October's Featured Member- Kristin Crane

October brings colder weather to Rhode Island and thoughts of travel start to set in. Whether you are traveling to warmer climates south of New England or taking a trip up north to see the foliage, our featured member Kristin Crane, a skilled bookbinder, has a travel journal for you! We asked Kristin to tell us about herself and her art.

Hi Kristin, could you please give us a little background on yourself?
I grew up in Northern New Jersey and moved to Rhode Island about 11 years ago where I live on the west side of Providence. I have a degree in textile design and used to design woven fabrics for the home furnishings industry. I am addicted to books, my laptop and am rarely seen without a scarf.

When did you first become interested in your art form?

I have always loved books in all forms, and am also a big journal keeper. In college, one of my classes had a bookbinding workshop, and it instantly appealed it me. It was awhile before I did it again, but one winter I decided to take a bookbinding class at RISD through their continuing education program and have been doing it ever since.

What inspires you?

Travel is a huge inspiration for me. I love learning about new places and what makes those places and their people unique. I’m especially interested in what a culture makes and how that reflects where they live and who they are. Whenever I go anywhere, I enjoy researching what crafts are traditional to that region and who makes them.
I also am inspired by repeating patterns, especially in nature, and gorgeous fabric.

Does living in Rhode Island influence your work in any way?
Living in Rhode Island makes it so easy to become part of the local artist and crafter community. It’s a really small state, which makes it easy to network, meet people and connect. If there’s someone you want to meet, chances are you know someone who can introduce you! It’s also a place where people genuinely care about shopping local and supporting their community. This sense of camaraderie makes it a great state to be a local artist making handmade products.

What techniques do you use the most in your work?

The vast majority of my books are made using the Coptic stitch. This stitch allows the book to open up flat, making it easy to use. I’m a big journal keeper, and like books that are beautiful, but also usable.

What do you find most challenging in your work?

For me, it’s finding the quiet time to be creative. It’s easy for me to get swept up in production, but I find it harder to focus on working out new ideas.

How did you find Etsy?

I heard about Etsy through Heather Toupin of Heatherjeany. We both worked together at the time she started selling on Etsy, and I soon became a shopper. I was inspired by her success and how easy it seemed to get your stuff out there, so I gave it a try. Now I can’t imagine how I ever shopped for anything before Etsy!

Apart from your Etsy work, what do you do?

I work part time at Craftland in downtown Providence where I’m surrounded by awesome handmade product. I recently resurrected my loom from storage, so I have been weaving again. I also live with a foodie, so I spend a fair amount of time eating great food and tasting amazing wine, often while watching the travel channel and fantasizing about where to go next.

What's your favorite place in Rhode Island?

I’d have to say Providence. I love the scale of this city. It has everything I want from an urban setting, but also retains elements that give it a small town feel. I love the independent spirit here, the enthusiasm for the arts and, of course, the Del’s lemonade.
If you like this Arts In RI blog post...spread the love!
Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook Tell Your Tweets
5 Responses
  1. Valerie Says:

    Great article on Kristin, I love your journals and you are so right about Providence. It really is a very unique city.

  2. Wow! What an amazing artist with amazing work!

  3. Great to see you featured here KC, you deserve it!

  4. Natalie Says:

    Traveling with a journal is imperative - as Wilde says, both for writing in and sensationalistic reading! Lovely books here and a lovely lady, too