After watching Aimee Inouye chisel away at the gorgeous bench she was working on last week, I was inspired to give woodworking a try. The first thing I discovered is that the type of wood you use matters. Wood comes in varying hardness and grains. If you’re a beginner looking for the perfect substrate, I’d suggest basswood or butternut. You can find blocks and panels at your local craft store or even larger hardware stores. Now as they say, practice makes perfect. So grab a few scrap blocks to practice with before you attempt the project at hand.
You’ll need a pencil, wood, a chisel set, and a rubber mallet. Take a look at the steps below. I’m drawn to a more handmade aesthetic, so I made my chisel marks pronounced and jagged to give it a personal touch. If that’s not your taste, be a bit tidier with your lines.
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of the basics, you can move on to the real thing. It’s always good to have a plan, so start off with a template of how you’d like the sign to look. Use that template to create a shallowly traced guide into the wood. Once you have your pattern, make deeper cuts. You may want to go over a the letters a few times to make the incisions thicker and deeper into the surface. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s the nature of handmade arts.
My crafting outfit: Carhartt Women’s El Paso Utility Jacket, Clarkston Cami Tank, Sibley Denim Shorts, & Carhartt Legacy 14″ Tool Bag.
The path of your career, your craft, and even your hobbies can be long and hard.
Don’t forget, there isn’t a set path for everyone. Find your own way.
If you make a mistake, don’t give up. Keep up the hard work.
“The road to success is always under construction.” -Lily Tomlin
take a look at the El Paso Utility Vest pictured above
Valentine’s Day can be a very divisive topic. You love it or you hate it. It does feel like a very commercial holiday that pointlessly makes us buy tons of things covered in little pink and red hearts and end the night with a self-indulgent candy binge. I’ve never been a fan of store bought cards or heart-shaped chocolate boxes. But boy do I love a good old fashioned handcrafted sentiment. That’s why these wire words are the perfect craft for this time of year. Give them as a gift or simply use them in your own home as decoration. This year, make something from the heart to remind those you hold dear how much they mean to you. Go ahead, state the obvious.
“The most important things to say are those which often I did not think necessary for me to say- because they were too obvious.” -Andre Gide
take a look at my crafting outfit: Script Logo Tee, 1889 Double Front Dungaree, & Sandstone Berkley Jacket
In places like Twin Cities, where the winters are often filled with negative temperatures, it’s the perfect time to cozy up in the studio and create. That’s Laura Brown’s mentality. She’s been a part of the Artist Co-op at Minnesota Center for Book Arts since 2011. It’s a wonderland of printmaking and bookbinding. What drew Laura in was the community aspect of the craft. The machinery and equipment is large, expensive, and meant to be shared. In the photos above you can watch Laura’s process as she prints a calendar for the new year. How cool is that? Can you see how she sets the template and runs an inked up roller across it? You can purchase one of these handmade beauties here. There is so much personality in printmaking. It opens up a world of surprises and problem solving. The beautiful letters, rich inks, and the hand-touched nature of each impression (that’s what you call an individual print). Check out more of what Laura’s up to at laurabrownart.com
Laura’s winter workwear: Carhartt Women’s Annapolis Long-Sleeve Shirt, Slim Fit Nyona Jean, & Women’s Skokie Pull Over Sweater
It’s that simple. Do what you love. If you’re crafty and love finding ways to bring nature into your living space, this DIY project is calling your name. You can pick up these supplies at your local craft store. It’s quick, simple, and to the point.
What you need: adhesive moss paper, a tree ring, an inspirational quote, pencil, sharpie, and scissors
1. Pick out a quote that inspires you.
2. Type it up on a computer, mirror it horizontally so that it reads backwards.
3. Cover the back of the paper in graphite so you can transfer the letters to the back of the moss paper.
4. Flip the paper right side up (so that it reads backwards again), place it on the back of the moss paper, and trace the letters.
5. Your quote should appear backwards on the adhesive side of the moss sheet.
6. Trace over the graphite with a sharpie so you don’t smudge the tracing off while cutting.
7. Cut the letters out.
8. Peel and stick to the wooden palette.
And you’re done!
check out my crafting outfit here: Traverse City Hoodie & Straight Fit Slim Jean
Julie and her husband run Letterform, a small graphic design studio in Chicago. Their work is a combination of typography, photography, illustration, and printmaking. I spent some time with Julie as she prepped for Renegade Craft Fair. Letterpress is a beautiful art form that’s hands-on and exciting to watch. It’s refreshing when graphic design studios incorporate bits and pieces of handmade goodness into their work.
See more of Julie’s work at the Letterform website. And if you’re a foodie who loves a good print, you should check out her other business, Nourishing Notes.