Featured Stockist - Los Angeles County Store September 15 2014
If you're ever looking for a gift made in LA county, look no further than the Los Angeles County Store. The shop has been only been open a few months, but the buzz around town is that it's the best place for find something unique made by local artists. I would so agree. MaryAnne Loverme is the store's proprietress and an artist herself. She prides herself in finding and stocking a diverse and eclectic collection of gifts, home goods, jewelry, and accessories.
The back wall of the store features a 2-dimensional map which highlights the exact location within Los Angeles county where all of the stores' artists are from. I'm number "75" on the map and one of the few artists from the south bay.
MaryAnne and her staff also organize weekend trunk shows featuring selected artists and their work. These trunk shows provide an opportunity for artists to share their work in a store gallery setting as well as allow artists to directly meet and speak with store customers.
I will definitely be bringing my out-of-town friends/guests to the LA County Store for a special, souvenir made in the city of Angels.
Freehand Gallery - an LA Icon in Contemporary Craft September 08 2014
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Freehand Gallery, a Los Angeles institution in contemporary, american craft. The gallery is located on famous West Third Street and was one of the first memorable stores I visited when I moved to LA over 20 years ago.
porcelain artist leslie rosdal
fiber artist michael rohde
Owner Carol Sauvion started Freehand "to offer the finest craft." She has survived and prospered despite critics' initial warnings against selling "handmade" functional craft. Savion's business philosophy is simple - "Freehand is a haven where there is only one degree of separation between the maker and the client."
Sauvion and her staff find artists from a variety of sources. Many are found from craft shows, the internet, and from direct artist visits to the gallery. They look for refined craft, and are highly selective in the artists they represent working in the areas of porcelain/ceramics, wood, fiber, and jewelry. I am so honored to have my blocks represented at Freehand among so many well-know artists.
In addition to Freehand Gallery, Sauvion started a non-profit organization, Craft In America, based next door to the gallery. The organization's purpose is " to increase awareness of the fine crafts that are being made in America and the community of people who are dedicated to a life in this unique art form." Craft In America has produced a television series through PBS, written a book on the history of crafts, started a website to provide a place for learning, and now has a study center open to the public.
I visited Craft in America's current exhibition, "Body Conscious" representing fiber artists working in and around the framework of the human body.
Freehand Gallery is indeed a haven for everything in functional, contemporary American craft. And a destination stop for a unique, thoughtful handmade gift.
Trunk Show at Los Angeles County Store August 20 2014
Please join me, Saturday, September 13 for my trunk show at the Los Angeles County Store. I will be showing my "little works of art" from my entire product line including birth year boxes, real wood cards, wood pendant necklaces, and much more.
The LA County Store is the only shop dedicated exclusively to fine goods made in Los Angeles. It's the perfect place to find a unique gift. The store also has a cool, three-dimensional map on the wall which pinpoints where all of the products are made.
My Top 5 Local Businesses Who Support Creatives July 25 2014
I'm so lucky to live in a large metropolitan area which supports creative making. As a maker, I have many local businesses that provide resources, classes, and networking for people like me. If I want to learn or try out a new craft (such as hand-weaving) there are studios and classes to do just that. If I need to network with other creative-types, there are groups to that as well. I remember just a few years ago, none of these resources or businesses even existed. Well, there were very limited - such as those classes held in the large crafty chain stores but they never seemed original or unique to me.
These local businesses (many of which are women-owned) provide workspace studios, specialized equipment and teaching to learn whatever craft or technique you want to try or master. So, here are my top 5 local businesses who support creatives (in no particular order):
Creative Outlet Studios - The studio was borne out of a desire to provide broader access to quality and unique equipment and supplies and is owned by a Mother/Daughter team. The studio is a fully equipped creative workspace supporting many mediums and workshops in an inspiring community environment.
Academy of Handmade - The goal of the academy is to strengthen new and existing handmade businesses by connecting the handmade business community through meaningful relationships. The academy sponsors an annual awards ceremony for handmade businesses and provides ongoing workshops and events to support everything handmade.
Makery Craft Co. - Aims to bring together a community that fosters handmade and D.I.Y. culture by providing affordable access to a creative education. Located in Anaheim, CA.
Peoples Pop-Up - Owner Philip Graulty created People’s Pop-Up to connect teaching artisans with local businesses and bring DIY craft classes to the masses. Their full schedule of workshops has just begun and many classes are held at local venues throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Unique Space - A fresh, modern workplace in downtown LA's Arts District and home to innovation, creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship! They offer a monthly event calendar featuring every type of class from chocolate-making to front-end web development.
What local businesses support your creative inclinations? Let us know, we'd love to share.
Christmas in July? July 14 2014
Christmas in July? Yes, even with the hot July weather, I've been thinking, designing and creating new products for the holidays. It's actually a nice diversion from summer to start planning for the holidays. I brought out my vintage ribbons, metallic paints and wood from their storage shelves and put them front and center on my work table to start the inspiration process.
I see more and brighter colors for the holidays, with touches of metallics. I'm very visual, so I need to play with mixing paint colors and actually combine different bright and pastel colors to evaluate contrasting pairings and combination options. I've also decided to expand my ornaments product line with a new tree design.
Here's a sneak peak of a few of my prototypes. More images of the new products to come shortly and I'll begin pre-ordering many of these products in the early fall.
We're Showing at Renegade Craft LA July 03 2014
We’re excited to announce we'll be taking part in Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles showing our products through our grownup site's Twine booth. Renegade is one of the best indie craft venues serving the DIY craft community. Everything at their fairs reflects a commitment to showcase the best and brightest in indie craft and design. Renegade Craft has always been known for highly curated vendors, but you’ll also find local artisanal food and drink, original art installations (created just for the fair by hand-selected artists), interactive workshops, great music, good vibes and more.
The next LA Renegade market pops up in a few weeks - on Saturday and Sunday, July 26+27 in downtown LA’s Grand Park (200 N. Grand Park Ave.), a vibrant outdoor gathering place. The majestic views from Grant Park extend to such LA icons as the City Hall and the Music Center. The Market will be open from 11 am – 6 pm both days, and you can find us on Broadway, between Hill and 1st Streets. There is easy public transportation access from the metro train lines.
We’ll have wide range of products to see live at the show. If you’re interested in seeing something specific, please let us know at hello[at]stacywonghandmade.com.
Yes, Independence Hall is in California July 01 2014
Yes, Independence Hall is in California. Thanks to Walter Knott (of the Knott's Berry Farm family) and his love of American history. In 1966, Mr. Knott built the only replica of Independence Hall to give families the opportunity to visit the hall on the west coast.
My family and I visited the hall for the first time last week. We didn't even know such an exact replica existed (even down to the 140,000 handmade bricks) until my son's American History teacher suggested a visit. The hall was definitely a step back in history. As we walked around the building and toured its rooms, it was hard to believe that both the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were both signed by all of America's founding fathers in this hall in Philadelphia.
"The authenticity of the replica required a tremendous amount of effort and collaboration with Independence Hall experts in Philadelphia. Sketches, historical records, blueprints, photographs and measurements were used throughout the planning period. The interior paint colors had to be determined by removing numerous coats of paint in the Philadelphia original. Even Knott’s Liberty Bell is an exact copy of the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia." with the bell crack duplication requiring the work of dry ice and a torch.
Throughout the year, the hall offers educational presentations and historical reenactments, all free of charge. For more information, please visit the Knott's website.
Blog Coming Soon June 16 2014
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