This week I sent off a small selection of my work to the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan Wisconsin as part of an upcoming DIY exhibit. I was invited to be a Connecting Communities artist in residence for a week there this coming fall. Here’s a blurb from their website:

This summer and autumn, eight artists will lead a series of week long workshops devoted to do-it-yourself (DIY) crafts. The DIY craft movement emphasizes sustainability, individuality, and living simply. DIY craftspeople strive to stop the homogenization of American culture and to create work driven not by capitalism but rather by a sharing community. This project promotes DIY ethics to make craft technologies and skills accessible to all and to encourage individuals to create their own material goods. Join the community of DIYers to learn new skills, to create fabulous objects for your personal use, or even to create a means of additional income.

There will be more information added to the JMKAC website in the coming weeks! In the meantime I thought I’d give you a little sneak peek. My workshops will be MYOB: Make Your Own Bag. This was inspired by the current plastic bag “crisis” and is a means of creating awareness and to encourage people to make reusable bags to take shopping. I’m still tweaking the details, but basically we will be making bags out of all sorts of recycled materials — from felted sweaters to fused plastic bags and everything in between! While these particular bags in the exhibit (and the felted sweater bags not shown here) are not an everyday grocery shopping solution, my aim is to promote the repurposing of materials and creative problem solving.

These are a few of the bags I sent for the exhibit. (You may remember the fused plastic bag Octopus Tote from last summer, as it had gotten quite a response from CRAFT zine to Treehugger! There is a handy tutorial available from Etsy Labs showing how to fuse) I made this bag from mylar juice pouches and used an old jump rope for the handles. I kind of made up my technique as I went along, but found a pretty good tutorial if you’re interested. Also part of the exhibit are a few of my felted sweater bags from Warm Fuzzies, which of course are more of my “signature” look.

Anyhoo, it’s kind of funny that I’ll be heading to Wisconsin to do the residency. In fact, the woman that is organizing the whole thing actually emailed me about it the very day we moved to Maryland last summer. I thought , Oh No! I can’t do it because we moved! In reality, I don’t think she even knew I was in Wisconsin and the other seven artists are from out-of-state as well!