Monday, June 4, 2012

An Artisan Who Sells Her Shirret Hand-mades

Artisan is a French word for fine design, as in Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Coco Chanel. There are many of you who are selling the Shirret rugs and objects you make at summer and church fairs.

Many people around the country make shirret, and show it, and their friends even collect it. Irene Young of Pocasset Cape Cod and Shirley Massachusetts sells her Shirret in the popular Falmouth and Sandwich Farmers markets on weekends. I first met Irene at Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft fair in Western Massachusetts. My children and I camped and brought our rugs and supplies to wool fairs for a lovely 20 times over 5 years. It was such fun.

Irene showed my 13 year old daughter Juliet, who Shirrets, the wee bunny she had in her hands that she'd just bought. We could relate, because we had a purebred Giant German Cashmere orange bunny, named Thistledown Jack, the Pumpkin King. 

We started seeing Irene everywhere we showed Shirret then - at Vermont Sheep & Wool, NY State Dutchess County New York Sheep & Wool, Connecticut Sheep and Wool, Maryland Sheep and Wool, and even at Park Slope Brooklyn Sheep and Wool. Pretty much.

When her friends are learning to Shirret from her, if they make a stitching 'mistake', she says "Don't tear it out!  Make it into something - make it a flower if it suggests that. Just DO it." In fact, the stitches in Shirret are totally hidden inside the fabric, so I make mistakes all the time and it doesn't matter.

At her booth at the Farmers Market in Sandwich or Falmouth, she says "Everything here was made by an American woman - I made it all.  Forget fair trade - this work is made here."