Live From Studio 109A

January 29, 2010 at 1:28 am (From Studio 109A)

Chelsea Amato wearing designer Kat Schamen's dress for Adopt-a-School at Couture for a Cause.

Two weeks ago, North Carolina State UniversityGraphic Design Student Chelsea Amato interviewed me for a class project. I met Chelsea at Couture for a Cause (she modeled for the Adopt a School garment). Later, she visited my studio during one of the First Friday Gallery Walks.

So for her project, Chelsea came to Artspace, video camera in hand, asked me questions and documented me working in my studio environment. Chelsea interviewed me for about an hour. One of her questions pertained to whether or not technology had a direct connection to people making or buying handmade goods. It was an interesting question, and considering Chelsea picked this portion of the interview  to edit into her final project, I assume my answer was equally as interesting.

My feeling is that technology has less to do with people making or buying handmade goods than the economy and overseas manufacturing practices. 

It is no secret that over the last year, the economy has receded and more and more people are out of work. I think unemployment has a direct connection to more and more people making handmade items. I can speak from personal experience, that my career as a professional artist began when my husband was out of work six years ago. He had more time to help me around the house and with the kids, which gave me time to launch my jewelry business. I also think that many people who have a “real job” and only pursue art as a hobby, might try to turn their craft into cash if they find themselves out of work.

I also think that there is more of an appreciation for buying handmade items due to questionable manufacturing practices, particularly overseas. Last month, The Ecology Center, a U.S. Consumer Group reported that a third of the most popular children’s toys in the United States contained harmful chemicals including lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury. I think consumers are more aware of the items that they bring into their homes and expose to their children and families, which has a direct connection to buying handmade.

So, below you will find Chelsea’s finished project and an excerpt from our interview. Hopefully, if I uploaded correctly, you will be able to see the video and take a peek inside Studio 109A. Special thanks to Chelsea for letting me post her project on the blog.

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