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Artist Dayna Walton, owner of Solstice Handmade, screen prints tea towels at Lions & Rabbits, the Grand Rapids Gallery where she works.
(Photo by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood)

Making a living as a professional artist can be tricky with the cost of art school on the rise and lucrative art jobs hard to find. Despite this challenging backdrop, Dayna Walton, a 21-year-old Grand Rapids artist has set herself up well to hit the ground running after she graduates from Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art & Design this spring. A talented illustrator and printmaker, Walton has been selling her work online since high school and launched her current label, Solstice Handmade, a couple years ago featuring a mix of fine art prints and handprinted textiles. In addition, Walton also works at Lions & Rabbits, a Grand Rapids art gallery that hostsworkshops and events and sells her work online and at a several brick and mortar shops. You can also follow her on Instagram at solsticehandmade While some young artists wait until after college graduation to launch their careers, Walton encourages artists not to wait. Tune in to this episode of the podcast to hear Walton’s story and learn more about her work.

CraftSanity 222: Dayna Walton 4.14.19 - SoundCloud
(2884 secs long)Play in SoundCloud
Walton teaches a variety of workshops. You can find out more here. And, if you’re local, you can check out Walton’s senior show that will be up at  the Fed Galleries at KCAD from May 7-11. Speaking of workshops, Dayna invited me to teach a CraftSanity weaving workshop at Lions & Rabbits on June 2. You can find out more information and sign up here.

 

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to my kindred spirits and  Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming episode? Great, for information.

 
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Crafting sanity is a way of life for me. Weaving, embroidery and printmaking are my go-to activites in good times and bad, and I welcome opportunities to teach art and craft workshops for small groups of all ages. Get in touch if you’d like me to teach your small group and we can plan a workshop tailored to your interests.

In the meantime, here’s a list of my upcoming workshops:

CraftSanity Small Loom Sampler Workshop

Date: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 2, 2019

Location: Lions and Rabbits, 1254 Plainfield Ave. NE, in Grand Rapids, MI

Class fee: $50 (including small round and rectangular CraftSanity weaving looms, yarn and other supplies)

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to dive into the fiber arts, this is your chance to learn to weave on small looms you get to take home with you.

In this class, students will learn circular and tapestry weaving techniques on small round and rectangular CraftSanity Looms. All supplies will be provided and students will go home with a handprinted, CraftSanity drawstring bag to hold their new portable CraftSanity looms, yarn and other weaving supplies.

This introductory class is open to weavers of all skill levels. No previous weaving experience necessary.

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Inside a bright West Michigan studio with an impressive yarn wall and an even more impressive collection of production knitting machines, designer Liz Hilton creates 3D knit products for clients and invents more machine knitted products of her own.

Welcome to KNITit, the studio Hilton founded in 2015 on South Division Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet a need for customized 3D knit innovation without the production commitment.

While Hilton has experience working with corporations and individuals to create textiles for many applications including fashion, office furniture, automotive and medical, she also draws on her life experiences to develop products of her own. She’s the inventor of a 3D baby swaddle that she also manufactures and sells herself. The beauty of this cozy product is that it is escape proof and can keep babies contently swaddled through the night, while giving tired parents easy access to change diapers without having to remove the swaddle.

Editors’s note: At the time this interview was recorded, Hilton was selling her popular swaddle under the name “Hoodini,” but revealed in a video posted later on Instagram that she is being forced to change her product name after she was contacted by an attorney representing Patagonia, alleging she was infringing on the trademark of a jacket sold by the national retailer. While this is a certainly a frustrating situation for a small upstart business, Hilton is forging on using the name “Swaddelini” and you can buy one for your little “hoodini” by visiting her shop.

Hilton attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in her hometown of New York City and went on to study at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. She also earned certifications in Germany and Japan where she worked for Stoll, the leading manufacturer of CNC flat bed weft knitting machines.

