Artist Interview with Darrien Segal August 15, 2015 23:04 2 Comments

Introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business
My name is Darrien and I create sterling silver and 14k gold wildcrafted jewelry. Wildcrafting is the act of gathering plants to use in the making of food and medicines. I collect natural objects I find in the woods and gardens of Rhode Island, and the beaches of Southwest Florida where some of my family live. I first started casting natural things while studying jewelry and metalsmithing at RISD. I took a lost wax casting class that was for non-jewelry majors where I carved shapes in wax and then cast them. The next semester I wanted to make a piece of jewelry with the actual mangrove pods that I had brought back from Florida but the pods were too fragile to work with. I cast them in bronze and patinate them to look brown like the actual pods. It took another few years for me to develop my line of wildcrafted jewelry but this necklace is where it all started.

What’s your studio like?
I used to share a studio space in the Rumford Baking Soda Building (where the little red can of Rumford Baking Soda used to be made) in East Providence, along with three other jewelers and former classmates. I enjoyed sharing inspiration and creativity with others, but when the building was converted into condominiums I moved my studio into the dining room of my apartment. It's a cozy space and the windows look out into my neighbor's beautiful and colorful garden, where at least one of my four cats can be found watching the birds and squirrels.

Do you have a favorite tool or piece of equipment in the studio?
My favorite tool is a pair of pliers that was handed down to me from a teacher who received them from someone else. I would love to know the stories they could tell. They are small and fit perfectly in my hand, and I don't think I go a day in studio without using them at least once. The pliers are in the tattoo on my wrist.

What's your creative process, how do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me. A walk in the woods with friends will inevitably find me lagging behind as I take pictures of tree bark or pick up little treasures that have dropped from above. Eating dinner out one night led to a whole collection of lobster antenna jewelry, from rings to bangles. I'm always noticing things that have texture, and trying to figure out how they will look and feel once they have been converted into metal. I make a mold of something that can withstand the process or burn out the actual object with the lost wax casting method. Once I have an element in metal, I mold that and cast a few dozen pieces, and then use them to figure how they will hang or link together.

Anything you'd like to add about the importance of buying handmade?
I think it is important to buy handmade because it supports artists and enables them to create fun, beautiful, and unique things that enrich everyone's lives. I feel happy when I look around my apartment and see all the handmade things I have acquired over the years. Handmade items remind me of the creator, the person I was with when I bought them, or the person who gave me a gift. My home is like an interactive journal of memories.

Little known fact about you?
I lived on a boat until I was ten, sailing around the South Pacific, Mediterranean, and the Caribbean with my parents. The first question everyone asks me is if I was born on the boat--but I was actually born in a hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. I have visited 30 US states, lived and studied in Europe, visited China, and traveled to the Caribbean many times, but I have not had the chance to go back to Hawaii.

Big Gifts from Little Rhody July 19, 2015 22:04

We love our home in Providence, RI, and want to share it with you. Are you visiting for the weekend, leaving the city after years here, or just want to find a print of that perfect PVD view for your living room? You're in luck, we've got lots of Rhode Island mementos made by local artists.

Manchester St. Power Station Print, Secret Door Projects

Providence Postcard, Albertine Press

401 T Shirt, Bit & Little Bit

Providence Notecard, Kristin Crane

Rhode Island Pin, DA Metals Jewelry

Rhode Island Onesie, Bit & Little Bit

I Am Providence Print, Alec Thibodeau

Friday Interview with Rachel Robinson of Robinson Press June 19, 2015 08:06

Introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business.
My name is Rachel Robinson, I'm a stationery designer and a letterpress printer. Robinson Press was founded in 2010 as a custom design and print shop dedicated to creating timeless pieces to announce and commemorate life's most special occasions.

Can you describe your studio?
My studio is not neat - books of paper samples, ribbon swatches and Pantone books are never where they're supposed to be. My bookshelf is overstuffed with books of botanical prints and antique typography samples, and there are three shelves with wedding invitation jobs in progress. My Chandler and Price Platen Press is downstairs from the office, and hangs out with an antique challenge paper cutter. They're both cast iron monsters that laugh at me when I try clumsily to make them do their jobs.

