Welcome to the Muggles Market Spotlight for 2018! Today, we are delighted to announce the addition of new artisan Cats Dreaming to our third annual Muggles Market at this year’s Geek Gala. Kate Jones and Karen Marchese took a few minutes to answer some questions about their business and general geekery.
- What kinds of items will you be selling at this year’s Muggles Market?
We make celtic dragons, our ‘Mouth Monsters’, catnip toys, dice bags – each carefully designed and sewn using unique fabrics. We’ll have quilted wall hangings with fantasy themes (dragons, fairies) and international themes (Japanese geisha, African Madonnas, goddesses from around the world). Most of the fabrics we use are batiks, with intense colors and amazing patterns. In a completely different medium, we have small cottonwood bark houses, often referred to as ‘whimsical’ or ‘fairy’ houses. We may bring some of our small otherworldly alcohol ink paintings for more SF oriented shoppers.
- How did you first get started making these things?
Kate still has the first stuffed creature – a swordfish – that she made at 8 years old. She’s been making creatures ever since. In the same way, sewing wall hangings grew out of a love of quilting and fabric. Becoming a wood carver was a complete accident, due to a class mix-up – and thank goodness it happened! Karen began crafting as a child as well. Her first love today is making steampunk jewelry, but she also is a pyrographer and designer.
- What has been one of your favorite projects to work on?
Carving whimsical houses from cottonwood bark is such fun, because no two pieces of bark are the same shape, making each house is unique. The challenge of completing a house requires skills in woodcarving, pyrography, and painting, which keeps the projects endlessly interesting. We also can work together on the houses, bouncing ideas off each other.
- What else can you tell us about yourself?
Cats Dreaming is a collaboration between Kate, Karen, and Rob. Each of us brings unique skills and creative outlooks to our designs. We’re always looking for new crafts to explore and for ways to combine our individual skills and interests. Between the three of us, we’ve mastered jewelry making, beading, quilting, woodcarving, crochet, costuming, and more.
- So this year’s Geek Gala theme is “Gears and Ghouls” and focuses on steampunk and day of the dead cosplay. If you could have one body part cybernetically enhanced or replaced, what would you choose, how would you want it changed, and why?
Karen would like perfect fingernails, but if that’s too ordinary, she’ll choose elf ears so she has more room for piercings. Kate is getting her heart’s desire implanted this week: intraocular acrylic lenses so she’ll never need to wear glasses with a Geek Gala costume again.
- Check out their website at: Cats Dreaming
And make plans to come visit them on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at this year’s Geek Gala