We're excited to bring you a series of profiles to introduce you to a few of our artisans! This is just one in a series of Vendor Spotlights in which we let those who will be sharing their wares shine a light on what it is they do. The following profile is Diane of BreadandRoses2 and her response to a mini-questionnaire.
1) What's your name and what is it that you make?
My name is Diane T. Wilson and my business name is BreadandRoses2. I design/engineer and handcraft bags and carryalls from start to finish in my one-woman studio. The vintage workwear textiles used, including historic military canvas and old selvedge denim, are salvaged from such diverse sources as a decades-long defunct mens' uniform factory in Cleveland to flea markets to scouring the back roads of rural Ohio. BreadandRoses2 bags are known locally, and far beyond, for their distinctive and durable utilitarian aesthetic. They all have stories to tell and miles to go.
2) How did you acquire the unique skill set to do what it is you do?
Like countless women for generations, I learned myriad, traditional needle arts rudiments from my mother, a professional European dressmaker with an impeccable color/design aesthetic and creative craftsman skills to match. I practiced cross stitch at age 4.5, knitting by 6 yrs., followed by machine sewing and pattern making at 10. In high school, I rebelled from convention by making a quilt for an art class project, quite radical in the day. At Kent State University I majored in Design/Crafts: Textiles/Weaving. Inspired by the American Designer Craftsman and modern art quilt movements of the 1970s, I expanded my art quilt pursuits and delved into wearable art, frequently using vintage/recycled textiles by design, further developing my skills and vision that continues presently.
3) What is your best seller?
My recycled vintage military canvas bags have been a constant best seller for the past eight years, mainly via my BreadandRoses2 Etsy shop online. More recently, the bags I make incorporating old workmens' canvas aprons have sold so well that I have a hard time keeping up with demand and sourcing replacement vintage materials. (Once they're gone, they're gone!) My customers are so responsive to the graphics naming old businesses in specific towns and cities they're connected to in some way, just as I am. Each bag is one of a kind due to the unique history of its components.
4) How long have you been vending? Have you done a Crafty Mart show before?
I go way back. My very first show was the Kent, Ohio Downtown Street Festival, 1977. By the mid-80s I sold my wearable art clothing at the Boston Mills and Cain Park art festivals, both in northeast Ohio but nationally juried shows as well as exhibiting my art quilts nationally, including the Cleveland Museum of Art May Show and others, where I sold many pieces. After a long hiatus, I decided to dip a toe back in the water doing my first Crafty Mart early this year, did the Crafty Mart @Canton Art Museum and vended at most of of the Akron Farm & Flea Market this past summer. Thank you, Crafty Mart! In all my years doing art to antiques shows venues, you are among the very best!
5) The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Grew up with both but The Beatles probably edge out Stones. Neil Young, Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros., Grateful Dead (saw them early on @biker bar/W.25th St., Cleveland way before it was gentrified Ohio City), Van Morrison, Incredible String Band, Steel Eye Span, Fairport Convention are first loves. Gotta love Hank Williams, John Prine, Bob Wills, old school R&B, et al. These days: whatever is on Folk Alley & J.S. Bach.
Thank you for answering our questions, Diane.