On February 9th we had the opportunity to spend an evening with jewelry designer, Birna Sigurbjornsdottir, and Angie Bowlds of Stitch&Swash bags and accessories. It was a busy night between visiting friends and visiting customers, so our conversations were a little stop and start, though fascinating throughout.
Birna informed us that she was originally studying ceramics when she discovered her interest in jewelry, and specifically in working with silver. It was the malleability of silver, the vast variety of forms, textures, and finishes that can be created, that Birna found most intriguing when she started to work in the medium. Birna also enjoyed the control she had in silver, which must have been appreciated after working in ceramics where it's common to experience the disappointment of losing work in a misfired kiln.
Birna's work often seems like it was formed by the ocean currents and washed up on shore. Since learning just a little about her process at ArtWalk, I've found renewed enjoyment of the balance of control and happenstance Birna brings to her pieces.
Angie of Stitch&Swash Bags brought the party to ArtWalk and it was easy to see why! This gal is a skilled seamstress, graphic designer, a fellow Ballardite, and as nice as they come. I confess to doing some light Etsy stalking of Angie long before I met her due to the popularity of a certain bag made popular by a certain Vampire movie quadrilogy. Angie is the maker of the Bella Bag, as seen in Twilight. And when I say "maker", I mean MAKER. Back in my stalking days I looked at her incredible Etsy sales numbers and jealously thought "How is she doing it!?!?! She MUST have help!" With the exception of the linings (sewn by Angie's mom), Angie cut and sewed and riveted each of those Bella Bags herself. Angie confessed that her attempts at getting help from her friends always resulted in fun, but unproductive gab fests - which I can totally understand after spending a little time with her. Angie's hard earned and well deserved success couldn't have happened to a nicer gal, and I feel more privileged than ever to carry her work in our shop!