Bookplates, $25 for 32, from The Paper Princess.
Everyone please welcome Kim O’Brien to Try Handmade! Kim is a metalsmith from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, US, and she’s here to share with all of us the handmade goodness to be found in her home state. Please leave a comment for her if you know of a fantastic maker in Rhode Island, or just to say hi!
Hello, Readers! Welcome to my new column In My State. In case you hadn’t guessed we are talking about the tiniest of states. Here in RI we are big on handmade. How can’t we be? We are home to Rhode Island School of Design so we are invaded by thousands or artists each year who are looking to further their artistic explorations. The city is flooded with RISD umbrellas and students carrying portfolios to and fro. Even before RISD came to be we were known as the jewelry capital. Needless to say, art runs in our blood. We need to create.
To get you situated, I will start with a little map project which artist, Kristin Crane takes on passionately.
Kristin doesn’t let the map control her books, instead it is a compromise. Balancing color and composition, she works with the map and makes it her own design.
Her coptic bindings are a lovely detail, it shows her skill as a fiber artist. However, it serves a practical purpose, allowing the journals to lie flat.
Kristin’s own words best describe her passions. “I’m a textile designer living in Providence, Rhode Island and am a self proclaimed book addict. I love to shop for them, read them, make them, write in them. (I tell myself there are worse addictions to have.) I also love to travel and get as excited about what journal to bring on a trip as I do planning every other part. I love when books I’ve made get to travel around the world, even if I can’t go with them.” It is these passions which make her work so successful.
Kristin doesn’t stop at journals. Here are some of her quirky book marks.
And some cards to send notes home to loved ones while you are off traveling.
Fitting isn’t it?
Now that you are hooked and ready to start making your next travel plans, head on over to Kristin’s shop. If you don’t see your destination there check out her flickr site to see other custom orders she has done.
This week I am multi-tasking as I write my column. I am selling my jewels at the Pawtucket Rock And Roll Yard Sale. Please excuse me should any random song lyrics find a way into this post. As I sit surrounded by vinyl and rock memorabilia I have been focusing on these elegant journals and albums from local artist Natalie Stopka. Quite a contrast I know.
Natalie of Natalie As Is has an amazing eye for integrating vintage odds and ends into her books. The lace here is so precious and adds a special detail to the canvas she has bound together.
And when the artist doesn’t have the proper trimming in her stash she makes her own from scratch by creating hand sewn embroidery. I am in awe of Natalie’s description of her book as “humble” as they are far from that in my eyes.
Her details are ever so carefully collected and utilized. We can recognize the fabric swatch on this book cover and feel comfort in the memory of soft cotton against our skin. This repurposed smock adds a delicate detail and gives the book a dreamy quality, possibly dictating what stories or pictures are to be logged on it’s pages.
The book in the photograph above is my favorite of Natalie’s collection. I am in awe of the detail and care in construction. It is the same care someone would give to the making of a wedding dress, as this would make for the perfect guest book for any bride and groom. It is timeless and classic, always a favorite.
This is another great example of the artist creating the perfect landscape for her vintage finds. The whole piece is well balanced. No one element outweighs another. The subtle hues of the book’s covers allow you to appreciate the artist’s skill in bookbinding. This same neutral cover allows us to appreciate the antique satin ribbon she chose to accentuate her album. This mastery of design is a unifying element in Natalie’s work. I am never ceased to be impressed when I browse her shop. Enjoy and happy shopping.
Upon one of my many trips to Craftland I discovered this cute as pie zippered pouch. I fell in love with the fun fabric (designed by the artist) and made a note to find out more about the artist and her work.
Allison Cole is an artist who lives and works in Providence. She is a graduate of our very own Rhode Island School of Design where she received a BFA in Printmaking. She is currently focusing on making work for gallery shows, her fun little Bang Bang You’re Thread shop and freelance illustration. Not too shabby!
After poking around her shop for a bit I realized that I own some buttons of Allison’s design. Well, not the bag of rocks collection but the veggie button set. I love that they are in sets of three and you can spread the love around on your coats, bags or hats. I think this jeweler needs to add these rock buttons to her collection.
Allison makes it easy for us to collect her work. Her designs litter so many functional items. I always keep a hefty stash of cards around so I have the perfect greeting on hand for any occasion. These are so cute and playful with great color combinations. The part of me that is dead set on learning french loves the Bonjour Elephant the best.
I know I compulsively collect blank books. You never know when you are going to need to sketch an idea or jot down a note. This is the perfect size to keep with you at all times. And I am smitten with the bright yellow frame and cute flowers the artist lovingly placed on the cover.
Soon enough this print will find a home on my walls. This print is just darling. It looks like a doodle, a thought from a lover, decorated with swirls and flowers. Playful and powerful, really a perfect piece for this married couple.
These calendars are brilliant.
girl*in*gear studio: It’s a calendar… it’s a wildflower garden… it’s frameable art… all at the same time! There’s no waste.
It’s printed on seeded, plantable handmade paper. The paper is embedded with 15 species of tiny annual wildflower seeds, including red corn poppy, spurred snapdragon, showy evening primrose, and foxglove. Not only can you recycle this calendar, but you can also compost it or even plant it and watch your garden grow! Instructions for planting are included with each calendar.