Even MORE To Look Forward To!

27 Jul

April Gramolini     Donna Lyons

These two WONDERFUL artists will be at the East Greenwich Art Festival on September 1st and 2nd at the new New England Tech Campus in East Greenwich, Rhode Island! Will you?

Did you know that burlap sacks get discarded after the roaster empties the green unroasted beans? Artist April Gramolini makes accessories for men and women out of local roasters’ coffee bean sacks!

Since coffee sacks are made from woven strands of jute which is natural fiber in the hemp family, it doesn’t need pesticides or even fertilizer to grow, making it even more sustainable and eco-friendly when reused.

April creates wallets, belts , wristlets and more on reclaimed industrial sewing machines from the 60s. The individuality of the coffee sacks’ screen printed designs inspires her to create every single item unique and different from the last. Fabric linings are found from thrift and consignment stores as well as mill overstocks, making each wristlet and purse even more special.

 “I love the contrast when mixing feminine fabrics with rough and rugged burlap.”

 Additionally, April truly loves to hand weave with her Ashford table loom and has recently been experimenting with jute and cotton, mixing those rough and soft textures again.
Make sure to check out April online at her Etsy site and support her beautiful work by “liking” her Facebook page and of course, don’t miss her at the East Greenwich Art Festival!
Donna Lyons, aka Barefoot Henna, creates all natural body art through the use of Henna – a medium sized shrub that grows in hot, arid conditions.
For many centuries, the people of these areas, North Africa, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, have used henna to dye their hair, beards, fingernails and skin.  It is often used in celebratory rituals, drawn on to the skin in patterns, much like tattoos, but not permanent.  The dye in the plant leaves stain the skin cells a lovely range of brown tones, and as the skin replenishes itself, the stain wears away.  Each of these regions has a unique style, for example, the Africans use very geometric, linear patterns, while others use floral motifs, and the traditional paisley type design.

“The Art itself is an inspiration, because each and every henna design, no matter how many times I’ve drawn it, comes out differently because its an ever changing canvas that is the human body.  No two are alike, it’s drawn freehand, so there’s a lot of latitude you can take.  It is always exciting to see the finished product.”

Donna mixes her own henna paste, so she can tell you exactly what is in it…
Henna powder, from harvested, dried, ground, sifted plant leaves.
Lemon juice; used since the acidity helps break down the plant fibers, thus, releasing more dye.  Sometimes teas are used. white table sugar; it helps it stick to the skin. essential oil; typically cajeputi, tea tree, or lavender; others are used, but mostly for scent.  these are monoterpene oils that also break down the plant fibers to release dye.
One important piece of advice from Donna…
Always avoid Black Henna – Do your research on it.
Donna Lyons will be at the East Greenwich Art Festival on September 1st and 2nd and we hope to see you there as well! – You won’t want to miss out!
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