On this episode of the podcast, Hilton discusses her process, inspiration and mission to educate as many people as possible about the vast potential of 3-D knitting.

Grab a project and settle in for an conversation with Hilton and be forewarned that you might find yourself inspired to invest in a knitting machine after the show.

CraftSanity #221: 2.23.19 Liz Hilton - SoundCloud
(3533 secs long)Play in SoundCloud

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to my kindred spirits and  Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming episode? Great, for information.

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Ability Weavers founder, Beryl Bartkus looks on as her daughter, Erin, weaves a rug. Erin is one of about a dozen paid weavers who earn an income making rugs, bags, towels and other goods at the working studio and gift shop in Lowell, Michigan. (Photo by @CraftSanity)

As the mother of an adult child with autism, Beryl Bartkus wanted to create meaningful work for her daughter, Erin, and others with developmental disabilities.

Fast forward a little more than two years and Beryl is leading an established team of about a dozen working artists at Ability Weavers, the weaving studio and shop she and her husband, Eric, started in downtown Lowell, Michigan.

Ability Weavers employs developmentally disabled people and trains them to weave goods that are sold in the retail space located inside the front door of the shop. The profits create jobs for more weavers. (Photo by @CraftSanity)

Tune in to hear the story behind this inspirational shop where weavers are paid to make rugs, bags, towels and more. Visit the shop in person at 215 W. Main St. in Lowell, Michigan or shop online.

CraftSanity #220: 1.1.19 Beryl Bartkus - SoundCloud
(3003 secs long)Play in SoundCloud
CraftSanity Host Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood purchased these lovely cotton towels at Ability Weavers in Lowell, Michigan over the summer. (Photo by @CraftSanity)

I hope this episode inspires us all to consider how we can use our handmade superpowers to address a need in our own communities and help enrich the lives of the people around us. Who can we help and how can we creatively do it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo by @CraftSanity

P.S. Happy 2019! I hope you achieve every positive goal on your list! : )

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to my kindred spirits and  Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming episode? Great, for information.

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On this episode of the podcast I geek out about wood type and paper and ink with letterpress printmaker Amos Kennedy, owner and chief printer at Kennedy Prints in Detroit.

I met Amos at the Ann Arbor Wayzgoose in August and really enjoyed having him on the podcast. Tune in to hear the story of how Amos got started as a letterpress printmaker and get inspired to start pulling prints of your own.

Check out more Kennedy Prints on Instagram.

CraftSanity #219: 10.23.18 Amos Kennedy - SoundCloud
(4932 secs long)Play in SoundCloud

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to my kindred spirits and  Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming episode? Great, for information.

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At Natural Cycles Farm in southern Allegan County, Lori Evesque is raising fresh food, fiber and plants to sell at local farmers markets and share with students in her yarn dyeing workshops. With a background in chemistry and an interest in growing plants to use in natural dyeing experiments, her natural dyeing experiments grew more intense when she started demonstrating these techniques at Viking re-enactment events.

Evesque bought a farm a couple years ago and has committed to growing her own food and providing her customers and students with organic choices and inspiration to eat local, dye local and think carefully about their consumption of throw-away fashion. While recent political maneuvering has led to trade wars and tariffs beyond our control, Evesque is hopeful that we can use this international shakeup as an opportunity to push to create more in our local communities.

Tune in to this episode to hear Evesque talk about her farm and her hopes to get West Michigan fiber producers connected so farmers, artists, craftspeople and educators who work with naturally grown supplies can establish and enjoy a sustainable local supply chain.

CraftSanity #218: 9.5.18 Lori Evesque - SoundCloud
(3711 secs long)Play in SoundCloud

Visit Evesque at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market and shop her produce and hand dyed yarns. You can also attend her Oct. 1 presentation at the Woodland Weavers and Spinners Guild meeting in Grand Rapids and try to snag one of the limited spots in her Sept. 30 natural dye workshop. (Email jennifer for details.)

