Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Natalie Chanin

I felt inspired to share a well -known artist from my home town, who I discovered just at the end of last year during my Christmas break. Enjoy :)

Nestled in the small town of Florence, Alabama is a business called Alabama Chanin. The owner and designer of this business, Natalie Chanin, began producing hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind T-shirts. She produced 200 to be exact, and launched the original Project Alabama. In 2006, after Project Alabama ceased all production in the state, Alabama Chanin was born. Natalie launched Alabama Chanin to keep old American traditions and "community-based culture" in tact. I love the fact that her company is a life-style company that focuses on slow design and sustainability, and that every piece is hand-crafted and unique. I was able to meet Natalie before a lecture she made at SCAD about her experience. She is very down-to-earth and as sweet as can be. I'm a "home-town girl" so we were able to talk about what had been going on in Florence.
In her lecture, she told us a sweet little story about "loving your thread". It's a story that goes along with the trick of stroking your thread to get the oils from your hands on there so your thread will never knot up. She said, "Before we begin to make our garment, we take our thread and we run it through and through our fingers very gently, and we love the thread. We tell the thread, 'Now thread, your are going to put all the love in to this piece, and whoever wears this will show that love, and be happy with their garment'..." And she went on giving more sentiments that the thread would offer to the garment, almost like spreading luck and happiness to the person who would receive it. I love the story, and the idea. Just precious.
Another thing that I thought was really interesting was that they use every scrap they can to create a design. When she mentioned this it became apparent because the beautiful, intricate, designs that were on the garments were small, individually sewn pieces made into a design. Very creative. It reminded me of what I loved to do with paper. She designs everything from skirts, jackets, tees, bridal wear, and accessories, to quilts and other home decor accessories. One of my favorite techniques that she uses is the reverse applique. Gorgeous.
Her new line the Songbirds, is now available and you can view it by visiting the Alabama Chanin site.

1 comment:

  1. I like it, so sweet, see my blog to and follow if you want!