textiles

6 Makers You Should Know in San Jose, California

I feel like I know a lot of people who make incredibly beautiful things in San Jose. It's not all computer chips and apps here. We also create things by hand with care and expertise. This list focuses on makers who specifically live in the city of San Jose, CA. The next time you think about buying furniture, textiles, plush toys, ceramics or soaps, consider making a purchase from one of these artists rather than a big box store. 

This is a personal selection of designers I know in San Jose. I hope to do more of these in the future. The group here spends a lot of time on their craft and makes with their very own hands. You can find links to their websites, online shops and contact info throughout this post. 

 

Grid Junky

- textile artist extraordinaire - 

I love following Jerome Sevilla. He takes you back in time to the days of weaving and hand sewing. He shoots gorgeous in progress shots and unravels and recycles textiles. His work is to say the least, exquisite. The care and detail of his work is evident in the images he shares around the web. 

In his words:

I'm a small guy with small hands and nearsightedness. Some may think of these as shortcomings, but such traits serve me well as a knitter, weaver, and all-around fiberist. My work has been described as concise, detail oriented and process driven. And that makes sense. The world is a blur. I'm designed to focus intently on what's in front of me. 

Find more of his work here:

instagram.com/gridjunky

gridjunky.blogspot.com/

gridjunky.tumblr.com

 

 

Jumbo Jibbles 

- plush veggies and fruit -

Amy Brown, the owner of Jumbo Jibbles, is crazy creative. She is best known for her plush vegetables and fruit that have grown (ha!) to be featured on Buzzfeed and you can see her kiwi and lemon above residing on the couch at oh, you know, just Nickelodeon. I have watched her creative business grow and thrive with her highly demanded creations. 

In her words:

I love fruits and vegetables SO MUCH... well, see for yourself. I have created giant produce pillows for kids and adults that encourage a closer relationship with your food. My toy company Jumbo Jibbles is inspired by San Jose's agricultural past and future, and my funky larger-than-life veggies confer an honorary farmer status on this apartment-dwelling artist.

Find her here

etsy.com/shop/jumbojibbles

instagram.com/jumbojibbles/

facebook.com/jumbojibbles

jumbojibbles.com/

 

 

Le Animale/Laura Johnston

- animal totems and jewelry -

I have followed le animalé since she her early days on Etsy. Laura makes the cutest collectible animal totems that are super unique in their style. These eyeless critters are perfect for you or as gifts. I want them all! I am happy that Laura moved to San Jose in the last year and we now work on creative projects together. 

In her words:

I'm Laura, the owner and artist of le animalé. I opened my shop in 2011 creating fun, small, collectible animal totems in polymer clay and pewter. I LOVE creating little animals and have made thousands over the past few years. Working with my hands, honing a skill, and giving life to my imagination has always been a part of me, and I can't imagine not doing it, Every Wednesday I release new totems in my shop, so come by from time to time to see what's new!

Laura is also a visual artist and creates beautiful paintings. You can see more of her amazing work here:

leanimale.com

instagram.com/whatLJmade

facebook.com/leanimaleshop

etsy.com/shop/leanimale

 

 

Patton Design

- reclaimed artisan wood furniture -

Chris Patton is a good friend that seemed to just magically be able to make beautiful furniture after conquering the art of photography . Well, he did come from an extensive construction background working with his dad, but still, these gorgeous pieces seem to come from a craftsman who has been making furniture for decades. Chris has done a lot of client work for companies including CukuiBrand Vessel and San Pedro Square Market, as well as unique pieces for personal work and commissions. 

In his words:

Patton Design is focused on quality craftsmanship and finding beauty in raw materials, clean designs with a rustic modern approach.

You can find his work at  @chrispatton on Instagram. You can also contact him with inquiries at c.pattondesign(AT)gmail.com. 

 

 

Ross Lab

- beautifully crafted ceramics -

Rossella Manzini makes breathtaking ceramics that are difficult to choose from. Clouds, hearts, waves, triangles and more adorn her handmade wares. Born and raised in Italy, she now resides in San Jose making these perfect pieces. I am currently deciding which plate color I want to purchase:)

In her words:

"There is a story behind every piece that I make: it begins with me, the designing process and the making, and it ends with my customers and how they choose to use my creations. This is the beauty of being a potter: I make things that are beautiful to look at, yet functional and made to be lived with.

