Do you too?
We have gathered many cool things to decorate your windows and doors – even your couches, kitchen and yourself! Here are a few examples: Why not come see them for yourself and get your freak on?
This is one of the cool stories that make our jobs at Makers Connect so special and fulfilling so we thought we’d share:
It begins on the day that one Robin Ayres came sweeping through our door in her energetic way, having decided to attend our Thursday Makers Meetup. She was wearing a giant necklace composed of hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of black plastic which upon closer inspection, were a combination of dominoes and retro celluloid charms layered on top of one another. She took it off to show me how much it weighed; That thing was HEAVY.
After we learned about our mutual commonalities through her day job as the sole product namer for the Richards Group, we delved more into her photo books. It was then that minds were blown all over the place. Her body of work as seen on Pinterest is nothing short of Amazing, Prolific, Colorful, and NUTS! https://www.pinterest.com/foundcolors/my-jewelry-creations/
Robin explained that she has synesthesia, and can taste the colors she’s using as she works with them. There are therefore certain colors that you’ll never see in her work.
Fast forward a few months, and a few meetups later, and we were able to talk her into letting us carry Robins’s amazing watch-case necklaces and upcycled globes at Makers.
As far the necklaces she showed us at that first meetup; no, they were still not for sale. To anyone. She explained they just took so much time (both collecting and making) that she swore she’d never sell them, but might consider lending them for a museum or gallery show.
But what she said was heard by the universe, because about 8 months later… a museum shop came calling… and it wasn’t just any shop. It was Kohei Tanaka from Trading Store Comme des Garcons in Tokyo. Whoa.
He had located her online via her Pinterest pages. Both shocked and honored, she wrote to us saying that she had finally found what felt like the right match in a retailer that would truly be able to showcase these incredible art jewelry pieces.
Best of luck, Robin! We hope they fly off the shelves – we know you’re already busy making more.
Below: Photo from Comme des Garcons in Tokyo. Robin’s work is showcased in plexiglass boxes, inside large glass vitrines flanked by black balls. So mod.
For some reason, the rain is making me question my existence…. and why my patient husband, feisty mother, and loyal / hilarious helpmate have joined hands in supporting…. this retail endeavor we call Makers Connect. The other day, I overheard someone say, “Your store has a stupid name.” Well, perhaps. It’s not the funniest or catchiest… most of those had already been taken. Originally I loved the name Local Talent. Three years ago, the dba was already in use and I couldn’t have it… I checked a few weeks ago and it was available again. But now we’re here and we’re not going to buy another lighted sign (do you know how much those cost?? Shocking.)
For the sake of clarity and to clear away any cobwebs in case there are others who also think our name is ‘dumb’, I offer this explanation:
Makers Connect – to their tribe.
Makers Connect – to their market
Makers Connect – to their talent
Makers Connect – to meeting other artists
Makers Connect – to learning new talents
Makers Connect – to one another, to neighborhood… to new possibilities.
If you still think it’ dumb, then write to me and we can have a dialogue. Also, your mother dresses you funny.*
*Just kidding. I know you dressed yourself.
**Really kidding… your mother is absolutely lovely.
Summer can seem like a game of frogger – dodging out to the car, into a shop, back to the car, into another shop, then back to the house…exhausted and hot. But what if the shop had fun things to look at, nice folks, music, food, cool drinks, and wonderful art and accessories to browse? What if there might also be something fun to do with the kids that you can bring home and keep or give as gifts?
Hear us now; we have TWO such events coming up – so mark your calendar now! For the next two Saturdays, we’re having a couple of our wonderful maker/vendors in the shop with a trunk show and charming make-and-take: Here are the details:
Vendor Spotlight: Lynda Sparks, Jewelry
How does one end up doing what one is doing in life? It’s almost never a straight-arrow path. The story is often as interesting as the items of art one creates, but sometimes we lack the time to ask the questions or to spin the more in-depth stories about our artists. I started asking Lynda because I was really curious how she came to her level of craft after retirement. Also, the sheer variety of the jewelry she brings in is really on another level. It appears that jewelry making for her seemed to come from a wellspring of desire to do something creative after a lifetime of other professional endeavors, from accounting to running a day-care facility.
“I retired twice; but just had too much energy to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs. I needed to express myself with something.” She adds to that, “Art is for your soul; math is for your mind.”
She had clearly spent enough of her life working with math. So she started creating greeting cards, which she sold at the Artisan’s Collective, a gallery of local art located in the Bishop Arts area of Oak Cliff, in Dallas.
“But I soon realized that it takes the same amount of time to make a card as it does to make jewelry, and I could sell jewelry for more!” So, she started watching jewelry videos, and learned how to create wrapped wire jewelry. She believes that if you want to know how to do something, the best money is spent on materials and practice rather than expensive courses. “I guess I’m too opinionated for some teachers but in the end I learn more by just doing it myself.” Her favorite metalsmithing DVD courses were by Lexi Erickson, available through Rio Grande.
“Whenever I hit a glitch, I tell myself to not get discouraged – and eventually I would keep at it and got to a point where I felt pretty good about what I was doing.” What did she do after mastering wire wrapping? Why, she just moved on to pouring resin. Then she took the resin pieces and wrapped those!
Now she’s making folded copper cuffs and rings, as well as large funky stone-set rings and necklaces. The fact that was able to teach herself to solder bezels and set stones demarks a major line in the sand that sets her apart from many jewelry makers. Every time she drops by, we’re always pleasantly amazed to see what wonderful new creations she’s whipped up.
We like her attitude a lot. She sums it up, “My advice is to just keep at it. If one thing isn’t working, try something else!” There is clearly no keeping this gal down. Go, Lynda!
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Regardless of what is going on around me in the world or our lives, we try to keep the doors open to new artists with intriguing ideas and creations. These past few months we’ve brought in these terrific new folks; we hope you can come see their work soon.
(Also we have new work by our OTHER 85 local artists! Yesterday we received a neat bunch of adjustable rings and man-worthy pendant necklaces by Lynda Sparks.)
Amy Marks – Funky Finials: Upcycling those one-off vintage salt and pepper shakers and giving them a new lease on life as funky lamp finials! Also soon to come, Treasure Handbags!
Zunlan Designs – Carlos Zunlan and partner create handbags, satchels and totes from scratch. Some with leather accents and others with fashion-mag worthy handpaintings by Carlos. Also colorful patterned coasters.
Shauna Young – Reticulated (heavily textured) silver jewelry paired with her own hand-lapidaried stones….. all coordinated into beautiful pendants and cuffs.
Vera Guillan – Embroidered jackets. The blessed Virgin of Guadalupe comes to life when Vera and her sister come in contact with vintage jeans jackets.
more photos to come!