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to my kindred spirits and  Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming episode? Great, for information.

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German designer Martin Schneider created this 3-D printed printing press and published his design online for printmakers around the globe to print and enjoy.

The printmaking world includes many kind and generous artists, and Martin Schneider is one of them. After the 22-year-old art student in Cologne, Germany designed a 3-D printed printing press for a class at his university, he decided to share his design files for free and allow printmakers around the globe to download and print a press of their own as part of his fantastic Open Press Project.

Photo of Martin Schneider by Sven Buchert

As soon as I heard about Schneider’s project, I became obsessed with trying to find a way to print one of my own and I knew I wanted to invite Schneider on the podcast to talk about his printmaking and press design that he says was inspired by Kölner Graphikwerkstatt, the workshop that led him to become a printmaker. And I’m very happy to report that I was able to collaborate with an awesome colleague at the Maker Lab at the college where I teach and now have a tiny press to use when I talk about the history of printing in my journalism class.

Tune in to this episode of the podcast to hear Schneider tell the story behind his 3-D printed press design that is inspiring printmakers around globe to quickly befriend tech-savvy folks with 3-D printers. I, too, jumped on the Open Press Project bandwagon fairly early and I’m still delighted by my little white press that I use to demo printmaking. My first student was my 4-year-old nephew who was able to pull his own prints with a little guidance from his crafty aunt. So, I know for sure that this press is suitable for use by printmakers of all ages.

CraftSanity #217: 8.26.18 Martin Schneider - SoundCloud
(2840 secs long)Play in SoundCloud

This is the press that Jennifer had printed in Grand Rapids, Michigan. So far, she has used it to print on paper and fabric in her studio and on the road. She plans to use it to demo printing techniques with students at the community college where she teaches this fall.

For more information about Schneider and his project, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
And if you’re interested in swapping mini-prints with me, send me an .

Photo by Sven Buchert

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to my Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming episode? Great, for information.

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Photos courtesy of Katrina Rodabaugh

Remember when mending had a bad rap and sporting a patch on your knee outed  you as being anything but a fashionista? Well, in fairness, I’m pretty sure “fashionista” wasn’t even a word way back when I was kid blowing out the knees of my off-brand jeans. Patches were stiff back then and certainly not an indicator of one’s cool factor.

Thankfully, times have changed dramatically and mending is both relaxing and hip.

Enter Katrina Rodabaugh fiber artist and author of the forthcoming book, “Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More.” Rodabaugh is one of the zen stitchers on the front lines of this important and gentle movement that bucks the trend of overconsumption and throw-away fashion.

In 2013, within months of the horrifying garment factory fire in Bangladesh, Rodabaugh began a fashion fast called Make Thrift Mend  “to focus on mending, plant dyes, and prioritizing handmade or secondhand garments instead of buying new clothing.” She also grows, forages, and harvests dye plants near her farmhouse in the Hudson Valley.

You’ll have to wait until October for release of Rodabaugh’s book, but you can listen to her talk about it on this episode of the CraftSanity Podcast. During our chat she also shares a bit about her creative roots, moving across the country and harvesting dye plants near her farm in the Hudson Valley. (Note: This might be a good time for you, dear listeners, to grab a needle and thread and make a dent in the ol’ mending pile while you listen. : )

Enjoy!

CraftSanity #215: 7.3.18 Katrina Rodabaugh - SoundCloud
(3365 secs long)Play in SoundCloud

P.S. You can follow Rodabaugh social media here:

Instagram: katrinarodabaugh

Facebook: MadeByKatrina

Pinterest: katrodabaugh

Join her newsletter  here.

Thanks to the podcast supporters
Thanks to my Patreon sponsors for helping me keep this show going.

Subscribe to podcast via iTunes, use this RSS feed or just search for CraftSanity in many of the popular podcast apps.

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming episode? Great, for information.

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