Making the most of Unemployment

After the rush and excitement of graduating college and the start of summer died down, the reality and stress of job searching started to set in. The weird feeling of officially becoming an adult and not quite being there yet, and having no idea where or what I will be doing in the near future started to make me feel like I needed to be in control of some aspect of my life. So, I've started to do lots of custom work for friends and family, and with the help of a good friend begin to market myself as a custom leather accessories designer

Currently, I have been creating a makeshift studio space in my family's dining room (thank you for dealing with my clutter mom!) to work on projects. It has surprisingly been a pretty nice set up! The images above are taken of the space and a current project that I am working on for a good friend. She gave me complete liberty in the creative aspect of the bag, with the only requirements being a drawstring bucket bag and in a natural light brown color. This has been one of the most enjoyable projects for me since graduating. I have taken the time to ideate and sketch various ideas before jumping into the pattern making and construction. 

After this project is finished, I will be focusing on creating a custom leather work option on this website for anyone to submit and request work! It will include various bag options, pricing, and a consultation fee to assist you in creating a genuinely one-of-a-kind piece that you help design. Continue to check back, I am hoping to have this section up and running within the next 2-3 weeks!

Wedding Programs

Recently, I was lucky enough to create the wedding programs for a life long friend that got married on March 20th. This was one of my first experiences doing freelance work for a client. I based the design of the program off of the wedding invitations and some specific details given to me by the bride. Below are some of the initial ideations, invitation inspiration, and final design.

Elme Updates

Currently I have been crazy busy with everything that has been going on this semester, bone jewelry, leatherwork instructing, bag instructing and ELME. I haven't added any updates on how the company has been going this past semester because Sarah Parks and I have been reevaluating our logo design and how we would like to represent ourselves within the company, along with refining and finalizing designs for mass production phase! We have finally defined our FINAL logo after many many tries and began designing the product tags for the pieces. We received a lot of great feedback at our last critique on how to emphasize the handmade quality and uniqueness of each individual piece through our marketing and branding, which we have really taken into a lot of consideration. Here are some of the business card, postcard, product tags and final logo design! We have also been working on creating a website for the company as well to create awareness for the various collaborations and donations we have been lucky enough to receive. Check it out at elmehandmade.com

Bones & Fun New Projects

Over the winter holiday I stumbled upon an Etsy shop that was selling Mink bones for very cheap and decided that I wanted to try out jewelry design, something that I have always enjoyed and tried out but never truly dedicated my time to. A fellow designer, Sara Clark, found the jewelry I was making very intriguing and asked me to design a collection for her Fall/Winter 2015 Ready to Wear Collection for Charleston Fashion Week and NCSU Art to Wear run way shows. This past week Sara competed in Charleston Fashion Week, with my jewelry in her collection, and won the People's Choice Award for her night, Friday, and went on to compete with four other designers this Saturday. Here are a few shots of the jewelry I took for documentation until I can get some images of the jewelry with her collection and on the body.

And more teaching...

So I never would have pegged myself as an instructor, but somehow I've found myself teaching multiple classes this past year. From the end of February to present I have been assisting in teaching the sophomore Art + Design class at North Carolina State University the introduction to bag-making project (the project where I first learned the basics of bag design, so crazy!)  I created a step by step basic tote bag tutorial for the sophomores to follow, some of the images can be found below. Once that basic introduction to sewing was complete I began helping each student, in a class of 24, with the ideation, concept, and development of plans for a final bag of their own design and creation. This is currently the stage I am at in the teaching process, I will post more pictures of some of the final products once they've been completed!

I taught an Intro to Leatherwork class!

For the past few weeks I have been teaching my very first continued Intro to Leather working course! Over the past year I have taught several three hour simple leather workshops, but this semester I had the opportunity to organize and plan a four session long course on introductory leather working techniques. Some of the skills I taught my class of 9 students were basic stitching, dyeing, conditioning, stamping, pattern making and wallet construction. I began the course by teaching a basic card wallet so that the students could practice the techniques, as I demonstrated them, on something that they would end up being able to use once completed. Then, I assisted each individual in the pattern making, testing and construction of a wallet ideation of their own.

Mixed Media Embroidery

This semester I am taking a Mixed Media Embroidery course and my end goal is to create three 3-dimensional insects using contemporary and traditional embroidery techniques. Once I make all three insects I intend to cast them in resin to "preserve" them. The entomology department at NCSU has an on-campus insect collection/museum that is open to whomever wants to visit. This past week I scheduled a meeting to take some inspiration pictures to start studying the anatomy of some of the insects. I ended up spending over an hour looking through all of the cabinets and draws finding thousands of fascinating insects, I then took these images (and MANY more) and began sketching some of them, insect anatomy is crazy detailed.

Color in Embroidery Final- Color Gradation

This past semester I have been taking a Color in Embroidery course that focuses on the various ways that color is used and manipulated throw thread. I completed a research project on the famous artist, Paul Gauguin, focusing on his use of color and how he drastically changed the way artists at the time used color. Then, I applied the research that I collected on Gauguin, and constructed a color gradation inspired by the artist. Gauguin is known for his use of vibrant color choices and depth in his compositions. Based on these two aspects of Gauguin, I used solvy and machine embroidery to create layers of flat color to suspend in front of one another in a landscape style.  

Elme Branding Progress

Currently Sarah and I are working on the branding aspect of our company. We are designing a logo that can be used on our social media, product tags, business cards, etc. I have been consulting a friend of mine, Taliessin Schuszler, that is a Graphic Designer for some guidance on logo design.

Below are some of our logo tests, the images are in order of most current to oldest designs.


Elme- A Design Collective

A fellow fibers student, Sarah Parks, and I have been collaborating and beginning the process of forming and branding an accessory company. The following images show the process we have been going through in order to create a cohesive and clean company that merges both of our views and personal aesthetics as designers. Sarah creates all of the hand woven's while I do the leather work and embroidery.

 Card wallet sample with leather stamped logo

Card wallet sample with leather stamped logo

 Some of the tools and work space where I construct the leather wallets

Some of the tools and work space where I construct the leather wallets

 A process critique of some of the pieces from our collection

A process critique of some of the pieces from our collection