Thursday, 25 August 2016

Travelling Makers

Over the past summer we have done some travelling. As a maker, I am not always drawn to souvenirs. Often they are over priced made-in-china nick-knacks that I always feel I could make myself... like a shall... or a scarf.. or a postcard type of thing. Also, because I am a "maker" I love to go to shops I have heard about but live too far away from. Wool shops, fabric shops and paper shops are often a great way to meet like minded people who live in this different place. I find friendships in these places. I feel like these are the friends I would have if we were not 2000 miles apart. I love the conversations we have - the typical tourist conversation but with a crafter/maker/quilter theme. This is also a great way to find new styles in crafting that are more local, less popular, and you can implement into your own work to create a brand new hybrid style. Who isn't inspired by a quilt shop wall? All the amazing quilts - local designers work - the "in" colour of that season. The thing is - the "in" colour for Ottawa and Montreal is very different from the prints and colours that are popular in San Francisco. Combine the two styles and suddenly you have a unique way of looking at things - your work represents you - and not just the hottest pattern on Instagram that has been re-made 2000 times.
Local Yarn from Atelier in San Francisco 

My example happened last weekend, we travelled to San Fran and I walked into a fabric shop that had these dark blue-greens against steel greys and a pop of burnt orange. I couldn't stop staring at this. The lady explained its a San Francisco scene - the intense colour of the bay water, the grey of the skies in all that fog, and that burst of colour from the iconic bridge. I will definitely be incorporating this colour scheme into my next work - as a reminder and a memento of where I was. Colours often ignite memories or feelings so it will make the perfect souvenir to hang on the wall.

Also, souvenirs like fabric and wool become practical objects, not just silly things to be pushed to the back of  dusty shelf in a year. I picked up some local Alpaca wool and I plan to make a fall scarf. Every time I wear it I will be reminded of the San Fran hills hand in hand with my husband, just the two of us.

Next time you travel I invite you to skip the tourist nick nacks in the airport and head to a local craft/yarn/fabric/paper shop. Meet the people, exchange tips, and get a feel for what this area really is!

No comments:

Post a Comment