What's your creative process, how do you find inspiration?
I love designing invitations for weddings the most, each couple comes to me with a dream in mind of how they will announce their wedding, but no idea how to make that dream a reality on paper. I love to look through old books and prints and wallpaper patterns for that perfect motif or monogram or tree etching that feels like the right spark on which to base the rest of the design.

Can you explain your printing process?
My designs are done in illustrator and then polymer plates are made for each color of the design from the digital files. Once the plates arrive from the plate maker, each ink color must be mixed by hand and then the press is inked up and ready to go. Aligning the plate to the paper, and getting the impression pressure just right takes almost as much time as doing a run of 100 pieces - it's a finicky business.

Anything you'd like to add about the importance of buying handmade?
Handmade goods are pieces of art in their own right. The taste, skill and passion of the person making these goods become part of the finished piece, they are that intangible quality that makes an object come to life. Buying handmade helps to keep craftsmanship alive, helps to keep the knowledge flowing from one generation to the next, and gives us all hope that the goods of today and the future don't have to be bland, common and lifeless.

Guilty pleasure you'd like to share?
The Fluffernutter.

Everyday is Caturday June 14, 2015 23:34

Whiskers, kitty, puss, tiger -- whatever you call your cat, it’s clear our artists and customers are fond of felines. We’ve rounded up our favorite items that make purrfect gifts for cat ladies and gents, and even treats for your furry friends, too. No cat is too big, too cute, or too sparkly for Craftland.

Art Prints, Ryan Berkley

Women’s Tee, Red Prairie Press

Handsome Kitty & Crystal Pillows, Pretty Snake

Space Kitty Tee, Pinecone + Chickadee

Cat Mug with Lid, Lucky Monkey

Felted Barrettes and Brooches, Migration Goods

Block Prints, Meredith Stern

Catnip, Masionwares

Found that perfect something you think is the cat’s meow but can't make it to the store? That's OK. Give us a call at 401.272.4285 and we can ship the order to you. Cat got your tongue? We are happy to receive emails, too:

Father's Day Gift Guide June 14, 2015 15:49

Looking for the perfect gift for pops? Of course you are. We've got a lot more than just ties for dad. Whether he’s into dapper accessories or locally printed art, you’ll find the best ever gift for dad.

Circuit Board Cufflinks, Circuit Breaker Labs

Printed Wallet, Shara Porter

H.P. Lovecraft Print, Alec Thibodeau

Bicycle Gear Clocks,

Whale T-Shirt, Gnome Enterprises

Father’s Day Cards
Two Trick Pony

Paper parasol Press

Shower and Summertime Funtime Gifts May 25, 2015 19:41

Summer, the OTHER gift giving season – baby showers, wedding showers, house warming parties, garden parties and more. We know you have a busy summer lined up. While we can’t help you bake the cake or peel the potatoes for your crowd pleasing potato salad, we can help you bring the most sparkly, fantastic gift.

The most stylish baby gifts
Baby spork and spoon set, Beehive Handmade. Lead-free pewter for a happy baby and mommy.

Keep all the babies on your list clothed in the cutest onsies. We have dozens of options, including several that show off your Rhode Island pride.

Fancy and functional gifts for housewarmings and garden parties
Tea Towels and Herb Marker Set, Girls Can Tell

Cherrywood Utensils, Jonathan’s Spoons

Craftland highly encourages sending snail mail. We have scoured the country for high quality printed and letterpress cards and invites. Why not mail a memorable card instead of sending an email?

Wedding Cards, Parrot Design Studio

Party & Shower Invites, ilee Papergoods

Any questions? Stop by the shop and we can help you hand pick an unforgettable gift.

Gifts for Grads & Travel Buffs May 18, 2015 21:29

Graduation is hard work. Don’t all those papers, essays, multiple choice tests and sleepless nights deserve a gift? We think they do. Here are few suggestions for the grads in your life.

Remember Rhode Island
We hate to see you go, but if graduation means packing up and leaving town, we have lovely pieces to help you remember your time here fondly.

