September 15, 2010

Introducing TAFA's Etsy Team: A Wonderful Place to Shop!

TAFA Members are all about excellence.  The working artists represented here push the limits of innovation, exploring new ways to manipulate fabric, thread, and all of the other materials used in the textile and needle arts.  We have tried to organize our Etsy shops by theme, but many of us have too many interests, causing our inventory to reflect a wide range of products.  But, most of us do have specialties and in exploring the categories we have set up, you will find the common threads.

In, Apparel,  almost all of the shop owners explore various methods of using dyes and surface design.  Coupled with elegant designs like the organza jacket above, you can be sure that these are all one of a kind pieces.

Of course, one must accessorize one's outfits, right?   One of our Australian members, Plumfish Creations, might just be the wildest of the bunch, crocheting wonderful scarves and lariats out of recycled silk.  Check them all out in Jewelry and Accessories!  Absolutely stunning wearables, some functional, some just because you can!

Not necessarily toys (although some definitely are!), Art Dolls and Animals may perhaps appeal to the child within each of us.   I happen to have many creatures from around the world, made of fabric, wood, metal and clay.  Somehow they make me feel connected to the people and places they represent.

Want to wrap yourself in a quilt?  You will find those in the Home Interiors category.  Art quilts are normally intended for the wall.  A quilt is defined as a textile which has a top, a batting (or some kind of filling) and a backing.  Art quilters push the boundaries of that definition by exploring new ways to embellish, design, dye, and manipulate fabric and other materials.  TAFA was embraced by art quilters early on and continues to form a substantial part of the membership.  Several of them have shops on Etsy, to my great delight!

Aside from those wonderful traditional quilts which you can sleep on and wrap yourself in, Home Interiors also offers wonderful objects for your home.  Vintage Renewal finds old furniture and gives it new life by fixing the upholstery and using cool, funky fabrics.  Think of how much is saved from landfills by doing this!  In fact, many of our TAFA members are committed to green practices by recycling, upcycling, or growing/using renewable materials for their products.

TAFA is international, both in where we live and in culture.  Many of us are passionate about traditional ethnic textiles and in the cultures they represent.  Some work with vintage textiles, while quite a few work diligently to provide economic opportunities to low income artists who cannot access larger markets for their wonderful skills.  Handed down generation to generation, cultural textiles have often been marginalized and are disappearing around the world.  Old and new ideas sometimes flower into hilarious interpretations of modernity:

 You will find Afghanistan, Turkey, South Africa, Panama, and several other countries represented in Cultural Textiles.

And, of course, any of you who makes "stuff" will agree with me that supplies take up a big chunk of our real estate in our homes.  With some, it is almost a disease!  Well, TAFA members are here to help you find great supplies and patterns, handmade, vintage or designed by the seller.  Yes, we are all about textiles, fiber art, and the needle arts, but some of our supplies are made of wood, rubber and we also have patterns.  Oshiwa, for example, is a small workshop in Namibia that carves wooden stamps which can be used on fabric, paper or imprinted into clay (and soap?).

Other members design rubber stamps or salvage vintage lettering.  We now have several members on TAFA who raise herds of sheep and other animals for their wool.  This pleases me to no end!  A few of them have shops on Etsy where you will find wool, roving and yarns. 

Finally, we have the Eclectic Mix category.  As we are only allowed 10 pages on this blogger platform, we used up the others for categories where there were defined groupings of product.  Eclectic Mix houses those that don't quite fit into those other categories, like embroidery or paper.  But, it must not be missed!  Treasures are there!

This brings us to the end of our little tour.  TAFA is full of eye candy, so explore our shops here and our member profiles on our main site, TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.  There is also a lot of knowledge here.  Our member blogs hold invaluable information for the textile and fiber art enthusiast.  Spread the word about us and know that your good faith is deeply appreciated!

Interested in joining TAFA?  Click here for membership information.

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