Find the lovely Rossella here:

RossLabDesign.com

instagram.com/ross_lab

facebook.com/RossLab

twitter.com/Ross_Lab

 

 

Sylvie James

- natural bath and beauty -

I have purchased Sylvie James products and I really like the cleansers and candles. If you don't end up keeping everything for yourself, they make perfect gifts. It's been really great to watch her put herself into this line of all natural products. I am excited to see what she comes up with next. 

Here's what Anna has to say about her goods:

Sylvie James is all natural skin and bath products. It started with my kids really.  Sylvie, being  my daughters middle name and James is my son's middle name.  I started becoming more aware of what I was putting in and on their bodies. I wanted to simplify and put my family on a path to a healthy and all natural lifestyle.  The more I learned about making all natural products by hand the more my passion grew.  

Sylvie James is more than  skin care, it's the idea of  taking time out to relax and focusing on ones self. All my products are based around essential oils and cleansing clays. I create everything by hand in small batches. From Herbal Bath Tea, Activated Charcoal Cleansing bars, Eye cream, Bath Bombs, French Clay cleansing Bars, Lip Balm and more.  You can follow along at www.sylviejames.com for recipes, family adventures, product updates and more. 

FInd her at:

sylviejames.com

instagram.com/sylvie_james/

SubZERO Festival - Textiles

I've been a busy little factory getting ready for the SubZERO Festival coming up June 6 & 7. My space will act like an open studio, with sketches, paintings, clutch zip bags and art prints in my booth. I'm making stuff as we speak, as well as starting to test out my display. You may have already seen that I made a temporary outdoor studio over the weekend so I could at least pretend I was celebrating Memorial Day weekend.

I could get used to this.

I could get used to this.

Since I had been preparing for my students' art show, I have had to pick up the pace these last few weeks for SubZERO. I started off by dyeing, printing and sewing clutch bags for the event. I had fabric left from last year so I decided to make a limited run for the event.

If you didn't know, I started making these bags because I inherited a bunch of vintage sewing supplies from my aunt Yolanda, an incredible creative and amazing artist. I had to put all the vintage metal zippers to use, so I decided to make some bags. I hand dyed cotton canvas, carved some block prints, and voila! I had made my first set of bags about a year ago. Interesting enough, this current batch used EXACTLY the last of the metal zippers!

Tangerine, lilac and avocado fabric drying.

Tangerine, lilac and avocado fabric drying.

Block printed fabric pre-construction

Block printed fabric pre-construction

Sewing in the labels

Sewing in the labels

Little helper Oscar

Little helper Oscar

Almost done! Ready for the last step.

Almost done! Ready for the last step.

Multitasking. Getting booth ideas on  Pinterest  while arranging my bags.

Multitasking. Getting booth ideas on Pinterest while arranging my bags.

I think the jacaranda petals have been influencing my color choices.

I think the jacaranda petals have been influencing my color choices.

Stop by my booth at SubZERO and check them out!

Hope to see you there!

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Luncheon

I was thrilled to be invited to the Women's Initiative Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards luncheon at the Berkeley City Club. It was a great event, held in a stunning historic hotel to raise money to for the organization so more women can learn to start and run their own businesses. The array of businesses started by W.I. is astounding. The women who attended graciously donated money for the East Bay location. Each of us vendors donated a portion as well. See who won at the end of the post!

The pristine Berkeley City Club entrance.

The pristine Berkeley City Club entrance.

The view through the courtyard to the outdoor patio from the name tag table.

The view through the courtyard to the outdoor patio from the name tag table.

My table set up! I thought I did a bang up job on the tablecloth arrangement. Wink, wink. 

My table set up! I thought I did a bang up job on the tablecloth arrangement. Wink, wink. 

The view from my booth while the ladies are setting up. Yes, that is a violinist performing in the corner.

The view from my booth while the ladies are setting up. Yes, that is a violinist performing in the corner.

Vendors nearly set up outside. It looks so inviting, but it was a really windy day and not so good for tabletop displays!

Vendors nearly set up outside. It looks so inviting, but it was a really windy day and not so good for tabletop displays!

I fell in love with these handmade wood burned journals by  M-Squarepress . The maker was so sweet.

I fell in love with these handmade wood burned journals by M-Squarepress. The maker was so sweet.

One of two award winners was  Tanya Holland . She owns two restaurants in Oakland, writes cookbooks and has appeared on all kinds of national television, including her own show, Melting Pot Soul Kitchen. Go Tanya!

One of two award winners was Tanya Holland. She owns two restaurants in Oakland, writes cookbooks and has appeared on all kinds of national television, including her own show, Melting Pot Soul Kitchen. Go Tanya!