Yes, the Grand Hand Gallery will close its Napa, CA location this week. That means two things for me: SADNESS that such an amazing gallery that stands for everything handmade in the US will no longer be part of our community. And CURIOSITY of what comes next.
As the gallery's Art Consultant for the past 1.5 years I have dedicated myself to this gallery and enjoyed meeting all the wonderful and talented artists who's work we were able to represent and sell. My dearest colleague, Kristina, and I have been welcomed so warmly by the community. For the past couple of weeks we have both been so touched by everyone who came in to let us know how sad they are to see the gallery closing. We are so grateful for the community that has valued our impact on downtown Napa and the entire Napa Valley and hope they will follow us along as we make the move to an online presence.
While I will still be curating the little gift store - The Grand Hand Annex - at Napa Valley Museum and my products will still be available at the St. Paul, MN location I now will have a lot of time to focus on my own work and spend more time in my beloved studio. I admit it's a bit scary but I am trusting the process. I believe that now is a good time to really dive in and explore the possibilities of my work in relation with the slow fashion movement. All I've ever thought of was how can we make things that don't have to be replaced in a few months due to bad quality and at the same time keep in mind the impact of the making of every garment on our environment, our own health and our communities.
New and good things will come out of this and I am excited to share them with you as I take this change as a chance.
JUST AN UPDATE
It's been a while since I last posted anything to my blog but that doesn't mean that nothing major happened...
In October a whole batch of beautiful and super soft merino wool arrived. Right on time to get enough hand-knitted hats ready for The Grand Holiday Bazaar at The Grand Hand Gallery - Napa. It was a lovely event and six other talented artists from the Bay Area came to showcase their new jewelry, flower, glass, ceramic and letterpress print designs to all the curious holiday shoppers. The Grand Hand Gallery is now also carrying my work at both, their Napa and St. Paul, MN location so make sure to go by and check them out.
Then there was my hand-knitted YOLOTLI advent calendar that The Grand Hand Gallery put out for their clients the second year in row. It holds 25 little hand-made treasures that are gifted to gallery visitors on the 25 days from December 1 leading up to Christmas Eve.
One of the clients loved it so much that she ordered one from me. The image above shows the finished calendar. Each of the 25 hats has a different design and is attached to a 100" long handmade rope. It was such a fun project to work on as I had a real excuse for catching up with ALL the episodes of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood in 4 weeks!
Now winter is almost over again here in Napa and I can finally go back into my studio, which was without electricity until the end of November [since the earthquake happened in August]. I've had lots of time to think about what to do for this year while I couldn't access my studio.... More about that soon here on my blog.
Nicole W. Kelly - Designer. Maker. Traveler. Owner of YOLOTLI.