last august, i was looking for an uber-cool, upcycled wallet to replace my husband's worn out hemp number. i stumbled across the clever money bag wallets at chakra pennywhistle, hit the 'add to cart' button – and now i call him mr. money bags. (he loves every second of that!) Rikkianne Van Kirk is the talented mastermind behind chakra pennywhistle, and all of her designs are well-worth falling head over heals.
whether she's ambitiously stitching retired money bags into wallets & pillows or hand printing her own sketched, folk-art inspired designs onto organic cotton twill, she captures a distinctly modern & simple style that i find quite appealing. she strives "to reflect the joy of using natural, sustainable materials" - choices that certainly make everything scrumptiously comfortable & unequivocally good for you and mother nature.
Rikkianne recently spoke with me about passion – in her work as well as others' – read on…
how do you define passion in the handmade genre? how do you recognize it & know it?
Passion in the handmade community is slicing the tip of your finger off with a rotary cutter, but you keep going anyway. It is picking up your brushes, knitting needles, or pliers and working your tail off for the love of it all. It is staying up at all hours of the night and editing articles that promote and inspire. It is surrounding and drowning yourself in this indie community so deeply that you start to wonder how other folks breathe.
what drives your own passion and makes it irresistable?
What it comes down to is that I am simply passionate about making something new out of something old. I thoroughly enjoy history, and every piece that I work with has its own story. Giving that piece a new story to tell can be so much fun. I want to communicate this in my work with my vintage money bag goods, as well as with my printed designs. Each money bag that I use has lived a rich life… literally. Their signs of wear and tear show it. My print designs are inspired by early American decoration and folk art. I am in love with the simplicity of the style and can’t see an end to the inspiration that it provides.
please share 3 other artists who embody passion as you define it.
There are so many artists that I feel exude passion to its fullest. Picking a only a few is extremely hard! I must mention Ana, the artist behind fric de mentol. This gal produces amazing art at an incredible pace. I own a few of her pieces and have the pleasure of entering her colorful world every single day. There’s also Susan, who’s behind the fairly new Etsy shop Avalanche Looms. This lady lives it! Not only is she an amazingly talented and skilled weaver, she keeps shop on her beautiful piece of land in rural Wisconsin. Lastly, I have to mention you, Jan! I find you to be severely passionate. Not only do you create and sell your own amazing line, but you also diligently and selflessly promote others with both Scoutie Girl and Daisy Janie. I am sure that I speak for everyone when I say that your passion is greatly appreciated. Thank you! [thank *you* for mentioning my work, Rikkianne – i appreciate your kind words about my 24/7 obsessions!]