Hello! It is crazy how quickly life rolls by and how in the blink of an eye, a one week break morphs into many months! But it’s been some significant months & I thought I would get back into the swing of things by filling you in, bit by bit!
CSA Valpo – This past winter, I was selected as one of the featured artists for the local program called CSA Valpo. Typically, a CSA program is geared towards agriculture (community supported agriculture). But in this case, Melissa Washburn and Hannah Hammond-Hagman developed CSA Valpo with art in mind! (Valpo simply is the nickname for Valparaiso – a local town in NW Indiana.)
The way our program is organized, folks buy a “share” for the season and in return, receive an original piece of art from each of the (6) participating artists. The other artists include Rachel Garastik, Nick Gloom, Jessica Haug, Laurel Izard, and Briana Olivares. What a fascinating, talented group! You should definitely look them up!!
Each of the artists receive a stipend to create new, original work. When I was applying, I gave the proposal a lot of thought, imagining what new method/materials/product I wanted to create and how it would fit within the product line I have, currently. I settled on an eyeglass case! It is the most requested item I get from customers – hands down!
And for once, I intentionally opted to NOT do everything brand new – only the product itself! (You see, after walking the earth for 40-something years, I’m finally figuring out how to rein it in… well, not completely, but at least I’m better!) I planned to create each eyeglass case using recycled necktie fabric, which I have mastered, at this point! The technique used for the recycled necktie fabric is just like the technique for creating rag rugs – utilizing strips of something (in my case, neckties) as the weft of the project (weft refers to whatever is in the shuttle). I love the unique look of the fabric and the recycled component makes me wildly happy!
As for my eyeglass cases, they took a bit of design work, definitely! My fabulous seamstress, Joyce, found this wonderful double-sided foam that we incorporated into each one as a way to protect the glasses inside. And it features a flex frame opening at the top – you know the pouches where you pinch the sides and it opens up? Flex frame! Plus, working with the necktie fabric can be a beast! It is a bit thicker than some of my other woven fabric, and just tends to be unruly. So, Joyce and I had our work cut out for us. But, the end result is awesome!! I’m so happy with the way they turned out and I hope the share holders will thoroughly enjoy them, too!
The timing of the season included an official kick-off for the artists in April, shares sold through the end of July, and all the work is due the end of October. The good news for everyone is that there will be eyeglass cases included in the Acton Creative line-up from now on – woohoo! This particular size is meant for cheaters and narrow sunglasses. If there’s enough demand, I would definitely entertain the idea of doing a wider version so ALL the sunglasses would fit it in! In the meantime, there will be brand new eyeglass cases listed on the brand new website that is currently in the works! But, that will be a story for next week…
Happy weaving, my friends!