Have you ever looked at potters smiling from their booth at the farmers’ market and wondered: “what’s their deal?” Have you ever considered whose hands are behind the wooden chair you're sitting on? How about those fancy kitchen knives you admire?
Cut the Craft is a podcast that brings stories of handcraft and its makers to you. Perhaps you are a craftsperson looking for a fresh perspective, or a newcomer to handmade things; no matter your starting point, your hosts Amy Umbel and Brien Beidler are here to cut the craft.
Episode 049: Andrea Davis
1:22:03Recorded April 18, 2022. Soapmaker Andrea Davis is the owner of Motherland Essentials in South Carolina. She focuses on cold process soapmaking and loves the interplay between art and science that soapmaking allows. During our interview she guides us along her path into soapmaking: from a traumatizing situation in the corporate world to how she relied on creativity to help the healing process as she dealt with personal loss. She is making more than nourishing skin and body products; Andrea is resting healing spaces and community with her craft in direct contrast to her previous career. To find more of Andrea’s work visit her website: https://www.motherlandessentials.com/, Instagram + Facebook + TikTok + Pinterest @motherlandessentials, Twitter @motheressential, Support the show
Episode 048: Caitlin Morris
1:25:41Recorded March 28, 2022. Blacksmith Caitlin Morris is the founder of Ms. Caitlin’s School of Blacksmithing in Frederick, Maryland, and “is dedicated to sharing the craft with as many unsuspecting people as possible!” Caitlin is a dedicated teacher who learned the perils and triumphs associated with learning when she first started her craft. As a smaller-built person, she noticed the difference between technical nuance and brute strength. She learned how to get the results she wanted by breaking down body mechanics to make blacksmithing accessible to anyone and everyone who was interested. During our conversation, she underlines the importance of allowing for failure and the ways in which risk and certainty inform the processes involved in being a successful craftsperson. Caitlin’s ability to observe her students and teach to their skill level is a fantastic example of the craft of teaching itself. To find more of Caitlin’s work visit her website: Ms. Caitlins School of Blacksmithing, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mscaitlinsschool Instagram @mscaitlinsschool, and Youtube: Ms Caitlin https://youtu.be/hIw8J9h55_ISociety for Inclusive Blacksmiths Help keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Support the show
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Episode 047: Makeda Smith
1:17:08Recorded April 4, 2022. Ceramicist Makeda Smith took a leap of faith during 2020 to start her own business. She had dabbled in ceramics in college, but when a friend saw her talent and encouraged her to take her creative side more seriously, she decided to accept the challenge. The acknowledgement and support she received from her community culminated in her own home art show called Funktion. From then on, Makeda was hooked. Since then she’s opened a storefront, and was able (with the blessing of her students) to leave her teaching career and become a full-time small business owner. Makeda has so many wonderfully encouraging things to say in this episode. Do not miss the chance to hear them; she’ll brighten your day and change your perspective.To find more of Makeda’s work visit her website: www.sioceramics.com andInstagram @sioceramics and her storefront at 716 Monroe Street NE Studio 11, Washington DC.Help keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Support the show
Episode 046: Jesse Merrill
1:39:25Episode Recorded February 28, 2022. Jesse Merrill is a craft baker and greenwood worker/turner from Ontario Canada. He has his feet in two areas of craft. Running Polestar Hearth Bakery supports his family through the planned obsolescence of bread baking which gives him room to delve heart first into green woodworking and turning. During this conversation we talk about craft vs. industry and where those lines are drawn. We elaborate on how we all manage our perfectionism and how loosening up our grip is something very personal, and how it affects various aspects of creativity. Join us Tuesday for more of this introspective conversation!To find more of Jesse’s work visit his website: www.polestarhearth.comInstagram @sapwood.and.stars, @polestarhearth Help keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/cutthecraftpodcast)
Episode 045: Eleanor Rose
