It’s a pleasure to start the What’s New column with our new website. This is a way for me to share the stories about artists and their work, new lines, all of the things that make Baby Doe’s important to me. It’s all about the people, creativity and intention behind the work that we share with you. For those of you who enjoy the inside story–this is a place to get it.
Introducing Meg Hannan, Rag Sky Art Studio and Fabric Jewels. I met Meg about eighteen years ago in Seattle. I am a Northwest kid and was regularly going to Seattle to visit and care for my Mom. On one of those trips, my sister and I went to a Best of the Northwest show. She was excited and wanted to introduce me to the work of this “wonderful fiber/jewelry artist” and this began the relationship. At that point, Baby Doe’s wasn’t even a thought in my brain, but enjoying the work of regional artists was. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Meg over the years–first as a customer and then as an owner of a business who could showcase her work.
Home for Rag Sky Art Studio is a former school converted to studio space and dwelling space in Seattle. It’s a unique community and home to the creative work of artists and to their families. I have had the pleasure of visiting Meg in her studio. For someone who loves fiber arts, seeing a wall that is bins and shelves of fabric by color and texture, floor to ceiling, just makes me want to play. Her work is unique and reminiscent of millefiori Italian glass. It is a detailed mix of color, texture and pattern creating a fabric jewel. Thus the name Fabric Jewels.
There are always a lot of questions regarding the creation of the irregular hearts and organic shapes of her jewelry. Her jewelry is made primarily from reused fabrics. 97% comes from reused bedspreads, placemats and woven items plus t-shirts, towels and other exciting fabrics. And while we hear the word “repurposed” a lot these days in jewelry, fiber arts and mixed media–this has been her process since she began her work in 1985. We are often asked about the beads in her work. There are beads added to the bottom of jewelry and on rare occasions into spaces where they are epoxied into place. However, what you may think are beads are actually cross sections of cording or thread.
The two big secrets, I can’t share with you: It took many years for Meg to evolve her millefiori process. So her cutting process and her glue remain part of her creative process. However, the glue protects “mightily” against water and light. I am one of the many who has put a pin through the washing machine and discovered that it dries successfully and looks just like it did before. But, this is not recommended.
I enjoy watching our customer’s decision making–which piece? Or how many pieces? And after a lengthy selection process, the second visit from the customer who says–”oh, I decided to keep those and need to pick out something else.” Or the phone call that asks us to select several pieces and just mail them. I also enjoy seeing who buys Fabric Jewels. All ages and all interests with color being the driving force. As would be expected Meg has a strong following in the fiber arts community with quilters, weavers and knitters. Her work also sparks the interest of children and has inspired them to explore their creativity with color.
Each time we receive a new box of her work, it’s like opening a package at Christmas and being delighted with each new piece we bring out. When you stop by, take a closer look at the detail. Baby Doe’s is part of a group of galleries and quilting stores internationally who share Meg Hannan’s work with you. If you want to know more about Rag Sky Art Studio and Meg Hannan’s Fabric Jewels, go to www.meghannan.com.