My work with fabrics began in my teens in the 80's in NYC where I grew up. I lived near a clothing recycling warehouse that sold used clothing for 65 cents a pound. I bought a lot of vintage clothing tapestries and denim jackets there. Then I would decorate the denim jackets with a variety of the fabrics I found at the warehouse. I would then sell them on the SOHO sidewalks and in boutiques.
One time I saw one of my jackets being worn by a famous metal rock guitarist on the cover of a metal rock magazine!
I then moved to Philadelphia in the late 80's and continued to make the decorated jackets.
From there my jackets evolved into handbags still with the theme of combining a layer of different patterns and textures. When I set out to create my bags, I gather up my fabrics and spread them out on a large surface and start mixing and matching them. It all seems chaotic at first, but the blends quickly start making sense.
I mostly use reclaimed fabrics, fabric samples and remnants of discontinued fabrics. I will also adorn them with a stack of buttons. Some are vintage and some are new.
I am now living in Swarthmore with my 3 younger children. My youngest is in love with dragons and has inspired me to make my newest line of crafts...Stick Dragons! Also known as Dragon Riders, they are my version of a Hobby Horse. I collect fallen sticks and branches or bamboo for the dragons and create their heads out of reclaimed fabrics. And upon the request of my dragon muse, each dragon comes with a short story.
I am having a lot of fun making them and am excited to make new creations out of found and reclaimed objects.
Liz of A New Creation is an art teacher, sculptor, jeweler and mixed media workshop director who has a passion for a variety of artistic media. She spends most of her leisure time finding creative techniques to create whimsical and fine jewelry and pottery out of recycled and new materials.
I am a jewelry artist/metalsmith, specializing in studio-created mixed-metal artisan jewelry and custom jewelry design. My greatest inspirations include nature and ancient civilizations. Using primarily silver, copper, bronze, unusual gemstones and fossils, my jewelry reflects the deep appreciation I have for the beauty and “art” that occurs in nature.
Currently, my focus is on texture and movement in my designs, though form and balance are also essential. I use conventional and non-conventional techniques and tools in my studio. Each piece is carefully designed and constructed by hand in my studio, from raw materials such as flat sheets of metal and wire.
I thoroughly enjoy the process of transforming raw materials into timeless designs with a deeper meaning, to adorn the body, as well as the spirit.
Hi! My name is Cat Horn and I am the designer behind Cat Horn Accessory. A handcrafted jewelry and accessories shop that offers fun, colorful, indie accessories for women and men that are great for every day wear. I design and handcraft each piece from my home in Swarthmore, PA using a unique combination of techniques including: wirework, macramé, needlepoint, and leathercraft.
I trained in fashion design at Drexel University where I learned the value of knowing how to make the things I designed from start to finish. After graduation I worked in the New York fashion industry for 5 years as a technical designer and then as a production assistant for several Philadelphia based jewelry and fashion designers before starting my own line.
I have a deep passion for the handmade. The ability to make something beautiful with my own hands is incredibly satisfying, and that feeling is doubled when I can share it with others.
The style of Cat Horn Accessory is a playful look full of color, texture, and pattern but never fussy. My designs are simple in nature, with a focus on the techniques used to construct the piece. Each feature is done on purpose with focused intent on the details and construction. The beauty in handmade is in the irregularities that makes it unique, wonderful and real. I want people to see how something is made and to see the joy of the maker in the work.
Claire Tomlinsons work is all about Glass! Fused glass plates, bowls, votives, vases,and jewelry. Limited glass seed bead bracelets and home dyed and sewn rope baskets.
To see more visit her website: https://squareup.com/store/chez-claire
All ceramic pieces are handmade and one of a kind - made in my kitchen by using only slab construction and hand building techniques. As a result all the pieces have a beauty that is asymmetrical & imperfect - mirroring everyday life by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
To see more beautiful work by Crooked Curiosities, visit their Etsy shop.
Crooked Dog Designs
I've been working with fabric my whole life as a costume designer and now turn my attention to other forms and uses. I'm excited by the recycling aspect of using vintage items and giving them new life. Who's going to wear that hostess apron? But as a bag, it's great! I love color, texture, and the interplay between them. Everything's handmade here in leafy Swarthmore, PA in my smoke-free studio.
Deanna Haldeman of Deramics Clay Studio has been making pots since she took a ceramic class in high school. She is constantly creating new styles for different uses, and so many pieces make perfect gifts. Deanna's current functional work includes bowls, plates, mugs, French butter dishes, one piece chip & dips, serving bowls, and luminaries. All of these pieces look great on the holiday table and transition well to everyday use.
"Making pottery is always fun and exciting to me. There is always something new to try. New glazes, new forms, new techniques, new firing methods, new ideas and new challenges every day. So many pots to make and so little time to make them in."
