1. How did you start in the handmade community?
My previous work as a mapmaker in a city government had been creative and challenging but cubicle life and male bosses eventually wore me down. By chance I'd seen a camera bag made of waxed canvas and lined with plaid flannel. Entranced with the image and believing that being taught to sew in childhood would translate to the industrial sewing machines needed for canvas, I set off to become a maker. As it turns out, there is a great deal more "to it" than that but I'm really glad for the means to claim a position in the tribe of hand-makers. Living rural, as I do, having that community is crucial.
2. What or who Inspires you?
My husband John, a blacksmith operating as Black Bear Forge, did all the hard work of learning how to start a maker business and operate it in the age of the Internet. I copy him! For design inspiration I look to the fabric outdoor gear of the past - things that were made by sailors, carried by the people who first made hiking a recognized activity, taken to the Gold rush, or churned out for the armed services by factories full of women during World War II. In my family such items were familiar, even everyday and I guess I am imprinted on them.
3. What makes your work unique and truly your own?
Any uniqueness I might claim would be based on my design aesthetic, my willingness to search out top-quality materials that fit that aesthetic, and the ways that I combine those factors.
4. What can we expect to see from you at Jackalope?
I plan to bring to Jackalope a number of variations on my ditty bag design, plus tool rolls and aprons for the hand woodworkers who are so much a part of my tribe, and some items with a DeHavilland Beaver floatplane print theme for pilots both real and wannabe (like me). There will be nothing frilly or whimsical, just practical and handsome gear.
Find our more on Camp Robber at: https://camp-robber.com/