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Dwelling’s Local Makers Series (Ketchup 2014 Part II)

27 Jan

As Santa finished his last delivery, Joseph and I went right back to work to prepare for a very exciting opportunity. The lovely Leigh and Tim McAlpin of Charleston, SC’s leading eco-friendly design and furniture store Dwelling chose Joseph Thompson Woodworks and Black Swamp to open their new LOCAL Maker’s Series, featuring the work of talented local furniture makers.

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Invitation made by Dodeline Design

We were so thrilled to kick of 2014 with an exhibition in our hometown. Since we wanted to give our friends and family the best we had to offer, there were many a late night spent in preparation, especially after we had not one, but TWO boards for table tops blow up in the planer during construction.

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We did manage to document a bit of the construction process despite our hectic schedule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd4RgZDnDcc

Once the dust had settled, the show opened beautifully and we were happy to celebrate with our friends and family.

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

New Black Swamp cuff bracelets and necklace styles were launched to a very positive reception. This piece features local South Carolina Black Walnut wood.

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

Charleston’s new High Wire Distillery provided their delicious locally crafted spirits, making the event a fully local event.

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

A few more of my favorite snaps from the opening…..

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Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

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Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, Courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts photography, courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts photography, courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, courtesy of Dwelling

Photo by Sea Star Arts Photography, courtesy of Dwelling

Thanks to the talented Jeni Becker of Sea Star Arts Photography for the wonderful photos, see more snaps from the party here. Thanks also to High Wire Distilling, Dodeline Design, and of course, Leigh and Tim McAlpin of Dwelling for hosting us.

In addition to the opening, we also held a “Meet the Maker” session at Charleston’s first Second Sunday on King for the new year. It was a beautiful day and I loved meeting new people and seeing some old friends, too.

Courtesy of @JWTWoodworks

Courtesy of @JWTWoodworks

The show will be on view at Dwelling until Sunday, February 9th, which will close with another “Meet the Makers” session from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Dwelling is located at 165 King St, Charleston, SC.

Check out some wonderful press the show has received from the Charleston City Paper, The Scout Guide, Post & Courier, and Design Feast’s Design Feaster.

Thank you to all of our friends, family, fans, collaborators, and everyone who had even the smallest part in making this show possible. We have been overwhelmed with the support from our hometown, we are so grateful and blessed to have such love in our lives.

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Art with a BANGS Show

11 Nov

Joseph and I had the awesome opportunity to participate in a recent group show Art with a BANGS at Redux Studios in Charleston, SC. Produced also by our friends at Gris Galerie and the Charleston Shop Curator, a small group of artists were enlisted to customize a pair of BANGS shoes to be auctioned off for charity.

BANGS Shoes is an amazing tennis shoe brand Founded by Charleston Local Hannah Davis. BANGS’ slogan is to Stand on Issues, with sales from each shoe going to different types of nonprofits focused on empowerment in their respective fields (education, etc.)

2013-09-23 19.47.33What our pair originally looked like.

Including a DJ, the event also featured a special SpaceCraft Studios sponsored area where attendees customized their own pair of BANGS on site.

This project was especially fun and challenging. I enjoyed combining ideas and techniques generated by my accessories line with a slice of contemporary art and fashion using my favorite medium at the moment, wood shavings.

I also enjoyed returning to Redux to show my work for the first time. I had the great opportunity to intern at Redux during my last summer at the College of Charleston. In the blistering heat of July in that old piano warehouse in Downtown Charleston I learned so much about the fundamentals of managing a nonprofit arts organization. I also gained experiences and insight into studio practices of various types that helped formulate my own fundamentals as a designer and maker. I couldn’t help but get nostalgic when I stopped in to drop off our work for the show.

2013-10-06 21.05.31The finished product.

The shoes ended up being a hit at the silent auction! Several bids were made before we left, so I am happy that the shoes brought in money for a great cause. We also hung a piece from our Joseph Thompson Woodworks Sunken Pecky Cypress series, and a new Black Swamp necklace design made it’s debut as well.

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There were also some other amazing artists and dear friends in the show, including Johnny Pundt, Sarah Stewart, Greg Colleton, Greg Hart, Patch Whiskey, Flooded Streets, Michelle Jewell of Finkelsteins Center, Becca Barnet, Allison Merrick of SpaceCraft Studios, and more.

