This week, the Etsy Twitter team is proud to introduce you to Birgitte Hendricks, the artist behind SewDanish. Birgitte, who currently lives in Suffolk, England, is originally from Denmark. She makes an amazing variety of affordable woven and fiber art: beautiful baskets woven from an array of inventive materials, petite sewn origami pillow key rings, fabric covered boxes...and more! If you are looking for high quality, handmade textile or paper based items, SewDanish is a must-see. Most of Birgitte's items are one of a kind or made in very limited editions.
Birgitte is an exhibiting, Danish textile artist. While her shop currently has many exciting unique pieces, she plans to add a new level of merchandise: "I will...start listing fiber art/textile art pieces that have been exhibited around England. I make the majority of my own supplies.... My handmade supply section is the latest addition to my shop as I wanted to share my ‘surplus’ with you."
She has been known to teach some classes, too. We're hoping she'll be able to publish some eBook lessons for those of us who can't pop over to Suffolk.
Birgitte is definitely influenced by her heritage. She says "As a native Dane my fiber art is very much under influence of the Danish minimalistic approach to design and use of color. I tend to gravitate towards the lighter color scheme and use color quite sparingly. In my work I use a lot of recycled paper and fabric, as it is important for me to do my bit for the environment, and I love the unique broken in/worn feeling a one can achieve. Using recycled repurposed items is a wonderful challenge on its own."
As with many Etsy Twitter teammates, Birgitte has been influenced and supported in her artistic talents by her family: "The two most influential persons that at a very young age got me interested in crafting were my mother and my grandmother. My mother taught me to knit and crochet when I was 6 years old. My grandmother introduced me embroidery and dress making. I’m so grateful that they kept encouraging me, recognizing my huge interest in crafting and creating."
Later, fate stepped in and opened up more avenues of creativity: "After moving to England I was so fortunate to do 5 years of craft training in patchwork and quilting, art and design, free style machine embroidery and creative hand embroidery. A huge amount of assessments, but pure bliss! Loved every minute of it."
Birgitte feels that Twitter is a great tool for both networking and showcasing her art: "Tweet a mixture of ‘talk’ and links. Join teams (outside) twitter and then use twitter for networking with team members. Reply and re-tweet getting to know other tweeps. Have fun!"
Another (and surprising) side to Birgitte is medical--she is a trained RGN (Registered General Nurse)! For many years, she has worked in operating rooms performing mainly open heart surgery from North of the Arctic Circle in Norway all the way to the Middle Eastern desert! In fact, if she had $1 million to give away, it would go to the medical field: to cancer research. "Both my parents passed away way too young due to cancer. The more research into prevention and treatments the better."
February 28 through March 6, 2011
SewDanish happily ships worldwide from England
Etsy Shop: SewDanish.etsy.com