Cute and quirky craft­ing

Amy Bar­ber fash­ions a unique line of hand­made ac­ces­sories.

Austin American-Statesman - - D LIFE & ARTS - By­jeanne Claire van Ryzin jvan­ryzin@states­ Craft­ing

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 In­stead, she col­lages de­signs she sources from vin­tage fab­rics to­gether with quirky or out-of-date stock im­ages and pat­terns.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

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