Tuesday, March 27, 2007

HotHolders and MAD at the BML

** Exhibit up until June 1st, 2007 **

That's Blake Memorial Library http://www.blakememorial.org for those of you who aren't local to our corner of Vermont. Centrally located in East Corinth village, a stone's throw away from the P.O. and the health center. And it's the first real exhibit for MAD (Mountain Ash Design, eh) that isn't a craft fair or shop type venue. Pillows on top of book cases, 4-Way-Entry bags near the recently published books, HotHolders greeting patrons as they come in the front door. I am honored to have the chance to add more color and cheer to what is already a cheerful institution that so benefits the local community here. A great selection of books and films, free Internet, etc. but also fabulous programming including monthly screenings of quality movies recently on DVD, weekly story hour for the pre-school set, and book discussions of the classics. I love these book discussions. For one thing, it gets me to read something other than magazines or craft business publications but also they are just fun and lively fellowship with other members of the community. We usually take on a series of books put together by the Vermont Council for the Humanities.
http://www.vermonthumanities.org There are many thoughtful people who read the books and attend the discussions including several local authors who bring insights on the writing processes of the likes of Tolstoy. (We were all very impressed with ourselves last year when we tackled War And Peace over 4 months - or was it 5? For our last discussion we had a Russian aristocratic style tea complete with coddled cream and fruit preserves for sweetener - as a surprise for our wonderful facilitator, Dartmouth's own Suzanne Brown of the Literature Department. She has immense contagious enthusiasm and a skill for drawing us out into discussion. I resist this skill every time. I just know I'm going to shoot my mouth off with some not fully formed or well articulated ideas about what's going on with the characters. Suzanne gets the better of me every time and that's just what I do. Oh well. It was like this for me in college too. I think the other people around the table are amused, though, and I believe amusing people is good so I always try to attend. With Tolstoy I used to go on about his obsession with female mustaches.

Anyhow, this exhibit is the debut for my new product: vintage linen tea towel and matching HotHolder sets. They include one tea towel cut from a vintage table cloth and nicely hemmed plus two HotHolders with fronts made from the same vintage tablecloth and back and loop of repurposed clothing (usually). The result is an elegant and unusual gift set made from completely recycled materials. You can see two sets hanging from the shutters in the photo above.
I got the idea for them earlier this month when I was in Montreal checking out the gift show there and casing out shops around Mount Royal and St. Denis. I went into some very nice fine linen shops. It was interesting to see what products are out there and how they were displayed. It helped put into the front of my mind that some people are really into dish towels or "tea towels" and I've found several retailing for up to $18. I also believe folks like the look of vintage tablecloths but don't buy or use them because they always have some antiquated stains and no one wants to set out a stained tablecloth. I had already bought or otherwise acquired some lovely vintage tablecloths that I was starting to cut up and sew into HotHolders. It occurred to me that there might be big enough sections of these tablecloths free of stains to make tea towels. I looked at my collection and there were. Mary Johnson (who met with me for 3 hours free of charge the other week listening attentively and doling out free advice) at the Vermont Women's Business Center http://www.vwbc.org thinks I am really onto something with these. I hope so because I'm having a lot of fun designing and making them.

Please come by the BML to see MAD creations in all their three dimensions. Library hours are:
Monday 2-8
Tuesday closed
Wednesday 2-8
Thursday 9-noon
Friday 2-6
Saturday 9-noon
Sunday closed
For directions call the library at 802-439-5338 or me at 802-439-6921.

1 comment:

Rebbie Carleton said...

Hello Sarah
I am not sure if you will get this through your blog but like the sustainablity and humor in your crafts and was wondering if you might be interested in exhibiting at Chandlers 8th Annual Artisan's Bazaar. It will be held from Nov 19th until Dec 21 in Randolph. We do not need as much stock as a regular craft fair since our items are displayed in more of a Gallery style.... The Gallery takes a 30 % commission... and many artists have done very well here.
If you are interested I will send you information and a form for our jury selection process on Oct 7
Thanks for considering this
Rebecca Carleton for Chandler Gallery