A Full Circle, by Jo Demetra – Bold & Sophisticated
For the past 10 years my creative expression, aside from gardening, has been very unusual, bold and sophisticated beaded jewelry. Beads that I had collected while working in the corporate world that sent me to the Far East many times. I loved it and will always love making jewelry. My jewelry is what got me involved with SeArts , but in the process I left behind a love..my industrial sewing machines that sat unused in my studio.
I would think about what a thrill it was to be the only and first textile artist to be part of Artweek over 40 years ago and to be part of a group wearable show at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA the following year. Not many galleries or museums were recognizing wearables and accessories as an art form at that time.
Life threw me a curve ball and I ended up working as a designer, product developer and director of international sourcing for 16 years. When those jobs ended I really began to miss my roots in design.
Several close friends encouraged me to go back to sewing..and making the bags that I had started thinking about years ago. They loved them and never saw anything like them. I had a lot of the materials to start sewing again…the only thing stopping me was me..So I jumped in with both feet and started with my favorite..the quilted leather bags.
I am not going to say it was blissful because it wasn’t. I had to retrain myself after 30 years. I was determined that all this knowledge was in my memory. So things came back..the pattern-making, the cutting ,the sewing and the quilting. I absolutely love making the bags. The bags are a combination of re-purposed and new leather and lined in leather or raw silk. A bit architectural, a touch of Deco and never mass produced.
So, here I am, 40+ years later, participating in Artweek on Cape Ann..Total full circle and I am in love again. I hope you come by and take a look….
Jo Ann will be part of the Spring Kick off Event April 26-28 at the Castle Manor Inn. Tickets available on Eventbrite!