Art Vending
CrafSanity Episode 31
Rhonda Simmons Introduces Us to "Art in a Box"
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Rhonda Simmons is a 43-year-old artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where she documents life with plaster castings and empowers other women to celebrate themselves in their own artistic ways. And it's Rhonda's whimsical spirit that led her to convert feminine hygiene dispensers into colorful "Outsider Art in a Box" dispensers. Who would of thought those dispensers could ever be so fun?


Tune in for our chat about art parties, body casting, using art as therapy, artist trading cards and art vending.

Rhonda sells body casting kits. Below is one of her embellished creations.


After you listen to the show check out Rhonda's "Altered Anything" and art vending sites. Rhonda is going to be starting and "Outsider Art in a Box" subscription soon, so be sure to contact her through her website if you're interested. You'd be getting cool stuff like these samples she send me.

This is the box the art comes in.


I got a chalk board necklace by Rhonda, a mini-watercolor painting by Rachel Daws and a coffee condom by Kathy Braun.


Check out these other art vending sites:

unknownThis week's project is an artist trading card how-to from Rhonda.

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CraftSanity Episode 29
Three Weavers Converge
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Tune in for three perspectives on a fabulous art form.

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(From left) Jane Patrick, Richard Ashford, Nilda Callanaupa)

Sometimes the craft gods smile upon us and we just have to soak it all up. That's exactly what I did when Convergence 2006, the Handweavers Guild of America international convention, made a stop in Grand Rapids, Mich. last month. I grabbed my recording equipment and headed downtown to tape some mini-interviews with weaving enthusiasts from around the globe.

Nilda Callanaupa weaves to preserve history. As the founder and director of The Center for Tradicional Textiles of Cusco, Peru, she is on a mission to celebrate and pass on the 2,000-year-old weaving traditions still practiced in villages where Andean weaving traditions documenting the weavers' connection to nature have been handed down for generations.

In 1996, Nilda, 46, established the non-profit organization to encourage the survival of the region's rich Incan textile traditions. Nilda is an accomplished weaver, who like the weavers she teaches, can weave and knit beautiful complex designs from memory. Below Nilda's assistant, Maria Ester Quispe, 30, is knitting an amazing piece without the benefit of a pattern.


Nilda will be leading an Andean Textile Tour of Cusco, Peru from April 28 to May 12, 2007, so check out the details. And you can purchase the amazing textiles of weavers organized by her weaving center via this site.

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Next, Richard Ashford, the managing director of Ashford Handicrafts in Ashburton, New Zeeland, chats about his life running the family business and traveling the globe to sell looms and spinning wheels and many other products to fiber enthusiasts. He almost sold me this loom. I tried it out at the convention and loved it, but ended up walking away from temptation... for now at least. In an act of clever marketing, it's called the "Ashford Knitters Loom." It's light, and portable and easy to use. Knitters who want to learn to weave would probably enjoy this loom.

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Now we’re going to conclude with a chat with Jane Patrick, the former editor of Handwoven Magazine, and author of the new book “Time to Weave: Simply Elegant Projects to Make in Almost No Time" published by Interweave Press. Jane is also the sales manager of Schacht Spindle Co., a friendly competitor of Ashford Handicrafts, so it’s only fair that I let her make the pitch for the slick loom her husband, Barry Schacht, created to compete with Ashford’s Knitters Loom. (They both retail for about $200.) Personally, I'd like to own them both. (It's true, I have a weaving addiction.)

Tune in to the podcast to hear Jane recount the story of how she and Barry met, and click here to read about how their business got started.

Jane's new book, "A Time to Weave" is a great primer for those looking to get into weaving without spending hundreds on a loom. The book guides readers through a number of interesting and relatively simple weaving projects that use a fabulous mix of materials ranging from traditional fibers to brown paper bags, sticks, canvas and cork. While the book includes basic information about weaving on simple looms, it still offers plenty of inspiration for experienced weavers looking for a portable project.

Pasted Graphic 5This Week's Project: Here are Jane Patrick's instructions for this fun and easy Pocket Weave Sachet (pdf download) that is woven on a piece of cardboard. This is a bonus project you won't find in her book. (Thanks to Jane and all the Interweave staffers who made this possible!)

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