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Looking for closure

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Tendril Fermoir with Garnet

I’ve admired Laura Bellows’ work (Jul Designs) for a long time.  She is the artist behind the jewelry-like handles on many of the Noni bags.  Her beautiful, heavy, well-crafted handles turn a felted bag into a fashion statement.  She also has a spectacular line of shawl pins and buttons that do the same for a really modest bit of knitting.  She has created some gorgeous “floating” buttons which are perfect for people like me who find an actual button really too much of a commitment,  I was anxious to get some shawl pins and see the buttons in real life, and since she’s not that far away, Lynne and I made a pilgrimage to her studio in Savage, MD

Laura’s studio in the Historic Savage Mill is a working studio where inspiration is realized.  She is a true artist.  She displays her pieces for sale,

 

Some of Laura's closures and buttons
but it is clear that this is not a storefront – she designs and creates in this studio.


 It’s a fabulous space displaying the sculpture she did for her PhD program, textiles from all over the world, and every sort of media for her work. 



It was thrilling for me to see such talent – and really great to find it in such a lovely and unassuming artist.  Laura is open and forthright and pleasant.  We spent lots of time chatting with her about her work, her designs, her approach, and about Crazy for Ewe. She was interested in what we planned to do with the closures and she showed us all kinds of really interesting and innovative ways to use the closures that I know you will love. 



 
We picked a wonderful assortment of closures and pins for both shops - some beautiful calla lily stick pins made of rosewood, sterling, and pearl

 

 

and shawl pins made from exotic Balinese woods.

 


I also bought some hand made leather closures that I adore as well as a large filigree brooch of white bronze that is perfect for our new wrap design - which, by the way, is going to be the July First Friday project!

 As we were leaving, I spied a silver tray full of color and fun.  



Buttons!!!

I was so totally taken with not only the assortment of buttons and closures but with all the ways Laura showed us to use them.  It was amazing - and I asked her if she would teach a class on styling accessories and garments with her closures--she agreed!  Woohoo!  So, mark you calendars - July 28 Laura will be in La Plata for a fabulous class “Looking for Closure”  This will be a wonderful event with wine and cheese and great fun with all kinds of buttons and closures.  The cost will be $20 which will include $10 towards any Jul Designs product.  This event is limited to 18 people, so if you are interested, call the shop (240-349-2853) or (301-475-2744) to register right away. 

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