Happy Halloween!!!

The leaves are crunchy underfoot, the wind is blowing cool air, and the smell... Oh, that perfect autumn smell! It's shaping up for a perfect Halloween here in western New York, and we hope you have a spooky weekend!
I love this charming, dark little film, courtesy of the New Zealand Book Council, and I hope it helps get you in the Halloween mood!

Happy Weekend!

Vendor Spotlight: Lori Hutchinson

Lori Hutchinson is a woman of many talents. Watercolor, embroidery, printmaking, zines, you name it, she does it! Stop in to our show in November and see just how sweet she is too!

Where are you and your studio located?
My studio is a corner of my apartment in Toronto, Canada.

You work with so many various mediums. What made you choose them?
I have been drawing and painting in one form or another for as long as I can remember. I first tried watercolours in a week long summer class when I was 12, and I've been exploring it on and off since then. I learned embroidery from a book about 2 years ago, and I'm still learning more. I like to try any medium I can.

What are your current influences?
My current influences are nature, textiles, design, nostalgia, and all of the artists and illustrators I follow.

What is your favorite part about what you make?
My favourite thing about watercolours is how flexible they are, how quickly they dry, and the unexpected results you can achieve. My favourite thing about embroidery is how deceptively easy it is, the tactile nature of it, and that you can do it anywhere.

What other cool stuff do you have coming up?

I will be contributing to the Zines edition of the PikaPackage, which I believe will be available some time in November!

In the meantime, fin her some of work for sale in her shop and a gallery of everything on her site.

2010 Vendor Spotlight: Vicki Hartman

What can we say? We are all just smitten with with Vicki Hartman. Every year she brings a different focus and sophistication to her work and this year is no exception. I can't wait for you all to see her amazing wall hangings!

Where are you and your studio located?

I work out of my home in the South Wedge neighborhood in Rochester, NY. My attic is where I work with wet clay and then down to the basement I go to bisque fire, glaze and fire again. It means a lot of shlepping heavy clay up and down stairs, but I am so delighted to get to work out of my home.

How did you get started in clay?
I started working with ceramics seriously in college in 1996. I was originally attracted to clay for its pleasing tactile qualities, I love the feel of it in all its stages and how forgiving it can be; soft and manipulatable. I grew to love it more when I really started to appreciate how ubiquitous it is, how almost everyone has some connection to it. Its universality and inclusivity is meaningful, it is accessible and not precious, we have all touched it and we all use it daily.

What are influences your work the most?
I am conceptually influenced by human relationships. Also by human interaction with landscape and architecture. I am inspired by abstract expressionist painters, and contemporary ceramic artists like Jun Kaneko and Mary Fisher.

What is your favorite part about working in clay?

The part where I let go of everything and turn the kiln on and hope for the best. After hours of firing and then cooling, I get to open the kiln and see what happened. That letting go after so much involvement is always a little hard and exciting, it is a kind of surrender, which for me always feels relaxing and tense at the same time.

If you happened to be in the Syracuse, NY are this past weekend, perhaps you saw Vicki at the Salt City Urban Art + Craft Market. You can also find her work here and here.

Friday Favorites: Miniature Rhino

Miniature Rhino may be my absolute, favorite shop on Etsy. Embroidery, vintage paper and mini treasures... all of the very best things. That I can imagine, at least! Gosh, even the product photography is stunning.

But it's these stationery sets, in their amazingly simple beauty, that almost take my breath away. Vintage papers, randomly selected and sewn together with one single stitch, all contained in a handmade folder in vintage office-green. I'm actually swooning a little!

Enjoy your weekend, all. Look for more vendor spotlights next week!

2010 Vendor Spotlight: Mani Designs

Today we sit down with Amber Mahler of Mani Designs to talk about jewelry, nature and how the two can be one. Amber casts flowers, leaves and anything "nature" she can get her hands on to make her amazing jewelry.

Where are you and your studio located?
I just moved into a renovated high school in North Carolina from the turn of the century that had flooded and been condemned before a local artist found investors and bought the building. It's so nice to be doing whatever I want to do in a classroom. Plus, there are blackboards! Also, I'm sharing with a potter, we both work with fire on some level, so I think it's going to be a good fit.

How did you get started in jewelry?
I was taking a paper making class at Penland School of Crafts and one of my friends was taking a jewelry class and had bored into a river rock and set it in a silver bezel. I was shocked, I had never seen jewelry like this. I didn't know jewelry could be so interesting and accessible. I had to try it myself. I secretly think, every crafter or perhaps every woman, has an inner jeweler waiting to be let out.

What is influencing you the most lately?

I am currently scouring my new backyard for some. I've been finding a lot of spiders and a few old plant friends that I didn't suspect would be this far south.
Also, I've been reading the Omnivore's Dilemma and he has a daily link on his site that led me to Stefano Mancuso, a wonderful botanist who gave a TED talk about the intelligence of plants.You can find it here.