Rhode Island Print, Paper Parasol Press

Laser Cut Cuff Bracelet of City Street Maps, Joyo

RIPTA Bangle Bracelet, With Care Jewelry

Go West, or East or South
Taking off to cross the border or an ocean post -graduation? We hope you document your adventures on paper, as well as on Instagram. Here’s how:

Map Journal, Kristin Crane

Kristin also compiled great tips on how to put together the essential and portable travel journal kit.
Happy travels, everyone!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide May 04, 2015 18:27

The countdown to Mother’s Day is upon us.  While every mom appreciates a hand drawn card, why not go all out for the woman who goes all out for you.

As extra fun, we are making the store even more fanciful. On Saturday May 9 and Sunday May 10 we are providing shoppers with MOMosas (otherwise known as mimosas to the non-mom crowd).

Assorted and colorful jewelry from Patricia Locke

Fashionable and a garden enthusiast? This Brooch can be planted after wearing.

Mamma and baby bird necklaces from Figs and Ginger

Mom not a green thumb? Why not choose these colorful felted cacti? They never need water.

Mamma Bear shirts from Maisonwares

Let mom show off her state pride with pins and necklaces from DA Metals

And don’t forget a card, mom will thank you!

It’s Pinata Time at the Cinco de Mayo Block Party April 29, 2015 20:57

This year Cinco de Mayo comes a few days early in Providence. Join Craftland and the rest of the Westminster Street block on Saturday, May 2 for tacos, festivities, and of course, the annual Craftland Pinata.

The Pinata busting happens at 2PM, and those that join the fun will be rewarded with candy and gift cards from local businesses.

Looking for something a little less fragile to celebrate the holiday? We have a sweet-as-sugar skull measuring spoon set from The Tim Woodsman.

SPRING!!!! Finally!! Application is live! March 25, 2015 13:36

Well friends, we made it through a seemingly endless winter.  Hello Spring, you couldn't be more welcome!  And, just like the first hints of green popping up, our application has finally come out of hibernation!  So, if you've been hunkered down creating glorious new things, and would like to be a part of Craftland, apply now!

Craftland is made up of both a large, month-long holiday Show featuring the work of more than 160 artists, and a fabulous year-round Shop selling a smaller selection of carefully curated work.

If you are interested in selling at our year-round shop, please submit the below form to our curators.  We absolutely love seeing fresh new things!  To be considered, you must fill out this form. Please have one web-quality (not print-quality) image in jpg form, as well as your website address ready.  Ready? GO! 

We do not accept samples or submissions dropped off in the store.

If your work is approved, we will contact you via email within 3 weeks. Please note: because of the large volume of submissions we receive, we can only contact approvals. 

Applications for the Craftland Holiday Show (which is a separate process) will be available online from August 1st - 31st, 2015. 

Thank you for your interest in Craftland!

Cut and paste this:

Spring Inspiration January 10, 2015 11:14

As of today, there are 69 days until spring. Don’t let that send you back under the covers. For those of you that enjoy the snow, by all means, put on a parka, go out, ski down a mountain, make a snow angel, but for the rest of us, here’s inspiration to keep us warm until late March.

Enamel Bracelets, DA Metals

Harmony Winters, Wildflower Necklace (small $68, Large $85)

Two Trick Pony, Assorted Prints ($16)

Girls Can Tell, Tea Towels ($17)

Lucky Monkey, Ceramic Pots

New Year’s Survival Guide December 29, 2014 23:51

While oft overrated, but at its best filled with sparkle and fizz, here are a few items to help you usher in a wildly successful New Year.

Don't carry around a naked bottle. Use this set of 3 Booze Bags by Ladyfingers Letterpress, $7

Party in a Bag by Scraps of Paper, $6

Assorted Cards

Get your soak on January 1 with Bath Soak by Biggs & Featherbelle, $20

Keep yourself organized in style with calenders by Spoon & Sailor ($28) and Albertine Press ($25)

Extra Amazing Treat Yo Self Gift Guide December 22, 2014 22:48

Amazing Friends of Craftland,

This is our last gift guide before Santa comes to town (here’s to hoping he doesn’t get stuck in YOUR chimney this year). We know you’ve been busy with shopping, prepping, and all around holiday craze. Are the gifts purchased, wrapped with extra glitter and ribbon? Cookies baked and frosted with the right dusting of sprinkles? Good, now you can sit down and treat yourself to something nice, you deserve it.

