Vendor in the Spotlight… Robin Ayres in Japan!

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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.

robin-blue-bursts-neck robin-watch-cases

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.

robn-big-blue-cluster-neck   robin-white-and-pearlrobin-aqua-blue-fringe robin-dark-blue-short

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.

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Vendor Spotlight: Jane Corley

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I think it’s high time we shine the spotlight on those for whom the store would simply not exist; the vendors!  Every so often we’ll be featuring a new vendor, old vendor, or maybe even some wonderful customers and employees!  Check out Jane’s wonderful bio piece, below:  Then come see the neat stuff she makes!_________________________________________________________________

Jane Corley has been a gas station attendant, waitress, newspaper reporter, college professor, author, wife/mom, and attorney, little of which prepared her for a life in the arts, which is precisely why she enjoys such escapades.  Her visual arts training started in high school and college when she was engrossed in large-format photography, prior to completion of her bachelor’s degree in journalism.  She has continued to tack back to creative pursuits in an effort to keep sane while making a living in this big, expensive world.
Jane corley pic
Jane focuses on the sublime and whimsical in collage work using ephemera, found objects, dominoes, postage stamps, comic book images and dialogue balloons, along with the occasional Catholic saint image or medal.  Her work is often irreverent and even goofy, as she tries to create work to inspire others to color outside the lines.
four pics jane
These collages were created using what I call “found and family ephemera.”  Throughout the course of living more than a half century, having parents who almost doubled that, and sharing with them a strong tendency toward pack-rat-ism, I have kept or inherited numerous documents that by themselves don’t have much import.  Examples include a souvenir pamphlet from my mom’s pre-marriage voyage to Europe aboard the Queen Mary, the letter from the station master in Chicago giving her the itinerary of her train trip to New York that 1949 season, stamps from my dad’s collection the appraiser says aren’t worth anything but which I find lovely, extra parts from computer rebuilds my husband was going to pitch, copies of letters from grandparents and great aunts from long ago before long-distance phone calls when folks wrote to chew the fat, and the occasional leaf or feather found along the way.  A friend asked how I can part with such things; my response is that by putting these items together in collage form I give them wings to remind others of times gone by, when keeping a box full of papers and things like these was just an everyday thing.

Makers Connect's photo.Makers Connect's photo.