This has gotten me very excited about my collaborators -- the plants I use in my work.

What is your favorite part about jewelry making?
It never ceases to amaze me when a plant casts successfully into silver. It's a sort of magic I can't seem to get enough of.

Have any special events coming up before Second Storie that you'd like everyone to know about?
Doing a trunk show at one of my favorite stores in San Francisco, Paxton Gate, on October 22nd. I'll also be selling my work at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire that same weekend.

2010 Vendor Spotlight: Bookhou

We are so thrilled to welcome Arounna Khounnoraj from Bookhou as one of our newest vendors. From a beautiful tea towel to a lovely pillow to an incredible linen basket, we know you're going to be as smitten as we are! I know my Christmas list just got a bit longer!

Where are you and your studio located?
Our studio and shop is located in Toronto, Canada. Our building is a combination of home, studio and shop.

did you get started with silkscreen and textile design?
I went to art school and did mostly sculpture work. A few years after I finished school. I did a residency at Harbourfront Craft Studios and was reacquainted with silk-screening and really liked how I can interpret my drawings on textile.

What has been influencing you lately?
My current influence is repetitive patterns found in nature and my urban surroundings.

What is your favorite part about Bookhou?
My favorite part would have to be that I am able to wake up each morning practice my art/craft. I am a real tactile person and the touching and manipulating of the surface and object is very real to me.

What else do you have going on, in addition to Second Storie?

The weekend of Second Storie (November 27 & 28) is the same weekend as the One of a Kind show - a big craft show here in Toronto. I guess I will see how well I can juggle.

Well, we're excited to see! Can't wait for November? Check out all of
Bookhou's incredible wares here, or better yet, stop into their store in Toronto and say hi!

Friday Favorite: enhabiten

For a long time now, I've been quite smitten with these pillows from enhabiten. Austere, almost non-existent color palette, oh-so-delicate embroidery, and the soft, worn-in look of the fabrics, they feel like they've been around for centuries.

2010 Vendor Spotlight: The Fuzzy Bunny

Liz Yockel of The Fuzzy Bunny has been joining us at our show for a few years now, and I think she has successfully gotten each one of us hooked on her amazing bath + body products. We each have our own weakness for her deliciously scented soaps, lip balms lotions. The Fuzzy Bunny also offers beautiful hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn.

Where does The Fuzzy Bunny call home?
The Fuzzy Bunny World Headquarters recently relocated to Canandaigua, NY after a decade away.

What brought you to soap-making and yarn-spinning?
I have always been addicted to bath + body products and I made many experimental scrubs and balms in high school. It wasn't until college, when I took organic chemistry, that I learned how to make soap. This came at a time when I was becoming more aware of the environment and sustainability in general, so I tried my hand at making vegan bath + body products, loved it, and never looked back.

Then I moved to Vermont, where I encountered my first sheep and wool festival. I went to the festival in search of hand spun yarn for my own knitting, but ended up in a beginner's spinning wheel workshop and decided I liked spinning even more than knitting. Of course, once I started, there was no end. If I knew how to spin, then I wanted to learn how to dye, and if I knew how to dye, I wanted to learn how to prepare fiber from raw fleece. And now I want sheep and fields of flax and dye plants.

What are your current influences?
Jacey Boggs of Insubordiknit is an amazing spinner of art yarns and I could scroll through photos of her yarn for hours. My nose is highly influential when it comes to soap making.

What is your favorite part about your craft?

Color. I'm all about the color, whether I'm dyeing fiber or picking brightly colored paper to package soap. Intensely saturated colors and the realization of an especially appealing color blend can make my day.

You can find The Fuzzy Bunny Bath products here and their hand-spun fibers here.

If you're in the western New York area you can find them at the Junior League of Rochester Holiday Market, October 16 + 17. And if you miss them there, try the Mayday! Underground Crafts + Art, November 6. And, of course at Second Storie November 27 + 28!

2010 Vendor Spotlight: Red Prairie Press

Good morning, and happy Monday, friends! Today we are pleased-as-punch to introduce you to one of our newest friends, Rachel Bone of Red Prairie Press. They offer hand screen-printed clothing for ladies, gents and little ones.

Where are you and your studio located?
Red Prairie Press is located in a cozy row house in Baltimore, MD. The entire bottom floor of our house (read: basement) is my studio, and we have two offices upstairs. One for me and one for my husband, Phil.

How did you first get involved in screen printing?
I started screen printing in college for some friends' rock bands - posters & t-shirts to sell at concerts, and occasionally an album cover. When I moved to Baltimore in 2004, I started Red Prairie Press in my free time, but was working for an art print company during the day (we supplied hotels, conference centers & the like with lifeless ugly outdated artwork in mass quantities, and I was the office manager. A truly unfortunate & depressing business to be in as an artist. I absolutely despised it.) I quit & went to full time with Red Prairie Press in 2006 and never looked back. I can't imagine doing anything else.