Handbags, Little Man

Assorted Prints, Meredith Stern

Necklaces & Earrings, Meghan Patrice Riley

Hand Felted Scarves, smARTWORKS and Cross Body Bags, Shara Porter

Friday Artist Interview with Sara Longworth December 18, 2014 22:40

Introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business
My name is Sara Longworth. I live in Rutland Vermont with my husband John and our Boston-Malt Terrier, Matteo. I have been crafting all my life, but started working as a full time artist two years ago when we moved to Vermont. I spend my time making torn paper collages and felted accessories.  My felt work is what you will find at the Craftland show this year. I love to garden and that is why botanical themes often make their way into my felting projects, such as the potted cacti and toadstools.

Can you describe your studio?
My studio is in an extra bedroom in our house that doubles as our guestroom. Its a bright and cheery space. I work on a secretary's desk that I painted when I was a teenager, and a folding table. My wool and tools fill the shelves on one wall, and I have started to decorate an inspiration wall with artwork from local artists.

The felted cacti look so real, can you explain how you make them so life-like?
From a distance people often mistake my felted torch cacti for the real thing.  But instead of being prickly they are oh-so soft to the touch!  I get them to look like that by lightly felting a thin layer of yellow "fuzz" on the cacti to imitate the needles. But the best part about the felted cacti plants is that they don't need water or sunshine! So they make a great gift for someone with a "brown thumb", or for an office mate's cubicle!

How did you become involved with Craftland?
A few years ago, when we lived in Worcester, MA, I made my crafts part time.  I always heard about what a great place Craftland was, but never had the opportunity to check it out.  When I started crafting full time, I decided I should apply. I am so excited to be a part of this year's show! The work I've seen online so far from  the other artists is just amazing!

Guilty pleasure you'd like to share?
I like to keep the TV on while I'm working, and I just love Let's Make a Deal. Its really corny, but I remember watching the original version whenever I was home sick from school as a child.

Super Sweet Gift Guide for Kids December 16, 2014 21:18

No battery is ever needed for the kiddo gifts we carry. From sassy onsies and plush toys to bestselling books, these items will bring a smile to the faces of children and parents alike.

Tiny Octopus Plush Rattle, Phil Barbato

Lead Free Pewter Utensils, Beehive Handmade

The Steadfast Tin Soldier & Telephone, Illustrated by Jen Corace

Burp Cloth Set, Hoosier Magnolia

Chinese Zodiac Blocks, Stacy Wong

Assorted Baby Onsies

Friday Interview with Liz Novak of With Care Jewelry December 11, 2014 22:31

Introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business.
My name is Liz Novak and, while I am originally from New Jersey, I love living in Providence, RI. I create a jewelry line called With Care Jewelry. In addition to jewelry, I have over 10 years of professional sewing experience and a BA in drawing. I really, really like little dogs.

Can you describe your studio?
My studio is in the 3rd floor attic of our apartment. It has 2 windows and about 50 square feet where I can stand up straight.

What's your creative process, how do you find inspiration?
I spend a lot of time looking at things. I love to be nosy and check out small details. Clothes, cars, buildings, plants. I don't care much for gems or designing something of outrageous material worth -- just things that I find pleasing. Previously, I've worked mostly outward, expanding interesting details into a full line of jewelry stuffs. Lately, I've been trying to think more broadly so that I can present a total collection all at once instead of a necklace here, a ring there.

Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever made?
I was a real entrepreneur and had all the girls in my 3rd grade class snapping up my seed bead necklaces. That's the first time I can remember the sublime marriage of craft-for-money in my life.

How did you become involved with Craftland?
I visited my first Craftland show back in 2006 when it was still a pop up. Being a participant is kind of dream of mine. This year’s application was dripping with hidden emotion!

What do you feel is important about buying handmade? I cherish my handmade items far more greatly than ones in my life bought from... wherever else. I'm an object person with a house full of stuff. I love to look around and see things that have been made by hand, especially by my friends (often times, the process of buying a piece also becomes the process of making a friend). When I look down and realize that I am decked out in clothes and accessories made by people I know, it's an incredibly warm and loving feeling.