Dori’s Gems are all hand fabricated in Delaware County and produced in sterling silver with one of a kind semi-precious gemstones. Dori is a teaching artist and her complete show and class schedule can be found at dorigems.weebly.com
My obsession with greeting cards started when I was a little girl, checking the back of every card I received to see if it had that familiar Hallmark logo. Fast forward 20 years and add in a love for hand lettering and puns, and here we are.
I started making my Henson Handmade cards for friends and loved ones to show them how much I care. I try and make cards that I would enjoy receiving: simple, heartfelt designs. The goal of Henson Handmade is to offer playful, witty cards that are perfect for every occasion. I have also recently expanded my work to include art prints of local Philly food.
Spitfire Designs Jewelry has been in business since I, Holly Thomas, moved to Swarthmore in 2004, so for fifteen years. I love what I do and I work from my home in Swarthmore. I make one of a kind pieces for a one-of-a kind person. I also do custom jewelry and repairs. Nothing is ever made more than one time. I use mostly Sterling Silver and Vermeil and real stones.
I originally went to school for fashion design and then switched over to journalism and advertising. After having been a journalist for a few years and living in New York and San Francisco, I moved to Swarthmore and realized how much I missed creating and designing. A friend invited me to a gem show and that was it. From the moment I walked in, I started designing in my head. I bought stones, metals and embellishments and went home and with no lesson, or classes I began creating. I am self taught. It was easy and very natural to me to make jewelry. And, so it began and it’s been one fun ride ever since!
Kitchen Garden Series
The Kitchen Garden Series is a line of kitchen textiles made from reclaimed materials and sold to support urban agriculture.
Founder and designer, Heidi Barr, is a Philadelphia-based artist working in costume design, textiles, and garden-based installations. Growing up as the granddaughter of a farmer, Heidi was instilled with a natural wonderment for all things that grow: food, ideas, friendships, flowers, trees, communities. She created the kitchen garden series to support their growth.
To learn more, visit Heidi's Facebook page or her website
Hi! I'm MJ & I've been photographing things that resemble the letters of the alphabet in my travels over the last decade. Taking my carefully curated gallery of images and designing them all sorts of different ways has become a favorite pastime, thereby resulting in thousands of beautiful & unique finished fine art pieces. My husband and I lovingly cut, paint & sand each block of wood by hand before applying the prints in our quaint in-home studio workshop.
Sawdust Siren is a tiny company specializing in creating unique handcrafted treasures for your home made from repurposed & salvaged lumber, found objects, antique horns, and anything else that inspires our curiosity.
We’re nostalgic, sentimental, and nerdy about wood. We love finding new ways to use antique and abandoned elements. We admire the simplicity of old technology and the discipline and longevity of historic craftsmanship, and we have a passion for incorporating both into our work. All of our products are handcrafted in our home in Swarthmore, PA.
Bethany has been a professional modern dancer & teacher for over 25 years. She currently teaches and choreographs for Bryn Mawr College. Being a performing artist where nothing exists after the show, she loves making things that are tangible in the world. She started turning bowls and making benches in 2004 shortly after meeting Conrad. Sharing power tools in the shop can be pretty romantic.
Conrad never imagined he would be sharing the woodshop with his wife. But he’s happy to share. Really. His passion for carpentry and woodworking started in the 1970’s when his dad decided to take the roof off of their house and add a second floor. Through junior high and high school, Conrad spent more time in wood shop than in French class, which irritated his French teacher to no end, but resulted in several great pieces of furniture. In his spare time, Conrad is Director of Production for a corporate event production company.
Gus is our bearded collie. And to be truthful, he’s not really a shop dog. He’s not all that excited when we’re working, except he likes to come in and steal random pieces of wood when we’re not paying enough attention to him. We’ve tried to make him pose as Nipper, but he’s not that interested in our Sawdust Sirens.
My name is Tannei. I learned how to sew and knit at a very young age which led to studies in fashion design in college. While my career has taken me in other directions, my passions are still sewing and knitting. I am content when I am surrounded by fabrics and yarn. I don't go anywhere long distance without yarn and knitting needles.
Every item you see in my online shop is created by me from start to finish. I take meticulous care in every item. This means all seams are matched, prints are centered and symmetrical when appropriate and design print is matched on all outside pockets.
To see more work of Tannei's, visit her Etsy shop and like her on Facebook.
Useful and Beautiful Handmade
Karen Heenan has crafted for her entire life, but in the last several years, she has become increasingly aware of how much waste there is in our culture. She turned this epiphany into a business - Useful & Beautiful Handmade - where she crafts children's clothing, stuffed animals, accessories and household items from recycled fabrics. Handmade is like organic; people want to buy but can't always afford it. By using recycled textiles, Karen makes handmade affordable. And still beautiful!
Check out more of Karen Heenan's work on her Etsy shop and her Facebook page.