I love perusing Instagram to discover artists, inspiration, and new friends. I connected with an account in Australia called Soul and Rhapsody, a handmade business run by a beautiful and lively woman named Joan. Joan creates one of a kind accessories and her feed is so colorful and full of life. I approached her about using some of her pieces in a photoshoot, and my goal was to capture the pieces with a focus on body and form, instead of color and context. I found local dancer Krystle Aguilera to model for me, and I must say, I love the work we made! Check it out.
I was lucky enough to work while on the road with my husband who is a traveling musician. We spent some time in Putney, Vermont, near Bennington, where he went to college. I got to spend the morning with a beautiful potter, on her property, in her gorgeous (and handbuilt) studio. It was such a grounding experience, after a week on the road, to be still with her in her bright and creative space. Thanks, Fiona Morehouse!
When The Bright Angle reached out to me I gave a little, "Yip!" I'd been following their pottery on Instagram for a while, since I had stumbled upon it from their connection to the Democratic Cup. They hired me to do a lifestyle photo shoot of their first pottery collection, being released this summer. The Bright Angle is a design collective of Asheville artists that work out of a bright and generous space at the Asheville Area Art Council's Refinery building. Each member of the team helped design one or more of the pieces in the collection. What's unique about their process is that they have truly embraced the nexus of new technology and the handmade. They tested and perfected their shapes by using a 3-d printer to get a real life sense of the proportions and shapes. Once perfected, they made molds, and slip cast the pieces out of porcelain. Their Kickstarter campaign is live now, and more than halfway funded! Check it out for great deals on their mugs, vases, planters, espresso sets, pourovers, bottles, ring dishes, memento boxes, and more. And, for beautiful images and even a few giveaways, follow them on Instagram. For this shoot I was lucky enough to collaborate with Morgan Fender of Bomisch, a beautifully curated collection of homewares.
I love knitting and yarn and fiber in general, so whenever a fiber artist reaches out to me I totally geek out. Queue Suzanne Wadsworth, a burgeoning knitting pattern designer here in Asheville, North Carolina. Suzanne has a romantic aesthetic so we shot her new pattern next to the lovely Swannanoa River near Warren Wilson college. The river and the rolling green landscape made the perfect backdrop for her summer weight linen tee. Knitters, check out the pattern on Ravelry!
Photographing for Appalachian Knits, a regional knitwear design collective, is always so much fun. In January we shot a collection designed by Jennifer Sadler and Christina Danaee using regionally dyed yarn from Fern Fiber, another Asheville business. Since the patterns were intended for a spring release, but we had to shoot in January, we partnered with local flower shop, Flora in West Asheville. This Haywood Road shop is a charming store featuring vibrant green plants, adorable planters, fresh cut flowers, and sweet gifts. We shot Jennifer's Waterrock Vest on local model, Abby Jay, as a layer and as a stand alone top. Check it out, and for pattern details, visit Ravelry.
One of my favorite shops in West Asheville is an "urban homesteading supply store" called Villagers. Last year I took a spoon carving workshop there and it was AWESOME. It was so satisfying to take a blade to damp, aromatic wood. I also had the pleasure of meeting Nate Chambers, one of the instructors. Nate is a philosopher and woodcarver operating under the handle, Chambers Woodcraft. We documented a little spoon carving at his shop. Check it out!
Jennifer Sadler of JayKay Knits is co-founder of Appalachian Knits. We collaborated on a shoot featuring one of her original knitwear designs that refers to historical Cherokee Indian basket patterning from the Appalachian mountain region. The Richland Mitts were designed around regionally grown wool from Mars Hill, North Carolina's Bovidae Farm.
This is NOT your grandma's knitting! I've been working regularly with Appalachian Knits and knitwear designer Christina Danaee. I adore Christina's aesthetic and when we get together to shoot it feels like a party! Christina designed this gorgeous Braddock beanie pattern using Magpie Fibers, a squishy and vibrant regional yarn. We shot on location at Asheville Glamping in their beautiful dome and had a blast. Our lovely model is the talented Abby Jay. Hurray for girl bosses, fiber, knitting, glamping, and photography!
This shoot brought together some of my favorite things: girl bosses, knitting, farms, and photography. I met knitwear designer, Christina Danaee, on Instagram of all places! We connected over our shared love for knitting and all things handmade and began scheming ways we could work together. Christina, along with another Asheville knitwear designer, Jennifer Sadler, founded Appalachian Knits to celebrate the region's rich knitting history with original patterns featuring regional fiber farms. This shoot captured Christina's Roan sweater made from Bovidae Farm wool, at Bovidae Farm in Mars Hill, North Carolina. It's such a joy working with other creative entrepreneurs!
My husband, Jackson Emmer, wrote this melancholy song about trying to "make it." We recorded it not long after the 2016 election, so it's extra full of desperation and sadness. Here's a song for all you creative, passionate folks out there trying to make a living and create art at the same time.