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Craft With Conscience

'Craft With Conscience' began in early 2016 as a weekly Instagram series dedicated to sharing the work of other creatives and as a platform to openly discuss certain aspects of ethical art-making and consuming in the age of the internet and social media.  

This series arose out of my own frustrations related to seeing my work constantly copied stitch-for-stitch, sold without permission, and credited to other people.  Rather than wallowing in unproductive negative emotions, I wanted to find a way to bring this common issue to light in a positive way.  My solution was to share the work of artists, crafters, designers, and makers who I greatly admire for their originality and dedication. Initially, I shared work similar in materials or subject matter to my own, having heard the argument, "There are only so many ways to stitch plants, I'm not copying you..." one too many times.  The truth is, no matter what the medium or subject, every artist from hobby crafter to professional painter has their own perspective and voice. It takes effort to develop one's visual vocabulary and it can be disheartening when your's is taken and misused by other individuals and sometimes larger companies.

All that being said, now is an incredible time for working artists because of the vast resources of the internet including sources of inspiration, the ability to reach a large and global audience, and as a community building tool. As you may know, I love sharing my work on Instagram and following other makers. It's a wonderful way to connect with other artists, be inspired, and feel supported, but we all need to be aware of how we use these resources and what effect it may have on others.

Since the start of 2016, 'Craft With Conscience' has grown and evolved just like any other creative pursuit and has recently expanded to include short interviews with featured artists. I've asked participating artists a series of questions about their studio process, sources of inspiration, and how image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest influence and affect them. I hope you read on to see what they have to say!

Chicago Renegade Round Up

Sarah Benning

chicago.png

Saturday + Sunday, September 7 + 8, 11 - 7pm

Division St. between Damen Ave. & Ashland Ave.
Wicker Park
Chicago, IL 60622

If you are anywhere near or in Chicago this weekend, you won’t want to miss the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park! Davey and I will be there all weekend with a selection of original embroideries (starting at just $50), new #SKBDIY embroidery kits, peel + stick embroidery design transfers, signed copies of Embroidered Life: The Art of Sarah K. Benning and more!

PLUS I will be creating custom botanical embroidery kits from 11 - 1pm both days of the market! There will be a menu of plant options to include and I will draw a one of a kind pattern right in front of you! I will be creating only 5 of these custom kits each day and it will be on a first come/first served basis.

AND I will be teaching a very special 1-hour embroidery workshop in collaboration with FISKARS on Sunday, September 8th from 4:30 - 5:30pm. This workshop is totally free and includes a kits of supplies and stitch demonstrations. This workshop will be limited to 12 participants and a sign up sheet will be available at the FISKARS tent all weekend.

But I won’t be the only one at the market this weekend (obviously)! There will be somewhere between 300-400 vendors all offering up incredible handmade and artisanal goods and I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites! Speaking from experience, this event can be a little overwhelming, so it helps to go in with a plan! You can find the entire Renegade Roster here and be sure to check out the map so you can plan your visit (my booth, #311, is one tent block in from the Damen Ave. entrance)! Keep on reading for list of 10 other makers I will definitely be stopping by this weekend!

I don’t wear a ton of jewelry, so I think it really says something when I’m really drawn to some! Allison’s Greenhouse collection has some of my very favorite earrings and her architectural influence feels so uniquely connected to the energy and history of Chicago.   avrocomy.com

I don’t wear a ton of jewelry, so I think it really says something when I’m really drawn to some! Allison’s Greenhouse collection has some of my very favorite earrings and her architectural influence feels so uniquely connected to the energy and history of Chicago.

avrocomy.com

I’ve been a fan of Melinda’s work for a long time (I have two of her prints hanging in my studio!). I obviously love her botanical prints and her fun and vibrant color palette will brighten up any room. She’s got a big selection of paper products from Art prints to notepads, cards and stickers. There is definitely a little something for everyone!   cactusclubpaper.com

