Interview: Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair highlights chic, local artisans

Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair

Old Brick Church — Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Lindsay Chastain in her studio. photo by Frankie Schneckloth
Lindsay Chastain in her studio. photo by Frankie Schneckloth

Now in its third year, Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair will once again bring together some of the area’s top makers, crafters and purveyors of handmade goods. Twenty-seven local makers are participating this year, with all the proceeds from booth and beverage sales going to the non-profit Local Foods Connection. As much as this event is an opportunity to celebrate the DIY community and ethos, the third annual Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair is also a signifier of the local makers community’s growth.

We caught up with Rachel Roewe, of {made} community, an organizer of Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair, and Lindsay Chastain, the designer responsible for Sauvaged Jewelry, to get their perspective on creating, community and more.

What personal values do you try to express through your work and in what you create?

Roewe: Things can be simple. And beautiful. At {made}, we try to convey this simplicity mantra in our pieces and in our lives.

Chastain: Craftsmanship doesn’t necessarily mean impeccable, clean lines or a lack of flaws to me. Intention and consistency are important to me; cohesiveness and aesthetics are important to me. Rough surfaces and textures, scratches, burns and tarnish are interesting and tell a story of the process the metal goes through to become an object of adornment. I strive to make pieces that are strong, physically and visually — I want them to be able to take a beating and have the capability of becoming heirlooms and artifacts.

Why is this important to you?

Roewe: We’re all rushing around and doing all these big things and it’s the little, simple, daily rituals that make our lives feel full and beautiful.

Chastain: I believe jewelry reflects the wearer — I’m not a perfect human, so I don’t expect my jewelry to be a perfect object. In nature, many species have a tell or feature that can either attract a mate or act as a warning; I think of many of my pieces in the same way. It’s not just ornamentation, it’s a talisman that can empower you when you wear it.

How do you balance making/creating and life?

Roewe: In the words of my best friend and co-founder, Tiffany Ralston, work/life balance is kind of a farce as an entrepreneur — calling it the work/life blur is more accurate. When you create, inspiration comes at weird hours and times; ideas can be sparked almost anywhere and sometimes you just have to stop what you are doing in your real life to do this maker thing.

Chastain: It can be difficult. I still work a day job, try to keep up a social life and maintain a home. Setting aside time to work on jewelry can be a challenge so I try to keep a deadline — a show, an order, a release — to motivate me. Having a specific time set aside in the studio, whether cleaning it or working or sketching, is helpful. Having friends who inspire you and get excited about the craft are the greatest motivator I’ve found.

How would you describe the local makers community?

Roewe: Very supportive of one another. I love that we live in a place that believes in supporting local makers, growers and doers. We all get to do what we love because of those around us who believe in us. It’s this very virtuous cycle.

Chastain: I feel like it is ever-evolving — I find out about someone new every time I go to a show or stop by a store. I think it’s diverse as far as what everyone makes, what processes they use and how they go about getting their brand out there. Local stores that consign handmade goods like White Rabbit and Revival or communities like the Blue Stockings Feminist Art Collective or {made} community are great resources to have that get you in touch with other local makers and provide a venue (whether an art show or a retail space) to get your work out there.

Simeon Talley is the sales manager at Little Village. This article was originally published in Little Village issue 210.

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