2013-10-12 18.56.32Sarah Stewart

2013-10-12 18.56.47Becca Barnet

Thank you again to Elizabeth and Greg at Gris Galerie, the amazing Stacey and the team at Redux, BANGS Shoes and the Charleston Shop Curator for having us! We had such a great time and were pumped to be included with such an amazing group of artists and makers.

Events and New Work – September 2013

29 Aug

As a busy summer draws to a close and Labor day nears, I wanted to take a minute to share some upcoming events and also new work from the past month or so.

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As many of you already know I recently launched Black Swamp in June. Black Swamp is a naturally inspired accessories line that features my jewelry creations using recycled wood shavings from our furniture designs for Joseph Thompson Woodworks, as well as copper, sterling silver, brass and other fine materials. As of now my designs are available through my online store, blackswamp.co.

Photo by Jen Ray for Black Swamp.

Photo by Jen Ray for Black Swamp.

Black Swamp received some great press over the summer with an inclusion in Charleston Magazine’s print issue for August 2013 as well as a divine feature by Elizabeth Bowers for CHARLIE Magazine in July.

I also had the opportunity to shoot this amazing portrait for Black Swamp with Joseph Nienstedt of JWNPhoto a few weeks ago!

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I told you it was a busy summer! And I’m just getting started.

Next weekend, I am thrilled for Black Swamp and Joseph Thompson Woodworks to team up with Gris Galerie for the OPEN Arts Expo at the College of Charleston Cistern Sunday September 8th from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

This will be Black Swamp’s first event ever! I am so pleased for my designs to be making their official debut in Charleston. In addition to Black Swamp baubles, we’ll be bringing a few furniture, decor and wall hanging pieces for Joseph Thompson Woodworks. Click over to our Current Work page on our website or our Etsy shop to get a sneak peek at a few items that might make an appearance.

Again, I couldn’t be happier to hang out with our hometown crowd and show some new designs for the very first time! The support we’ve received from our home base has been incredible, and we can’t wait to celebrate in gratitude with you!

In other news, for those that do not know I am also the Membership Coordinator for a local SC Community Supported Agriculture program, Pinckney’s Produce. We’re gearing up to start our fall harvest season Tuesday, September 17th. If you’re in the Lowcountry or Midlands of SC and are interested in having over 45 different varieties of fresh, local SC grown produce delivered to a convenient location once a week for three months, then definitely give Pinckney’s a look! We have a great food community growing across the state, come be a part of something fun and tasty with me.

Phew! Okay. Just looking at what lies ahead this month has got me tired! I am looking forward to an exciting and busy month ahead. Thanks for all of the support, and I hope to see a few of you out and about over the next few weeks!

Flavor of the Week – February 14th

14 Feb

Since I want this blog to showcase the fun, quirky, and positive slice of life, I’d like to do a weekly post highlighting what I’m REALLY loving that particular week, called the Flavor of the Week. Since there simply aren’t enough hours in the day already, Flavor of the Week posts will feature a quick breakdown of a random assortment of inspirations and unique finds that have amused me recently.

Ready? Let’s Go!

What I’m loving this week:

Pilot’s B2P Be Green Retractable Gel-Ink Pens

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I’m a writer. No really. I am constantly writing notes, thoughts, and other randomness all over my planner, wood, and even my napkins all the time. Being as I write a LOT, I am loving these pens not just because they are made from recycled water bottles but mainly because of their smoothness. A great pen is oddly gratifying to me, and this one gets double the loving for being an excellent writing tool AND an Eco-friendly product. Snag some for yourself at Staples.com

Chiffon Bridesmaid’s Dress for Wtoo by Watters

In other realms of my world, I have a dear friend getting married this year and I am honored to get my first go at being a bridesmaid for her. We were reviewing our dress options this week, and the bride herself suggested this beautiful design from Wtoo by Watters. Frankly, I’m obsessed. The belted waist, chiffon, flowery skirt and one-shoulder top work in blissfully symphonic harmony and make this dress an instant classic. And look at all of those color options!  I sincerely mean it when I say I’d wear this dress again after her big day.

New Orleans

I am also loving (and missing) New Orleans a lot lately. Seeing all of the amazing costumes and king cake from my pals in the Big Easy celebrating Mardi Gras this week has me yearning for another visit.

