Working a loom in my dorm at college
For more than 20 years, my friend Martha Stewart has celebrated a spirit of innovation in the pages of her magazines, on her television shows and, more recently, online. Now, through American Made —founded in 2012— Martha and the editors of Martha Stewart Living are spotlighting the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.
Martha and her team believe we are in the midst of a shift in our culture where creative entrepreneurs are defining a new American economy. From Detroit to Des Moines, Spokane to St. Louis, people are choosing Main Street over mini-malls—supporting the local and the handmade. Our country’s ‘makers’ are sparking this change by taking a leap, banking on their creativity and craftsmanship, and living their version of the American dream. I love this concept and want to applaud her and her team for honoring, in their words, “makers, small business owners and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food and style. These makers are recognized for their dedication to creating beautiful, quality products and building successful businesses and communities.” I appreciate their valuing local artistry and handwork, creative design, and the work of the hand over mass produced factory products that depend more heavily on fossil fuels.
If you want to know more about this project, read the stories of past winners, or nominate a craftsperson who’s work you admire, visit the American Made website at: http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade
This year I am going to nominate my college friend and fellow weaver, Peggy Hart. Peggy and I both started weaving in our youth, but bonded when we found each other weaving blankets in our college dorm rooms, an uncommon college diversion. Peggy has made a life-long career out of weaving. She makes cotton and wool blankets on the last of the shuttle looms manufactured in Worcester, MA for the American woolen industry.
Here she is at work, weaving a blanket.
Peggy’s baby blankets have long been a favorite gift item of mine for new moms. I have often received thank you letters from the recipients who happily report that the blanket goes everywhere with their child! Made of cotton, they can be dragged through mud and still get clean again, thanks to a pass through the washing machine.
Here are some examples of the beautiful patterns she weaves. If you wish to see more of Peggy’s blankets, check out her website: www.blanketweave.com
Do you have any favorite craftspeople to nominate, and what do they do?
Don’t forget that the deadline to submit nominations on the American Made website is August, 31st!