I’ve been a fan of Melinda’s work for a long time (I have two of her prints hanging in my studio!). I obviously love her botanical prints and her fun and vibrant color palette will brighten up any room. She’s got a big selection of paper products from Art prints to notepads, cards and stickers. There is definitely a little something for everyone!

cactusclubpaper.com

If you’re in the market for just about anything ceramic booth 87 probably has you covered. I love her playful hanging planter designs, and mugs and tumblers are the perfect intersection of refined design and hip handmade.   www.christiahee.com

If you’re in the market for just about anything ceramic booth 87 probably has you covered. I love her playful hanging planter designs, and mugs and tumblers are the perfect intersection of refined design and hip handmade.

www.christiahee.com

You may be noticing a trend in maker picks here… Hemleva makes a wide variety of very fun botanical pins and keychains, but also some very beautiful metal himelis and mobiles.   www.hemleva.com

You may be noticing a trend in maker picks here… Hemleva makes a wide variety of very fun botanical pins and keychains, but also some very beautiful metal himelis and mobiles.

www.hemleva.com

I really love the modern aesthetic of Lindsay’s jewelry. I love the way she straddles the line between a minimalist and the grandeur of Art Deco design. Her “Sway” rings are some of my favorites!  (Plus, we once took a sculpture class together back in the day at SAIC.)   www.lindsay-lewis.com

I really love the modern aesthetic of Lindsay’s jewelry. I love the way she straddles the line between a minimalist and the grandeur of Art Deco design. Her “Sway” rings are some of my favorites!

(Plus, we once took a sculpture class together back in the day at SAIC.)

www.lindsay-lewis.com

I absolutely adore these paintings of lush and colorful interior scenes. Of course I am drawn to the intense patterns and botanical scenery! It is always a pleasure to see work that exists along the same lines as my own, but with such a different aesthetic!     www.outer-peace.com

I absolutely adore these paintings of lush and colorful interior scenes. Of course I am drawn to the intense patterns and botanical scenery! It is always a pleasure to see work that exists along the same lines as my own, but with such a different aesthetic!

www.outer-peace.com

As someone who buys all of their clothes secondhand, I’m always on the lookout for a good vintage shop. Lost Girl’s has a huge array of fun and vibrant pieces of clothing, tons of cool accessories, as well as some great candles.     lostgirlschicago.com

As someone who buys all of their clothes secondhand, I’m always on the lookout for a good vintage shop. Lost Girl’s has a huge array of fun and vibrant pieces of clothing, tons of cool accessories, as well as some great candles.

lostgirlschicago.com

I first met these guys at a London Renegade and instantly loved the unapologetically apologetic vibe of their work. As a pretty quiet/introverted person it’s always sort of cathartic to see a line of work that pokes fun but also celebrates the reality of everyday anxieties.   www.stayhomeclub.com

I first met these guys at a London Renegade and instantly loved the unapologetically apologetic vibe of their work. As a pretty quiet/introverted person it’s always sort of cathartic to see a line of work that pokes fun but also celebrates the reality of everyday anxieties.

www.stayhomeclub.com

I mean, obviously I love these sweet little felted plants. I definitely could have used some of these in my former apartments where despite my best efforts, I could never keep any of my plants alive!  They are the perfect addition to any indoor jungle—living or otherwise!   thehappyhouseplant.com

I mean, obviously I love these sweet little felted plants. I definitely could have used some of these in my former apartments where despite my best efforts, I could never keep any of my plants alive!

They are the perfect addition to any indoor jungle—living or otherwise!

thehappyhouseplant.com

I’m a big fan of these woven blankets! With beautiful designs and a really nice laid back color palette, these are the ideal picnic companion or perfect for hanging over the back of your couch!  We have one and use it all the time!   nipomo.co

I’m a big fan of these woven blankets! With beautiful designs and a really nice laid back color palette, these are the ideal picnic companion or perfect for hanging over the back of your couch!

We have one and use it all the time!

nipomo.co