Maker Spotlight and Studio Visit: Rebe and Specks & Keepings

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We have a treat for you today! We are featuring mother daughter duo Rebe by Debra Weiss and Specks & Keepings by Hillery Sproatt. Debra and Hillery will be bringing their textile artistry to our Chicago Summer Market this weekend in Wicker Park on Division St. and we can’t wait!
Debra Weiss has been working in fabric and textiles since the the 1970’s and has produced some of the most beautiful work we’ve ever seen, from clothing and accessories, to wall weavings, blankets, and more.
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A conversation between pattern, function and form; Debra Weiss wraps the body beautifully in unique yet flattering silhouettes. Everything is handcrafted by Debra herself in her home studio in Los Feliz, CA.
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We absolutely love the intricate details Debra adds into her artwork. From unusual seams and stitching in her dresses, to gorgeous colors and weaving in her textile art, we continue to remain in awe of her skilled hands.
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Debra’s daughter, Hillery continues in her mother’s footsteps, earning a BFA in fine art and creating art prints, drawings, embroidered dolls, and small tapestries in her Grand Rapids, MI home studio.
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Hillery’s work explores the integrity of textiles, pattern as image making, and the narrative of forms. Her tapestries are small soft drawings made with thread and her stitched dolls, which resemble folk dolls, seem to inhabit the landscapes of her drawings.
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Hillery offered us a sneak peek into her home studio and we love the rich tones and simplicity of her space.
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Hillery and Debra run an online shop called Specks & Keeping that specializes in handmade goods and features many of their creations.
During our travels to Renegade Craft Fair in LA we had the pleasure of visiting Debra’s home and studio and marveling at her incredible work over the years. It was such a wonderful experience being able to talk to these two talented women in their home space and learn more about their beginnings as artists and makers. We loved hearing the stories about where all of Debra’s furniture and decorations came from and how she got started in design. Her home was like a museum exploring the history of her craft, her children, and her family heirlooms.
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I started Rebe in 2000. But I have made things all my life. I received my degree in textile design in 1977, but it wasn’t until I watched Hillery’s art talent blossom as a teenager that  I felt it was time for me to begin a business. Rebe began as a wholesale business and I recently transitioned to strictly direct customer sales, which makes me very happy.
 
Hillery launched our online shop Specks & Keepings in 2011 so we could showcase our work along with the work of other artists we admire.
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I have a love of textiles and I start by finding beautiful fabrics from all over the world. The inspiration from these fabrics guides me towards what I then want to make. 

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I begin by sketching and then we create a pattern. There is always revising as well as problem solving, but this is also where the play happens. From there it becomes a functional or wearable product that we bring to market.
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I would encourage others to do what they love and to believe in what they do. 2014-RCF-Rebe Studio Visit-01642014-RCF-Rebe Studio Visit-0181
We hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into Debra and Hillery’s home studio as much as we did! Be sure to browse the Specks and Keepings website, follow Debra and Hillery on Instagram, and come to our Chicago Summer Market this weekend. We suggest you try on a few beautiful Rebe dresses and marvel at all the textile glory while you’re there!

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