I thought I'd take the time to tell you a little more information about us and how we became to be... Birds of a Feather!
Emily, Katie and our funniest friend, Alicia
(photo by Matthew Wright)
Emily (far left) grew up in Greensburg, Pa. She is the oldest of four children!
I, Katie, (middle) grew up in Erie, Pa as the oldest of two.
We both grew up in different parts of Pennsylvania, but when we met each other at college we realized we had so much in common. We met at the Cleveland Institute of Art, which is a five year art school in Ohio. Our first conversation was trying to switch shifts working at the school's library and from there it was a match!
After the first two years of foundation work at CIA, where we studied the basics such as drawing, painting and design, we both chose to work in the same major, Fiber and Material Studies. The freedom of our program allowed us to explore many different mediums. We both wove on looms and dyed fabrics, as expected. However, Emily found herself creating large scale murals, while I found myself creating oversized enameled cupcakes and installations made of sugar.
After school, plus a bonus year in Cleveland, Emily and her boyfriend, now husband, Ben, moved back to the Pittsburgh area to Lawrenceville. When I left Cleveland after 6 years, I had just begun to explore the idea of jewelry made of my Grandma Edie's button collection. I set up a studio for myself, but working alone was difficult and I wasn't really sure of my direction. Emily and I met up one fall day and I decided 'why not?' and I joined her in Pittsburgh.
We work well as a team. We are drawn to the same color palette and look to the same things as inspiration. Throughout art school we had worked together on many projects and lived together for years. We found that this endeavor also worked for us. The parts of jewelry making that I didn't love, Emily had a knack for, and luckily it worked the other way as well! It is magical and lucky!
For a while we rented a studio gallery space above Piccolo Forno & Obannon Rugs. We had several shows there and met some great people, gallery owners and artists in Pittsburgh. After a year and a half we decided that working out of our homes was a better choice for us, as we did so many artists markets and I Made It! Pittsburgh shows around the city.
Our craziness has carried through over the years together. We still love getting together to work on sanding down our buttons and drawing and painting. Mostly, we just do it to laugh with one another and share a good story or two.
Our families and friends are what inspire us to continue to create work. We look at the things that make us smile as our visual inspiration. We love hamburgers, animals, snacks, flowers and trees and birds.
We're so glad you are joining us.
love, katie & emily