After spending a week in Montana, you’re never quite the same. I just got back from a road trip across the beautiful state in search of hardest working women around. The talent I discovered and the beautiful scenery I took in blew me away.
Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply Store, based out of Bozeman, was designed with the ranchers’ needs in mind. From extra large parking spots out front to the down to earth staff inside, every detail of the store invites you stick around and enjoy the shopping experience. I was able to outfit 19 women in Carhartt gear at Murdoch’s so that they’d be ready for a hard days’ work. In the weeks to come, I’ll be sharing each one of these Montanans’ stories with you.
Transition and change are the common theme running through artist, Ximena Bedoya’s, work. The beauty that comes to focus when one highlights that moment of transition is undeniable, especially when an item, normally thought to be constant, completely transitions into another state. Ximena will walk us through a few of the metamorphoses that drive her exploration into plastics. The next few photos below show what happens when ferrofluid (a magnetic liquid) is added to soapy water. Watch the video closely to see what happens to the surface of the bubbles as Ximena moves a magnet over the bowl.
The next few demonstrations involve a heat gun. Ever wonder what happens to a sheet of plexiglass when you heat it up? Take a look.
Can you guess what the heat gun will do to a bundle of straws?
I’ve never seen work quite like it before. It feels a bit like art meets science class. Ximena’s sculptures and videos push the boundaries of permanence and force you to realize that change is the only constant.
As you may well know, Carhartt women are known for being innovative. So when it comes to craftiness, don’t be wasteful and think green. For those pottery lovers who want to be resourceful and re-use scrap clay, take a look at this tutorial Victoria from Pewabic Pottery is demonstrating above.
How to Reclaim Clay:(in other words, how to recycle dry clay bits back into a workable material)
1. Soak dry bits, chunks, failed projects of clay in water.
2. Soak for a few hours or days, depending on dryness of clay. Stir mixture with your hand.
3. Scoop out rehydrated clay onto plaster block.
4. Make sure clay is even thickness on the plaster block to allow for even water absorbtion.
5. Once clay is no longer tacky scrape it off the plaster block into a medium size pile.
6. Wedge it. Rock clay back and forth in kneading motion until air bubbles are compressed and clay feels pliable.
There has been a lot of talk lately concerning the typical gender codes for children’s toys. Boys usually play with water guns and model cars. Girls commonly play with dolls and tea sets. When kids deviate from the gender driven stereotypes, it can cause a bit of a stir. It’s about time we learn to let kids do what they love. Don’t stifle passions and interests. They can lead to great things.
For Diane Fallstone, that mentality rings true. She grew up tagging along with her brother: building forts, climbing trees, and playing with Hot Wheels. As time passed, her interests continued along the automotive path. She became the owner of her own mobile restoration company in the San Francisco area. Diane learned that in the automotive world, women have to work harder to prove they have what it takes. In the long run, that extra effort makes you more adept and skilled at your craft.
Now Diane and her family live in Portland. Her whole family is in love with the business and lends a hand. Her daughters Madi and Brooklyn are following in their mother’s footsteps. Working together draws them closer as a family and allows knowledge to pass down from one generation to the next. It’s encouraging to see the nurturing side of the mother-daughter relationship break down stereotypes.
Let those power tools roar!
Who says you need a printing press to make a screen print? You can just use the sun. That’s right, it’s called solar screen printing. Check out this demonstration by Detroit artist, Andrea Eckert, to see how you can bring an image to life. The print Andrea and her kids are working on is of Holding House, a great space on Michigan Avenue she plans to turn into a new studio and exhibition space for youth programs. Let’s see what we can learn as she takes her kids through the printing process.
What you need:
the image you want printed onto a transparency in black and white (make sure to use an ink jet printer), emulsion, a printing screen, cardboard big enough to cover the screen, tape, glass to cover the transparency, access to water, ink, an art squeegee, and paper
1. Put emulsion on screen and allow it to dry for 2 hours.
2. Take the screen outside, covered with cardboard to prevent premature exposure.
3. Remove the cardboard and tape the transparency (with the image facedown) onto the screen (with emulsion side up).
4. Cover the transparency and screen with the glass. Allow it to expose in the sun for about 2 minutes.
5. Remove the transparency and rinse the screen.
6. Let the screen dry for around 30 minutes.
7. Now you’re ready to print! Place paper under your screen and secure everything in place.
8. Squirt ink onto the screen and spread it across the screen with the squeegee.
9. Lift up the screen and repeat steps 7-9 to create duplicates.
It’s springtime, although it might not quite look like it yet. This strange mixture of rain, snow, and salt can take a toll on your bike. Here are a few tips for care and maintenance.
Keep it clean! After riding through the elements, clear all debris off your cycle– the sooner, the better. It will help prevent rust and ware. A bucket of soapy water and a sponge will do just fine. Keep all moving elements lubed. This is important. Don’t be cheap with this step. In the long run, lube will cost less than having to replace expensive bike parts. Be mindful not to over-lube. Keep track of the areas you’ve already tended to so you don’t do it twice. When roads are wet, let a bit of air out of your tires. Lower tire pressure increases contact area between the street and your bike. This will give you a bit more grip on slick roads. Mudguards are a great purchase this time of year. Not only does it keep the rider clean, it prevents too much gunk from getting on other parts of your bike. It will also mean less clean up time for you after a muddy ride. Regularly maintain your cycle. Harsh weather conditions lead to expedited disrepair of your bike. Keep an eye on brake pads, gear and brake cables, and bolt tightness. Store your bicycle inside as often as you can. If you know it will be outside for an extended period. Be even more careful with the upkeep.
Carhartt Women’s Chore Coat is perfect for bike maintenance. The durable fabric, endless pockets, and adjustable cuffs are one your side when you have a dirty job in front of you. If you want to learn more about bike care check out what Tori Bortman, owner of Gracie’s Wrench in Portland, has to say.
Jenny and Megan’s interest in farming began as a curiosity about where their food came from. That curiosity has led them all the way to running their very own farm with organically-grown produce. Jenny and Megan also raise pastured pork and poultry for eggs and meat. Able Farms, just outside of Portland on Sauvie Island, is a picturesque piece of land with limitless potential. The girls are making their way towards creating a self-sustaining agricultural community, teaching themselves new skills as they go. I have mad respect for Jenny and Megan. They’re making such great progress in a field they didn’t know much about in the beginning. That’s girl power right there. No obstacle is too big when you put your mind and heart into something.
Biercamp, a specialty meat shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has the best bacon around. Hannah and her boyfriend left New York to open up their own artisan food shop. I admire Hannah for making the gutsy career switch from the fashion industry to running a specialty meat shop. If you share in my affection for bacon, sausage, or jerky, you need to swing by Biercamp, give Hannah a high-five, and eat some tasty food. Your tummy will thank you.
You may recognize Joanie from Run My Renovation on the DIY Network or from America’s Next Top Model. That’s right, folks! Joanie is a super talented model who also doubles as a contractor. You may think it’s an unlikely career path to go from model to renovator, but it only seemed natural for Joanie. She was the runner-up on cycle 6 of America’s Next Top Model. Many of the lessons she took away from her experience have only bettered her time in the construction field. You have to be tough, determined, and work hard even when it seems like people are against you. Sometimes workers question her abilities when she walks onto a job site. Guess they aren’t used to having a hot contractor. Joanie told me how great it feels to prove the disbelievers wrong with a job well done. Yeah girl power! Joanie wants all you ladies out there to know you can do it too! Her advice is to get involved. Be hands on, practice, get dirty, and don’t be afraid to mess up. Let’s all be like Joanie and turn some head with the skills we possess and a job well done.