I bought some sweet stuff, and made a couple of choice trades, when I was at Renegade San Francisco. So, I thought that over the next few weeks I’d share with you my new handmade goodies that I am loving.
I bought a wallet for my brother for his birthday from Couch Guitar Straps – a maker from Long Beach, CA that repurposed old car vinyl to create wallets, guitar straps, belts and other accessories. And by using the car vinyl, all his accessories are vegan, which is sometimes hard to find in belts and wallets.
The wallet that I got for Sean is this one:
Made from this:
Dan also picked up a couple of things from him. A wallet and this black and white belt.
As a jeweler my hands take a lot of abuse and are always dry. Regular lotion never seems to work for me. It just doesn’t seem to soak in. I picked up this bar of lotion from Clean Getaway Soap Co. and I love it. I got the vanilla scent, which is not too overpowering, and my hands feel so much better because of it. Thanks Clean Getaway!
While I was at Renegade SF, I noticed an abundance in the trend of using Native American, and Navajo in particular, patterns. I’ve also noticed this trending big time on Etsy. Something that makers should be aware of is that recently Urban Outfitters was sued for using the word Navajo in connection to their designs, because they were in violation of trademarks (the Navajo Nation has 10) and the federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act, “which makes it illegal to sell arts or crafts in a way to falsely suggest they’re made by American Indians when they’re not.” (Huffington Post)
The issue that I’ve been having with this trend is that a lot of the people using these patterns in their crafts have no real ties to the cultures that they are appropriating from. There is a blog post on Native Appropriations about the many issues behind this, but the part that I want to express here is this idea of crafts being about an honesty in processes, and a connection with the makers. Just as folks in the handmade movement are pushing for people to buy local and handmade, I would like to push the idea that Adrienne puts forth in her blog – “If you choose to wear something Native, buy it from a Native.”
As Adrienne goes on to say, “There are federal laws that protect Native artists and craftspeople who make genuine jewelry, art, etc. (see info here about The Indian Arts and Crafts Act). Anything you buy should have a label that says “Indian made” or “Native made”. Talk to the artist. find out where they’re from. Be diligent. Don’t go out in a full “costume”. It’s ok to have on some beaded earrings or a turquoise ring, but don’t march down the street wearing a feather, with loaded on jewelry, and a ribbon shirt.”
I’m not saying that anyone who isn’t Native should not wear or own anything with Native designs. What I am saying is that just like we talk about when we say “buy handmade” so that we can support the maker directly, when you buy Native, support a Native artisan directly.
I just finished these fun necklaces and earrings today. They are based on my basket design, but these are made from upcycled tins. The blue ones are so nautical and perfect for summer. They will be available at my booth at the San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair this weekend, and after that in my Etsy shop. Since they are made from vintage materials, each color/pattern combination will be limited.
Oh yeah, I’m pretty excited. I just found out that I’ll be doing the 2012 San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair. It’ll be exactly one month after I move back to Seattle from New York, so it’ll be a busy busy month. I did the fair five years ago and it was a lot of fun, so I’m hoping for a repeat experience.