Guilty pleasure?
I was raised Catholic so I'm pretty sure I still feel that all pleasure is considered guilty.

Super Sparkly Jewelry Gift Guide December 10, 2014 22:13

We carry the work of dozens of jewelers, with plenty of styles to ensure you find the perfect gift for that special someone on your list, and also go home with a little bling for yourself. Here is a small sampling of customer favorites.

Darrien Segal, Gold Mangrove Earrings

Figs & Ginger, Walnut and Sterling Whale Necklace

Nancy Reid Carr, Aluminum Cuff Bracelet

Joyo, Laser Cut Necklace

Dahlia Kanner Studio, Assorted Silver Rings

K.O’Brien Jewelry, Double Dot Necklace

See something you want but can't make it to the store? Give us a call and we can ship to you: (401) 272-4285.

Staff Pick Tuesday - Jen December 09, 2014 19:41

Our resident illustrator extraordinaire, Jen Corace, shares her feelings and her current fave items.

The adorable plush beet by Felt Like It has an adorable face!

Grizzly Bar soap by Biggs & Featherbelle smells and feels fantastic.

Need a 2015 Calendar? This one by Katharine Watson has spectacular patterns, and you know, will tell you what day it is.

Holiday Gift Guide – The Office Swap December 05, 2014 20:57

Secret Santa, Yankee swap, office gift exchange – whatever the December gift giving is called in your office we’ve got you covered. All these gifts are under $15, handmade, and something that your co-worker will actually use and enjoy.

Refillable Sticky Note Pad, IF’N Books & Marks, $9.50

Assorted Notepads, Boygirlparty, $8.00

Felted coffee Mug Sleeves, Made in Lowell, $15.00

Naturally Scented Soy Candles, The Midnight Gardener, $12.00

Quote Magnets by Ricky Katowicz $6.00 and Monster Magnets by Fishcakes, $6.00

Friday Interview with Danielle of DaVine Jewelry December 04, 2014 21:10 1 Comment

Introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business
Hello! I’m Danielle, and my business is DaVine Jewelry. I make delicate jewelry inspired by nature, a passion that I got to explore in my senior project at RISD and still find endless inspiration in! Within a year of graduating, I started my 6 year stint working in the costume/fashion jewelry industry as a designer. It was fun for a while, but after some time I began to feel like my heart wasn't really in the work, and I started to miss making things that were meaningful to me. I left that industry, rebuilt my studio, started creating my own work again, and I haven’t looked back!

Can you describe your studio?

Right now my studio is split in two between our spare bedroom and our basement. I keep my kiln for firing my metal clay work in the basement, but I do the majority of my work in my upstairs studio. That room is my haven, the green walls are covered in images that I love along with lots of shadow boxes and display cases full of various nature objects I’ve been collecting since I was a kid. I have my always messy work bench on one end close to the windows (so I can look out at the neighborhood birds and cats), and I do my jewelry photography on the other end on an antique secretary’s desk that opens up to just the right size for my light tent.

Do you have a favorite metalsmithing tool?

Tools are very precious to a metalsmith, and it’s hard to pick just one favorite! They become an extension of your body when you’re working, and if well cared for can last a lifetime. I do however have some old needle files that hold sentimental value. My great uncle was a toolmaker in his day, and when he passed away my grandfather collected all of the amazing needle files his brother had kept and gave them to me knowing I would put them to good use.

What's your creative process, how do you find inspiration?
As I mentioned, my main inspiration comes from nature. Taking a walk somewhere outside (in the woods, on a beach, or even just in my backyard) or working in my garden are some of my favorite ways to recharge creatively. I was raised with a great appreciation and love for the natural world, and I’ve been collecting found nature objects for as long as I can remember, being inspired by a visit to RISD’s amazing Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in elementary school.

I like to hold these things in my hands (leaves, branches, broken shells, etc.), inspecting their textures, forms, and details, playing around with them until an idea strikes me. Sometimes I’ll use the method of lost wax casting and metal fabrication to replicate the objects, or, lately, I’ve been using metal clay to experiment with the textures of leaves.

Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you made?
Haha, one of the first pieces of jewelry I can distinctly remember making was a pair of earrings with some tiny iridescent pink heart beads when I was in 3rd grade. I was pretty proud of them, I think it was the first time I bent wire with pliers. Luckily my work has since grown and evolved!

What do you like best about creating wearable works of art?
This quote from Georgia O’Keeffe has stuck with me and inspired me for the past 16 or so years: “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

I love to do the same thing with my jewelry- to show people the details and beauty I see in the natural world, allowing them to carry these objects with them as wearable sculptures, reminding them of things often overlooked and taken for granted in everyday life.

How did you become involved with Craftland?

My friend Katy Westcott of Katrinkles told me about Craftland back when it was still a holiday pop-up shop (Katy has introduced me to many awesome things in life, also including crocheting and German food). I’ve been in love with the shop since then, and have secretly/not-so-secretly hoped to someday have work in Craftland for years!

Guilty pleasure you'd like to share?

I have a penchant for TV shows about ghosts and hauntings, the cheesier the better. I became fascinated with reading about ghosts when I was a kid, and even though I’ve always had a vivid imagination and scare easily I just couldn’t stop myself from reading about and watching that kind of stuff.

Staff Pick Tuesday – Norma December 02, 2014 22:09

Norma, a horticulturalist, is the newest addition to team Craftland. Her pick of the week is this floral print from Renee Garner – featuring a purple passionflower (maypop). The store is stocked with a variety of garden-inspired prints from Renee.

Friday Interview with Noёl Margaret of Wanderlust Woolves November 28, 2014 12:00 1 Comment

Introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business.
Hi! I’m Noёl, founder of Wanderlust Woolves! I design and knit miniature animals inspired by natural history. I observe, both living and mounted taxidermy specimens, in person, in books, and on the internet too! I also draw a lot and this is where every single animal I knit begins – pencil on paper. Drawing has always been my foundation in creating and it’s something that has translated nicely into the process of knitting for me. Each medium informs the other, especially during the designing phase of my knit beasts.

Can you describe your studio?

My studio is in a loft-like bedroom in my house with lots of natural light. It overlooks the front yard, street and neighborhood, so sometimes I get to do people and animal watching. It’s a space I also share with my husband and daughter.

I have everything I need to create my faux taxidermy beasts: a small dresser filled with yarn, assorted by weight; a rolling shelf with packing / shipping materials, yarn swift, ball winder and stuffing; a shelf with specialty yarns, works-in-progress, experiments and orders ready to list on Etsy or to Ship; a box with display and photo props including animal bones, stones, antique books, odd trinkets and shadow boxes I’ve collected over the years. I also have a “Travel Studio” which is an oversized basket with a handle where I keep my needles, hooks, yarn bowl and threads so I can easily bring an in progress piece with me wherever I go! Luckily, I work in a medium that can be transported relatively easily.

What's your creative process, how do you find inspiration?
I can be a little loosey-goosey when it comes to an established pattern of creating, but this is typically how I get a new design going: I research my chosen animal (observe it in person if possible, look at pictures, read about where it lives, its diet, the perception people have of it – yeah, I know it’s a little nerdy) and then make some sketches. Next, I get my needles and some scrap yarn and knit a prototype, writing down EVERYTHING I do so I can fine-tune or repeat the design again.

I am obsessed with natural history – it’s totally amazing to me and has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little kid. I have collected animal bones, stones, interesting leaves and other natural objects since I was 5 years old…or at least this is the earliest I can remember. I grew up my whole life with animals – domestic, wild and preserved. For me, nature is the ultimate source of inspiration because it’s never stagnant and always awesome, and I mean awesome in the truest sense of the word! 

Is there a story behind how you first created the faux taxidermy sculptures?
Where do I begin?! Well, it’s a long story, so here’s the mini version.