1:14:11Episode Recorded February 21, 2022. Eleanor Rose is a craft-based sculpture artist, and toolmaker currently based in Pennsylvania. During our conversation, she shares how she started making tools; she didn’t have access to what she needed during her undergraduate studies, so she made them herself! Our candid conversation floats in and out of the undefinable nature of some of Eleanor's work- going back and forth between a more craft based approach to tool-making and the heady conceptual nature of her woodworking collaborations with her partner-in-craft, Stacy Mott. Eleanor also shines a light on personal breakthroughs, her experience as a trans woman and how she wants to help other folks who share the struggles and gate-keeping she faced in undergrad and grad school. Join us Tuesday for this important conversation!To find more of Eleanor’s work visit her website: http://www.ladieswhoblank.com/ Instagram @ladieswho______ , @off_artisan, @stacy.mott.art, @trans_craft_soc.Help keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH! GreenWood Wright’s Fest Festival Tickets!Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/cutthecraftpodcast)
Episode 044: Mikko Snellman
1:23:11Episode Recorded February 7, 2022. Mikko Snellman specializes in knot tying and ropemaking and comes from a long line of sailors in Finland. During our conversation, he shares the important place cordage has in human history and how it helps us today. Personally, he grew up tying knots and was familiar with ropework from sailing with his father, but as he grew older he stepped into craftwork at a cabinetry shop where he learned that handcraft is not a series of tricks but a mindset. Later, as life crumbled around him, he remembered that he could help himself by the repetitive motions of tying knots and has not stopped since. He shares his work with people all around the globe and the lessons learned by entering into the meditative world of fancy knotwork.To find more of Mikko’s work visit his website: www.snellman.ax, his Instagram page @mikkosnellman, his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/mikkosnellman, his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MSnellmanRopeworks2 and his Ropeworks community on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ropeworksgroup .Help keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH! GreenWood Wright’s Fest Festival Tickets!Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/cutthecraftpodcast)
Episode 043: Gabriel Frey
1:29:02Episode Recorded February 2, 2022. Gabriel Frey is a 13th generation Wabanaki basketmaker from the Dawnland. During our conversation Gabriel shares the importance of indigenous land stewardship and the role basket weaving has as a vehicle for cultural transmission. He shares the historical importance basket weaving has in preserving indigenous agency, especially in the time where Wabanaki territory was stolen, sold and repackaged as compliance rations. In spite of that trauma, basket weaving has helped preserve Wabanaki culture and its importance shines through Gabriel’s work. To find more of Gabriel’s work visit his website: www.gabrielfreybaskets.com, and on Instagram @gabrielfreybasketmaker. Visit him at the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, Santa Fe Indian Market, and buy his book, “The First Blade of Sweetgrass,” at your local bookstore, bookshop.org, or the online corporation which shall not be named but rhymes with shamazon. Help keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/cutthecraftpodcast)
Episode 042: Sreeraghavi Mani
1:09:11Episode Recorded February 1, 2022. Sreeraghavi Mani is a textile origamist working out of New Jersey who has a background in design and textiles. She talks about how she has shifted her perspective from an industrial model to a personal relationship with craft. During the lockdowns, she recognized the meditative process of handcraft flowing through her and focused it on folding textiles. While she was in the process she felt calm and it helped her respond to the trauma. The result has been an amazing manifestation of her spiritual philosophy through handcraft itself, as she folded a garment for Three Asfour for their 2021 collection, Kundalini, for the New York Fashion Week! Rāghavi’s Mentors: Debojyoti Ganguly, her professors at Parsons: Gabriel Asfour and Preeti Gopinath.To find more of Rāghavi’s work visit her website: Pensive Penning and her Instagram accounts pensive_penning and mo.ksha_06.Help keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH!Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/cutthecraftpodcast)
Episode 041: Reid Schwartz
1:51:07Episode Recorded November 22, 2021. Reid Schwartz is a knife maker from rural New Hampshire and throughout his career as a hand-tool maker, he has settled into a solid understanding of why he is making tools and the feedback loops he is involved in as a ‘one-person’ scaled business. He’s become more and more involved in sourcing local materials for his work and is integrating rural living, interactions with community and the land into his life as a maker. He’s also become involved in understanding more about the human element in land conservation and is inspired by first nations community members and makers worldwide. Join us for this thoughtful conversation with Reid!To find more of Reid’s work visit his website: https://www.reidschwartz.net/ or his Instagram feed @reidschwartz.Reid’s Mentor: Jean-José TritzHelp keep the podcast alive! Visit our Patreon, pick up some Merch, or make a one time donation! Listeners make it all possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/cutthecraftpodcast)