Have you ever wondered about the process behind the creation of some of your most treasured handmade possessions? The artisan goods you find at craft shows and markets often have a whole lot of heart and soul weaved into them. More importantly, there is an artist with a whole lot of heart and soul who has crafted each piece to be loved.
Do you have any such treasures passed on to you, or a few you’ve purchased? And do you feel differently about buying something from someone who you can meet with, talk with, or just learn more about before purchasing their work?
I recently had the opportunity to spend the day with One of a Kind Online Shop artisan, Jenna Rose. On a beautiful bright and cold February morning, I drove down the windy road of highway 7 from Ottawa to the Frontenac County region, where Jenna’s gorgeous textile studio is located. Jenna and her husband, a local cheesemaker, have made their home on a picturesque rural property that overlooks the tranquil Mississippi River.
Jenna, a passionate artist and textile designer, kindly opened her studio to me so I could have a behind-the-scenes look at her work. Her studio is spacious, inviting, and so full of light; I immediately felt a surge of creativity! Having worked in the fashion industry for several years, I was eager to learn more about small batch textile designing and printing. I was curious to observe her process from start to finish. I knew I was set for a real treat and learning experience.
Jenna founded her studio back in 2006, and using natural materials like organic cotton, linen, and hemp, she creates hand painted and naturally dyed textiles inspired by her surroundings. That afternoon, Jenna walked me through her design process, the steps of printing fabric, heat pressing, sewing and the overall production of one of the items in her shop, the travel pouch. This pouch is perfect for knitting supplies, makeup brushes and of course, dolls and small toys; I had my daughter in mind when we were making this handbag as Abigail loves to carry her dolls and trinkets around from room to room! Also, with my daughter in mind, I chose the “Green Homestead” print for the travel pouch Jenna and I made together, which fits perfectly with her bedroom’s floral and fauna theme.
First, we began by picking out the pattern, then screen printing the textile with water based pigment, afterwards we heat sealed it, measured and cut the fabric, then sewed the pouch, and lastly added a leather pull by using a rivet press machine. The whole undertaking was a lot of fun, educational and in the end, incredibly rewarding.
Without a doubt there is something very special about the authenticity of artisans and their crafts. Getting to spend time with Jenna was a unique experience as it should be since that is the very essence of artisans – their uniqueness! Thank you Jenna and One of a Kind Online Shop for the wonderful opportunity which allowed me to create and be an “artisan” for one day!
See her products, along with the one we designed together here – and enter to win* a $100 Gift Certificate to One of a Kind Online Shop below. The winner will be able to shop the Jenna Rose collection and more at the virtual artisan market that is the One of a Kind Online Shop!
*This giveaway is open to Canadian Residents who have reached the age of majority. Giveaway ends March 7th 2017 at midnight EST. This piece is in collaboration with One of a Kind Online Shop. As always, all opinions are personal.