I started making sculptural faux taxidermy things at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design). I worked at The Nature Lab for 3 years, and although I had been drawn to places like it, this was the first time I got to be so close to the specimens, mounts, and soooo much more and it informed my work in ways I didn’t expect. I couldn’t stop drawing the animals and other natural objects you can find at The Nature Lab. Eventually I started using clay and fibers to explore plant and animal forms and played with making stoles from faux fur for skeletons to wear while also making odd outfits for the taxidermy to wear! So, the interplay of people wearing animals and animals wearing human-made things grew on me. I ended my Senior year at RISD with a thesis show that explored dead animals and how people seemed to either be completely repulsed by them or found them to be beautiful.

After I graduated, I moved back to my home town and began making a body of work that was strictly of animal heads – these were drawings and soft sculptures. And, even though it took quite a few years after this, I started knitting the faux taxidermy sculptures and that was that. Now, I dream about knitting animal heads when I’m sleeping and doodle ideas for what’s next when I can’t be knitting!    

Do you have a favorite natural history museum or exhibition?
This is tough! I love so many natural history museums and specimens, but I think my favorite exhibit is The Hall of Biodiversity at The American Museum of Natural History. It’s pretty amazing and beautifully put together -- it’s worth the trip! My favorite single taxidermy specimen, however, resides at The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab! There is a small bunny with wings in a glass box with silver tape along the edges, or at least that’s how it was when I worked there. I love the whimsical nature of the winged bunny and how it beckons me to think on the sometimes unbelievable things we observe as well as the things we think we see in the wild. Of course this delicate creature is not actually a real animal we find in nature, but in 100 years, who knows! This little winged lovie will be one of the more than 20 taxidermy inspired designs in my book MountedKnits, a project I’m currently funding via Kickstarter until 12/22.

Who taught you how to knit?
Technically, I learned to machine knit first while I was at RISD in 2005. I had attempted to learn to hand knit many times prior to this – my mom and a few different friends tried to teach me, but it just didn’t make sense to me. Well, after I learned machine knitting everything clicked and I started hand knitting in 2006 and I haven’t stopped! So, I guess a knitting machine and books taught me to knit…weird, isn’t it?

How did you become involved with Craftland?
I learned about Craftland from my sister, Criss Ellen, who lives in RI. I had moved back home to Upstate, NY by this time so I checked it out online. A number of years back now, I applied to be in the Holiday Show with the yarns I was spinning. Since that first time working with Craftland a lot changed in my life; I went to grad school, had my daughter, Stella, chose to stay home and focus on child-rearing, and in the last 18 months really busted my butt to re-focus on making and in doing so founded Wanderlust Woolves. I knew I wanted to work with a shop and I had such a great first experience with Craftland so many years ago that I decided to apply again and was thrilled when my work was accepted this past summer!

Guilty pleasure you'd like to share?
Black Licorice … yes, really, it’s the most delicious treat I, and I love it! 

Staff Pick Tuesday: Kristin A. November 25, 2014 08:20

Hey folks, I’m back at my first love, Craftland, for the holiday season and am excited to share my faves from the store.

I adore this print from Yelena Bryksenkova. She makes a cozy companion with those delightful shoes and dainty tea pour. Maybe we should form a tea club, are you in?

This holiday card from Spoon & Sailor echoes my sentiment this time of year. It’s cold, I’m a bit of a grumpy owl. It’s a way to say “Oh Merry, Merry” without too much holiday sweetness.

Don't these bumpy bangles from Dahlia Kanner make you want to get fancy? A little sparkle goes a long way.

See something you want but can't make it to the store? Give us a call and we can ship to you: (401) 272-4285.

Celebrate Thanksgiving in Style - Pie Optional November 19, 2014 22:04

Heading to a friend’s house this Thanksgiving? Why not bring a small gift they can use instead of another pie? Ok, maybe bring a pie, too, but these stylish host/hostess gifts will ensure you get invited back next year.

Reusable lunch bags and wine totes by Girls Can Tell

Lead-free pewter measuring spoons by Beehive Handmade

Recipe cards by Boy Girl Party

Can't make it to the store to grab one of these gifts? Give us a call and we can ship them to you: (401) 272-4285.

And speaking of pie, did you know:
-The first pie crusts, called coffins, were created in the middle ages to evenly cook and carry meat
-Americans repeatedly choose apple as their favorite pie
-Apple pie likely originated in England, not America