Cute and quirky crafting
Amy Barber fashions a unique line of handmade accessories.
adornments to decorate fanciful hair pins and clips. Purses, wallets and handbags are sewn from vintage or vintage-reproduction cotton fabrics.
Yet in a new line of iPhone covers, mirror compacts and business cards, Barber’s style goes beyond simple nostalgia. Instead, she collages designs she sources from vintage fabrics together with quirky or out-of-date stock images and patterns.
“I definitely relate to the sweet and cute style, but I also like things that are a little weird,” she says.
Thus her iPhone covers (she makes them for both the iPhone 4 and 5) sport equal parts sweetness and psychedelia. On one iPhone cover, a neat, illustrated image of a cheetah floats against a pink flowery pattern. In another, a bird is superimposed onto a cascading trellis design.
Barber uses a heat press ink transfer process to print her designs onto metal that is then fitted to either the hard plastic iPhone cases or the metal
Like many who revel in the making of things, Amy Barber caught the crafting bug early.
As a child in Houston, she watched as her grandparents built up quite a tidy nest egg in their spare time, refurbishing salvaged furniture or creating new items from found materials that they then sold at flea markets.
Barber still has a bright green circular rug her grandmother inventively crocheted out of bits of fabric tied together to form a kind of yarn.
But for Barber, the making of things is her full-time career.
For almost a decade, under her business moniker Sweettooth Bags, Barber has created and sold a range of original, individually made accessories including purses and handbags, wallets, headbands and hair accessories.
Everything reflects her passion for the upbeat, whimsical aesthetics of 1940s and early 1950s design when clean forms and lines played within a vivid but wide-ranging color palette. Barber repurposes antique millinery
iPhone case by Austin artist Amy Barber