged white pellet foam, wire, acrylic paint, and glass. 

Paper Birds by Aimee Baldwin at Castle in the Air now through July 15th, 1805 4th Street, Berkeley. Many are for sale and the best part? They’re guaranteed not to fly the coop.

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