What influences you and your work?
Folk art, Americana, Oaxacan textiles, nature, vintage wallpaper, fabric pattern design, children's book illustrations, old china, craft fairs... a little of everything.

What is your favorite part about what you do?
I absolutely love working for myself. That's my favorite part about my job. In terms of screen-printing, I think my favorite part is pulling the first print from a freshly burned screen. You know what you designed, and you know what color you're printing it in, but even so - it's always a surprise.

Rachel (also a painter) currently has a one-woman show up in Philadelphia's Art Star Gallery & Boutique featuring 51 new paintings (above). You can check them out and buy prints of the paintings online here. She'll have these prints for sale at Second Storie. Yay!

In the meantime, you can find Red Prairie Press online here and here. You can also stay updated via their blog.

Friday Favorites

I love this print so much. Perhaps you are in a budding romance or maybe you have been with your sweetheart for ages. Either way, this print from 00one gets it.
And says it all in 3 little words.

You + Me = Awesome

I simply had to order one for myself.
You can get one for yourself (and other way-cool prints) here or here.

More vendor spotlights coming next week! We've got so many awesome vendors to introduce to you so keep checking back!


2010 Vendor Spotlight: French Press

Today we are talking with Shelly Kuzniarek of French Press. Shelly has been a favorite vendor of ours since our very first show in 2007. She always brings a very bold, typography-based design, and quirky sense of humor, to her letterpress cards and notes.

Where are you and your studio located?
Buffalo, New York. I'm very fortunate to have space in a revived industrial building (once was used to build airplanes!) The Tri-Main Center is home to a mixture of fine artists, professional services and manufacturers.

What made you want to work in letterpress?
While in graduate school I rekindled their dormant letterpress studio. Starting out I made a lot of mistakes, but have refined my skills through practice, interning with Jim Sherridan of Hatch Show Print and taking a Vandercook workshop with Paul Moxon.

What are your current influences?
Cooking (specifically breaking recipe rules)
my students
Designers/Illustrators: Paul Rand, Leo Leonni, David Plunkert, James Victore.

What is your favorite part about the craft?

Each piece is a work of art. From selecting the paper and colors to adjusting the level of impression, I am always amazed at the beauty a sheet of paper can project.

French Press will be launching new winter stationery line on Nov. 1, which will include both hand generated illustrations and vintage printer blocks. They are also hoping to have their online store up by Nov. 1 so keep your eyes open! In the meantime, you can get your French Press goodies in their Etsy shop. And you can keep up with all things French Press by checking out their blog.

2010 Vendor Spotlight: Kala Stein

Happy Monday to you all!

Today, we are excited to resume our Vendor Spotlight series. We'll be introducing our fabulous artists one by one over the next few weeks. They've been gracious enough to answer a few questions so that you can get to know not only their work, but a little bit about what makes them tick. We begin our series with clay artist, and Second Storie veteran, Kala Stein.

Where are you and your studio located?

Canadice, NY about 1 hr. south of Rochester. On the ridge between Honeoye and Canadice Lake.

Tell us how you came to work with this medium.
I Started working with clay 10 years ago when I was an undergrad at SUNY New Paltz. I started in graphic design but was more attracted to the community atmosphere of the clay studio. At a certain point I was hooked and there was no looking back. You can find the graphic influence in my work still, especially in my tile work and sliced vases.

What are your current influences?
Historical Persian and Asian vessels, contemporary design, architecture, flora and fauna, and local community and economies.

What is your favorite part about working with clay?
I love the labor that is undeniable when working with clay, from mixing powdered earth with water to create the clay itself, making glazes, forming, firing kilns- the medium is very elemental in that I have to be attentive and coax the forces of earth, clay, water, and fire into an object.

I love the medium because it is so versatile. Anything can be made with ceramic materials from architectural tile, to insulators, to table ware, to jewelry. It is also the oldest known creative medium on earth and is known to have been the women's work. Its a cross-cultural medium and the link that clay has with food is ancient tradition but still very common today.

You can find Kala at the newly opened Coach Street Clay studio in Canandaigua, NY where she'll be teaching classes in wheel throwing, tile making and hand-built pottery.

She'll also be hosting a Rural Holiday Sale and Clearing House, December 4 & 11 at the Mill Creek Cafe in Honeoye.

Go to Kala's site to see more of her beautiful work. And be sure to stop in and say hello to her in person at our show in November!

Friday Favorites

Hello and happy October 1st!

I am just loving these sweet little clothes peg dolls from jill bent. Their faces are hand painted, their clothes hand-knit and sewn. Vintage clothes pins in little outfits? I'm not sure it gets any cuter. I love the look of them all together on a bookshelf. Or a sailboat.

Get ready for some posts showcasing our vendors coming very soon!