click on photos for slideshow

POPPS PACKING

If you know of vacant meatpacking plant in your neighborhood, you might consider converting it into a home and workspace. At least it worked out really well for the Detroit-based artists Faina Lerman and Graem Whyte. In 2007, the painter and performance artist, and her husband (a sculptor and architectural dabbler) seized the opportunity to buy the former Popps plant (later known as a cookie factory) built in the 1930s and rebirthed it into a bustling art center in the city’s Hamtramck neighborhood. Hamtramck is a culturally diverse city within a city. It was originally settled by German farmers, followed by a flood of Polish immigrants in the early part of the 20th century. Over the past thirty years a large number of immigrants (Yemenis, Bengali, Macedonian, Turkish, and Russian) to name just a few have taken up residence in Hamtramck along with a growing tide of young creative entrepreneurs. Since 2009, Graem and Faina have hosted seasonal indoor/outdoor installations, exhibitions and performances in the building where they also live in with their two young children. Popps Packing is not only a home and studio, it’s also an experimental arts venue aimed at promoting dialog and cultural exchange between the local, national and international communities through exhibitions, performances, workshops and artist residencies. In 2011, the duo purchased a house (Poppa Joe’s Guest House) and a house/storefront (Popps Emporium) across the street, further activating neglected spaces on the border of Detroit and Hamtramck, while providing additional housing and exhibition space for visiting artists. In 2012, they started a residency program that includes studio practice, research, architectural interventions and alternative systems projects. Popps Packing has been a self funded enterprise since it’s inception, relying on the resourceful handiness of Faina and Graem, lots of time/labor/material donations from their friends, odd jobs from clients, and small scale fundraising to keep things moving.

See what Faina’s wearing here: Carhartt Women’s Coleharbor Hoodie, Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt, Original-Fit Jasper JeansSandstone Kenai Parka, C-Grip Knuckler Gloves, and Carhartt Women’s Rapid City Utility Work Apron

click on the photos for slideshow

COME SWEAT OR STAIN 

Remember Detroit artist, Kate Silvio? Along her path to becoming a craftsperson, she’s picked up many useful trades and skills. Metal fabrication being one of them. Working in the metal shop can be extremely physical labor. After all the welding, cutting, bending, and hammering it’s easy to work up quite a sweat. That’s why Carhartt Force is perfect for a rigorous day on the job. It’s made with FastDry® technology for quick wicking, Stain Breaker™ technology that releases stains, and the fabric fights odors to boot.

Take a look at some of Kate’s work here
Check out what she’s wearing: Carhartt Women’s Force Performance Quarter-Zip Shirt, Original-Fit Canvas Crawford Dungaree, Billing Safety Glasses, and Women’s Soft Hands Gloves.

click on photos for slideshow

THE ULTIMATE JACKET FOR DIY-ERS

Calling all crafty women, Carhartt has created a great jacket with you in mind. The El Paso Utility Jacket features: It’s equipped with 10 pockets, constructed from sturdy yet 
lightweight ripstop fabric, made with mesh ventilation, fitted with an interior drawstring at the waist, and designed with reinforced elbows and adjustable cuffs. It’s cool and practical with a bit of a military flare. Whether you’re restoring houses like Amy Nicole Swift or finishing a weekend project you found on pinterest, The El Paso Utility Jacket is for you. Who says you can’t be on trend while you work?

take a look at Amy’s work gear here: Carhartt Women’s El Paso Utility Jacket, Crawford Canvas Work Shorts, Clarkston Cami, Wellington Boots, & Soft Hands Gloves

click on photos for slideshow

BUILDING HUGGER

Recycling and reusing building materials is the ideal way to go about repairing old houses and architecture. In a time when so much excess waste proliferates, as strong proponents of green construction arise, they need our support. Amy Nicole Swift is just that. When she’s not teaching at the university, she’s working to restore vacant Detroit properties. It’s a dirty and exhausting job, but crucial to rebuilding this iconic city. She founded Building Hugger, an architectural design-build firm, to give back to the community and breath new life into old spaces.

Check out Amy’s spring time work gear: Carhartt Mountrail Jacket, Force Performance Quarter-Zip Shirt, Sibley Denim Shorts, Soft Hands Gloves, and Wellington Boots

click on photos for slideshow

DIY: OMBRE EGGS

I’ve found that having a little background knowledge in color theory goes a long way when trying to create the ombre effect. Ombre eggs are a great craft for this time of year. Here’s what you need: a few dozen eggs (either hard boiled or paper), paint, brushes, and metallic ink. Pick the base hue you want to start with. Then decide if you want to add white, black, or both to get the desired affect. Once the paint has dried on the eggs, sprinkle the metallic ink on the surface to make them look speckled. Display them in a way that shows the variance of color and your set! If you’re stuck getting started, look for creativity in other places. <span class=”Apple-style-span”>My color thought process was inspired by this great Carhartt Tee.</span>

click on photos for slideshow

LEAVING BEHIND A LEGACY AND AN APPETITE FOR SUCCESS 

Passing down knowledge of the arts and creativity seems like the ultimate gift. As mothers, sisters, and friends we can help multiply ingenuity and imagination. Just ask Victoria. She molded her first lump of clay at the age of six. Her mom was an artist who wanted to share the passion she had for her favorite medium. Alongside her mother, Victoria saw several women who broke down barriers and set prime examples for the female art force, such as Mary Chase Perry Stratton, Maija Grotell, and Beatrice Wood.

Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded Pewabic Pottery in 1903, deviating so far from the path that patriarchal society laid before her. Instead of solely tending to matters of home and family, she broadened her mind with art and business. To Mary, pottery was more than a hobby. It was her life, her bread and butter, her ambition and aspiration. She left behind a legacy of distinct work and work ethics. If we all could be so lucky and determined to leave behind some goodness for those who follow in our footsteps, the world would be much better for it.

To Victoria, Mary Stratton “is watching over all the female artists in Detroit. If you’re walking down Woodward, feeling down on your luck, or tired form working twice as hard for half the pay merely because of your gender, look up! Chances are you will see a Pewabic facade or design somewhere on one of those buildings. Maybe she didn’t literally pave the road but she literally finished the buildings!”

Victoria aims to one day run a studio of her own with friends, hopefully traveling and doing workshops along the way. Her advice to aspiring artists is simple. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Art can still be fun to make, analyze, and critique. While Victoria sees Mary Stratton as the ceramics Rosie the Riveter of the Midwest, she hopes to be more like Shirley Temple. By integrating a bit of her background in New Jersey, she hopes to make viewers feel that playfulness of a child at the beach.

That being said let each day take you a step closer to fulfilling your dreams. Find your voice and don’t be afraid to make it heard. That’s the way to leave behind a legacy of triumph and create an appetite for achievement in generations to come.

See more of Victoria Shaheen’s work here
Also take a look at her work wear: Sandstone Sherpa Lined Vest, Clarksburg Sweatshirt, Jasper Jeans, Soft Hands Glove, & Carbondale Safety Glasses

 click on photos for slideshow

DIY: SLAB CONSTRUCTED BLOW 

Victoria from Pewabic Pottery has some advice when making a slab constructed bowl. Basically, that’s making a bowl off of a bowl mold. It’s a great craft to do with kids or on your own for fun and relaxation. Here we go:

1. Pound a ball of clay into a square shape about 3/4” thick.
2. Throw the slab at an angle to further lengthening and thinning.
3. Use light pressure with a rolling pin to smooth out any unevenness in your slab.
4. Pick up your slab with flat hands and drape over a plaster hump mold. (plaster bowl shape)
5. Gently push down slab to conform to shape of mold.
6. Smooth out with metal or plastic rib. If tools are not accessible a sponge with work also.
7. With knife, a needle tool, or something sharp cut off excess clay around lip of bowl.
8. Continue to smooth out the exterior of the form until your clay has released from mold.
9. Once clay has hardened up and begun to release from the plaster mold, gently pry off the bowl.
10. Allow to stiffen up and decorate with colored slips, underglazes, or stamps.

Victoria is wearing the Carhartt Women’s Clarksburg Sweatshirt. It is slightly fitted with triple stitched seams and perfect for a day in the studio. 

click on photos for slideshow

ON MULTI-TASKING AND RENOVATION

A leader is someone who steps up when they see a need that hasn’t been met. Andrea Eckert, Detroit artist who taught us about solar screen printing, is doing just that. She bought an old building on Motor City’s well-known Michigan Avenue and is in the process of gutting and refurbishing it into a studio and exhibition center for the surrounding area. Not too far from a few popular digs like Slows and Astro Coffee, this much needed community space will continue to add to the movement to revitalize downtown Detroit. Holding House will be an environment for all creative faculties, a place where multigenerational participants will engage, design, produce, and learn. Andrea wears many hats. She’s an artist, a mother, a wife, a leader in her community, a groundbreaker who seizes opportunities to better the quality of life, and she’s a blast to be around. I think women often feel the need to multitask and fill as many roles as life demands. What’s cool is when those roles overlap in a beneficial way to urge creativity, bring people together, and breath a new life into the makers’ spirit. Stay tuned as Andrea continues to make progress on Holding House. We’ll keep you updated.
Check out what Andrea’s work gear. The last thing you want to worry about is stains or hurting your clothes when you’re on a nitty gritty job site. Get something sturdy, like the Canvas Dungaree. It’s mostly cotton with a bit of spandex, so it’s built tough and you can still move around easily. If you’re really going to be doing some heavy lifting, Carhartt Force is exactly what you need. It’s fabric is sweat wicking, stain repellent, and fights odors. When you need to keep warm, try the Clarksburg Sweatshirt. It’s comfy, durable, and slightly fitted. You may be working, but you’ll still look good. And don’t forget the gloves. We can all use an extra pair of gloves lying around. 

 click on photos for slideshow

DIY: SOLAR SCREEN PRINTING

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

Steps:
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 (emulsion side up).
4. Cover the transparency and screen with the plate of 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.

click on photos for slideshow

DIY: SAINT PATRICK’S DAY MOSS SIGN

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! Hope you had a fun weekend celebrating. I have one more holiday craft to share with y’all.  This moss and felt sign only takes a few minutes to put together. All you need is a wooden board, felt, and self-adhesive moss paper. I used a palate from the craft store, but you could even get creative with scrap wood from the hardware shop. As your searching through your closet for the perfect St. Patrick’s Day green to wear, don’t forget camo and don’t forget your Carhartts!