Sunny day in Ontario today and I am in the studio–should have two new bags to show you soon–but in the meantime wanted to share my sketch of the walk across the Huffman fields to the sugar bush last weekend and then…the product.
Archives for March 2013
It’s a cold and dreary morning in southern Ontario and my train plans to TO for supplies were literally derailed (after I got to the station for 6:10 am and was actually sitting on the train). So I am here again in the studio this morning. I often make lists of good things in my sketchbook, as reminders–and since I have some good ones to share, I thought I would do so right here.
1. The calm following the Kenyan election. Raila Odinga is taking his accusations of vote rigging to the Supreme Court and everyone is calling for peace. I had a text from my friend Jackie in Bondo who tells me they are all waiting on the court’s findings.
4. This book . I read it in Matangwe on my ipad under the mosquito net! Thanks to Mary Anne for recommending it.
5. This cake.
6. This soup.
7. This article on shibori dyeing.
8. This shop. Below you will see all the coloured leather I bought there yesterday.
10. Birdbrain blog anniversary at the end of the month. To celebrate a new shop and a giveaway. More on this early next week.
This Keller bag is made of lovely pebbly leather–supple and strong. It is a great rich mahogany colour and lined with blue and orange cotton from the Kibuye market, Kenya. It has a zipper closing, an exterior zipper pocket and two interior slip pockets. The strap is adjustable and long enough to be worn across body–my favourite way to carry a bag. An ideal everyday bag–the Bondo blue will carry all your essentials.
L 12″ W 12″ D 4″
An update: I am working on the shop and it is progressing. This Keller and other bags will be in the shop and available for purchase shortly. Or email me anytime.
I have been making some new bags with the wonderful Kenyan fabric as lining. I think this blue and orange dot is my favourite. Some of these bags I am making are orders and others are just inspiration. The one pictured here is close to completion. I am also working on a much-needed revamping of my shop so that you can see what is available and be able to purchase it easily. I hope to have this completed within a few weeks. In the meantime, please just send an email if you are interested in anything you see.
Below is my pile of new books and a couple of articles on Marimekko. I highly recommend the two new books on sketching by Danny Gregory and James Richards; and the top book, by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer, presents a convincing argument for setting aside old fears and habits and going after our own creative renaissance . As for Marimekko, I have been a big fan of these colourful graphics since the 60’s–you may remember the aprons I made, pictured in this post. The textile museum in Toronto has a Marimekko retrospective on until April 21st and I definitely plan to attend. In the meantime, I have been letting my imagination run wild with the fabrics below.
One of the best ways for me to process a significant experience is to throw myself into the activity of ‘making’. I learned last year that a month in Kenya, living alongside the people there — not travelling to and looking at — but living with them, is a marvellous gift. But it is a gift that takes time to process and then from there to take action. I’ve learned that I do my best processing when I am involved in making something. I’ve been sketching from the photos I took while there. I love the elegance of the women as they go about their daily chores and I am trying to capture that in my sketches. And I’ve been in the studio working with some leather and evocative pieces of cotton. For me, the leather and lining of each bag tell a story. The leather has had a former life–and the lining evokes the day, the place and the emotion surrounding its purchase or creation. Heavy freight for a bag you throw your wallet and your lunch in? Yes, maybe. But it is where my mind goes when I am making and how I work the memories and the plans into the texture of my days.
Below is the Bondo Luna bag made from 2 remnants of pebbly chocolate leather and a small piece of the Montreal black biker leather pants. Inside is the cotton fabric bought in the Bondo market. The colours are the colours of Bondo. The bag is 13″x12″x4″ with an adjustable shoulder strap, two interior leather pockets and a zipper closing.
And then I have been making some small shoulder bags out of various pieces of recycled leather. These measure approximately 6″x6″ with a shoulder strap of 43″. They have a pocket both outside and inside and a snap closure. Update March 4: the turquoise and black bags are sold.