arrivals Thursday
sew sew

artists at work: Rustbelt Fiberwerks


I'm trying to remember the first time that I saw Leah's work.  Somewhere in Milwaukee - either at Art Vs. Craft or at Paper Boat.  Either way, it was something I was eyeing for a while, just trying to make up my mind which piece I liked the best.  I love the combination of screen-printing and repurposed fabrics.  So I was pretty happy when I got an email from Leah inquiring about consignment at Anthology.  Her full aprons, napkins and placemats are great housewarming gifts.


What inspires you to make what you do?

Dozens of things! It can be anything from a found scrap of fabric to an odd button. The materials I collect really dictate what the finished piece will be.

What’s an average studio day/session like?

Generally I get up early, do a little movement (yoga, cycling, walking, etc.) to help get my brain going. I find that I am much more focused and able to tackle my day that way. Next it is straight to the studio. Most days I start working around 9:30 and work through until lunch around noon. After lunch I head back down to the shop and work until about four. By that time my brain is on overload and I am ready for a break!  At the end of the day I get everything prepped for the following day. 


Where is your studio?  What does it look like?

I have an ideal studio arrangement. My husband and I have a duplex. We live upstairs and my studio the whole downstairs apartment. We converted the kitchen into a washout station, the back bedroom into a darkroom, the living room into my sewing area and the dining room into my print room. It is wonderful! Especially in the winter when you don’t want to trudge through piles of snow I just walk down a flight of stairs and am at work. 


Sprayer and screen

What supplies are in your studio? How is everything organized?

Most of the materials in my studio are either related to screen-printing or sewing. I have all my notions and other supplies organized in clear plastic bins so I can both keep them corralled and see what is there. All of my fabric is organized by color and stacked neatly on open shelving. I find it really helpful to be able to see what I have. That way you don’t lose touch with your workspace. 


Orange segments printing

Do you have some favorite crafty websites/blogs that you'd recommend?

My two favorite blogs to read are Design Sponge and (, CakeSpy ( I can waste hours on them!

Thanks so much Leah!


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