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New Orleans has this weird vibe about it. And I like weird. I’ll admit to being creeped out by the aura of the city sometimes, but the love for life (and death, for that matter) felt throughout Nola is so remarkable and one of a kind, it’s almost difficult to put into words. Also: ‘Po Boys. Crawdads. Gumbo…..

Overall, I think New Orleans’ creative scene is bursting at the seams. Take for instance Propaganda New Orleans, Nola Fashion Week, and of course, the FOOD. The bloggers, designers, doers and thinkers that are coming out of Nola right now are simply fantastic. I personally recommend following @ChristyLorio, @JhesikaMenes, and @NicholasLandry to get a good pulse on the Nola fashion, arts, food and culture scenes. I know I am merely scratching the surface here, perhaps a more extensive post on New Orleans will come later.

I’m keeping it short and sweet for this first installment. Valentine’s day seems like a good a day as any to launch a series on things you love though, right?

And whether you have a Valentine or not, I am sending you all lots of love today, and every day.

Classically Capitalizing on 2013’s Color of the Year

11 Feb

When Pantone announced emerald as the 2013 Color of the Year there was the expected subsequent outpouring of love and admiration for the hue all over the design world. As excited as I was to hear the news, I must admit I felt a little disheartened at the prospect of my favorite color being overdone, overblown and even – *gasp* – trendy.

Since I am a early May baby (and my mother is too) emerald has always been a staple in my wardrobe. I remember receiving my first “real” piece of emerald jewelry in the first grade – a gold ring with a teeny tiny emerald on it from my godmother and beloved Aunt. I’ve been in love with my birthstone ever since, and now that emerald is getting some well deserved attention I wanted to share some thoughts on how to effortlessly incorporate the classic hue into your surroundings.

A little background: The mineral Emerald has an extensive history and has been associated with prominent figures since ancient times, so technically it’s been “So hot right now” since 4000 BC. Cleopatra adored emeralds and they have long been thought to hold mystical powers by a myriad of societies and cultures. Emeralds are thought to represent fidelity and balance, and help promote creativity. They have also been thought to prevent some health problems and aid in business matters. Emeralds themselves can actually vary in shade and depth of color – darker, richer hues are more desirable, particularly in jewelry.

For my fellow adventurists who like to get their hands dirty there are actually some emerald mines you can visit and hunt for emeralds in located in western North Carolina. That sounds like a fun weekend adventure – vacation with a potential payday included anyone?

Now focusing on the color itself, there a lot of ways you can subtly incorporate the hue into your life without a lot of effort or cost.

Plants of course are an obviously easy, cost effective, and simple way to pay homage to the color of the year. Even if you don’t have a green thumb a simple low-maintenance succulent will do the trick.

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Elfin Thyme is also a great choice to decorate your outdoor spaces.

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My first indication that emerald green was making a surge (at least in the home furnishings world) were all of the lacquered emerald finishes I saw at High Point Market in October. Lilly Pulitzer showcased an elegant emerald desk at market, while Del Ray and Associates featured a lovely antique dresser and side table at the Antique and Design Center (if you scroll down those photos, you’ll even catch a peek of me in an emerald green frock!)

Not wanting to make a large decor investment in a trend but still want a classic piece? Opt for a small home accent, such as this vintage emerald green pitcher and bowl set from Anchor Glass in Forest Green.

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For your wardrobe, snag a great pair of emerald bottoms (JCrew shown below) and balance them with a neutral top.

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You can also make Dorothy wish she’d never left the Emerald City with a gorgeous pair of emerald pumps such as these Pour La Victoire beauties.

And of course you can rarely go wrong with a set of emerald baubles. Most recently Beyonce showcased a perfect incorporation of emerald jewelry in an outfit with those spectacular gems she wore at Obama’s inauguration – and there is definitely no faking that elegance regardless of how you feel about lip-syncing.

Obviously emerald is an excellent statement hue guaranteed to catch the eye, thus it’s often best to use it in moderation (As are most things in life, right?) Pair it with other bright colors for a vivacious effect, or even with neutrals as to allow the emerald to be the center of attention – which does make sense after all as Cleopatra wasn’t known for being a wallflower, was she?

(All photos Copyright of Katie Thompson 2012 unless otherwise noted.)