I will be making a small series of these bags so if you are interested, please let me know or keep your eye on the shop. I think that they are a fabulous tote. This one is lime/orange/red. The next one will have teal in the mix. This tote is unlined, but is completely doubled stitched and has an additional piece of leather fastened inside the base with dome-shaped rivets for extra durability. There are two large pockets on the outside and three on the inside and the whole thing closes with a metal zipper. The shoulder straps have an 11.5 inch drop for easy carrying. The bag itself measures 13″ tall, 14″ wide and 6″ deep.
Archives for July 2013
I mentioned yesterday that ideas and images seem to come into my world exactly when I need them. It’s like when you are thinking of buying a yellow car and all of a sudden all you can see are yellow cars. I am working on a new rug and thinking about the role of text in it–its placement, its relationship with colour and the other images on the rug. This week I discovered Ed Ruscha and quoted his musings on using words in art. Then as I was actually hooking the letters on the rug, I encountered Taryn Simon on Wachtel on the Arts. There is very little in the way of contact with the outside world at our cottage, no internet or cell and the Globe and Mail is one and a half hours away. However, I do have the CBC when the radio is behaving, and it makes ALL the difference. I think Eleanor Wachtel is a national treasure and I save all her interviews with authors as podcasts so I can listen as I hook. My reading list is generated by listening to Eleanor. I have discovered Maggie O’Farrell, Rose Tremain and countless others through Eleanor’s gently probing questions. And every once in a while she will have the most poignant interview with an old favourite like her recent surprising talk with John Le Carré. I don’t always catch her program on the arts–but this in-depth interview with a most interesting conceptual artist is definitely worth a second listen. Simon, as it says in her bio, investigates the impossibility of absolute understanding and opens up the space between text and image, where disorientation occurs and ambiguity reigns.
Alex Colville died this week. A large print of his painting To Prince Edward Island hangs where I see it first thing every morning. When we saw the real thing in the National Gallery we were surprised both by its relatively small dimensions and the overwhelming power of the image. I have had versions of his work with me since I can remember. Here are the two I love most; it is a visceral attachment.
It is a curious but recurring event in my life that just the right book makes its way into my hand at just the right time. I happened upon this quotation from Ed Ruscha this past weekend. (Above is one of his images.)
I like the idea of a word becoming a picture, almost leaving its body, then coming back and becoming a word again.
I had not even heard of Ruscha before (and he is, I have subsequently learned, one of Time’s top 100 most influential people of 2013) but his approach to text immediately resonated with me. I have been hooking the Annie Dillard quotation and musing the way one does when the room is quiet and the fabric slips through one’s fingers magically looping against itself on the canvas. The quotation seemed to capture that dance from word to image to implication to association to memory to longing and back again.
Yesterday I introduced the Grosvenor travel tote. Now it is finished and ready for the road. It is made from two recycled coats and is 17″ wide, 14″ tall and 4″ deep with 2 exterior pockets, one with a zipper, the other a slip pocket handy for your keys, and three pockets inside. It features a double leather base with metal feet for protection, a metal zipper and high quality hardware. Inside it is lined with red cotton canvas. The removable shoulder strap is adjustable or you can use the padded handles. This is a versatile travel tote with understated good looks.
This isn’t a formal introduction. It isn’t even finished yet–there is a shoulder strap to come and a few more details to attend to. But here is the Grosvenor, a birthday gift for my sister. (On the reverse there is another pocket from a leather jacket from Barney’s in NYC. Fitting, don’t you think?) The whole tote is made from a recycled jacket and is great pebbly leather. More pictures soon once it leaves the studio for good.
I made it back to the shoes after several weeks and finished the background. It’s always a happy event when I go to my wool baskets and find the perfect skeins for whipping. The top one I bought years ago on Queen Street in that pricey wool store and the bottom one is Alpaca (should I really use this beauty for whipping??) given to me by a very dear friend. It is from a local farm. As I pull the wool through my fingers, the city and rural images will play through my mind. I should be able to finish this soon and hang it in my studio. It says everything I want to say.
You know, I don’t put anything here that I don’t think is top-notch. But there are some items that for one reason or another have that edge. I had a recycled cobalt skirt two years ago and some special people got pouches (you know who you are). I love to see them pull that cobalt from their bigger bags. I was in my favourite recycling shop twice within the last 6 months and each time I found another cobalt skirt! So–I made a small pouch yesterday and today, taking advantage of the V on the front of one of the skirts, I made a bigger pouch. And I think it is great. I love the slightly bigger size, the playful lining and the wristlet.
I have been making some pouches, assorted sizes and colours. I find them very useful, and at any one time have three or four in my tote. I even use one on its own for a wallet when I want to travel light. Here are the first three of the new batch. Once again, the linings are as important as the outsides of the pouches. Details of size, price etc. in the on-line shop by tomorrow morning–just press the button on the right.