Friday, August 10, 2012

On the Road - A Providence Interlude and Fascinating Night

After a fun Thursday night at Dogwatch Artisan Market, I had my Friday free before heading off to the Greenway Open Market on Saturday. I decided to take full advantage of the day and explore some of the fabulous people and places of Providence. Back in July, I met Anh Sawyer at the Greenway Open Market in Boston. She had found me through this blog and wanted to check out the Greenway in person to see if it would be a good prospect for her and her husband's line of clothes called Philip Sawyer Designs. Anh opened her doors to me so I took a visit to their home/studio in the morning.
Ahn Vu Sawyer and Philip Sawyer
Both home and studio are nestled in The Plant building in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence. This unique converted mill houses live/work spaces, restaurants, non-profits, artist studios, and commercial spaces. Ahn and Philip have the best of both worlds: a gorgeous living space filled with creative decor and a generously sized work space for designing and producing clothes.
The Plant - Providence
surrounded by beauty
work space
Both Ahn and Philip have traversed interesting and diverse paths to get to where they are today. Ahn is the author of the book Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, which chronicles her harrowing escape to freedom during the war in South Vietnam in 1975. She has worn many hats since then: student, teacher, author, speaker, designer, and artist just to name a few.

Philip had his beginnings in International Affairs, education, and humanitarian aid projects. Eventually childhood influences (mother and grandmother were seamstresses and quilt makers) and passion for design lead him in a new direction to where he is today. Add to the mix three beautiful children and several major moves across the country and you end up with a design company steeped in family love, mixes of cultures, and unique perspectives.
clothes for both women and men
Charlotte blouse
Philip and Anh view clothing as art and when you get to see their pieces in person, that vision is very clear. The fine fabrics, beautiful details, and elegant lines make the wearer feel quite special. I had the pleasure of trying  on a gorgeous wool twill coat and loved the draping, shape of the pockets, flattering fit, and versatility of the coat. You can visit Philip and Anh at their studio in Providence or visit their storefront in Newport, RI to see their pieces in person. It's well worth the trip!
Philip Sawyer Designs
As I walked out of Anh and Philip's studio out into the parking lot, I bumped into a familiar face - Devienna Anggraini of DA Metals. What a small world! I met Devienna at my first Twist show in Northampton, MA. She creates brightly-colored enameled jewelry with unique geometric shapes. Devienna was just getting settled into her new space and was gracious enough to let me take a quick look. I was quite impressed by her spacious and bright showroom and workspace. Soon she will have an official studio opening but until then, check out her website and Etsy shop to see her vivid pieces and learn more about DA Metals.
Devienna Anggraini
DA Metals
Soon after leaving the Plant, I zipped just ten minutes away to one of my favorite crafty queens - Wendy Baker of Bendywho. It was love at first sight when I saw her bold floral and layered pieces back in May and I now that I know Wendy, I adore her as much as her jewelry! I got to swing by her house/studio and felt right at home among her space filled with vintage findings, baubles, beads, and containers full of what-nots. We instantly started digging through supplies and trading. I brought her a box of chandelier parts and vintage jewelry and she gave me a tons of letter tiles, glass leaves, beads, and curtain tie backs.
I love Wendy to pieces!
We traded a few choice words...
We took a mini road trip to one of our favorite vintage jewelry supply warehouses in Providence and did some damage together. Before we parted ways, I got to try on a gorgeous custom necklace in bronze and black, which is soon flying off to a famous chef in Asia. I also picked up a Bendywho ring and earrings for two friends. I guarantee you will love Bendywho designs as much as I do if you check out her Etsy shop or visit her on FB!
Wendy Baker and her gorgeous statement necklace
not your garden variety necklace
My next and final stop for the evening was friend Stacey's place in Hull. I always get five star accommodations when I stay with her. She welcomed me with a bright yellow Lego head container and a hug... who could ask for more? I bestowed upon her a Bendywho ring, freshly picked just hours before. I have to say, she wore it quite well.
Lego love
Stacey in Bendywho
After settling in, we walked to the main thoroughfare of Hull and stopped for a light drink and dinner by the water. Next we headed off to participate in our favorite Hull tradition - Fascination! This old fashioned amusement game is a cross between a sitting version of Skee Ball and BINGO. Add to it a killer patchwork linoleum floor, the carnival barker style commentary of the "Fascination Master" in a raised booth, and prizes and you have one exciting evening out! Guess who was the big winner of the night? STACEY! Never has a seven buck jackpot felt more like a million dollars. After a full day of friends, art, and games, I went to bed one happy camper, recharged, and ready for the Greenway on Saturday.
a light drink
All hail the great and powerful Fascination Master!
somewhat fascinated
high roller of the evening

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