Multimedia — Apr 15, 2010

MFA Lecture: Natalie Chanin

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Alabama-based artist and designer Natalie Chanin discusses “Craft, Identity and Commerce” as part of the MFA in Applied Craft and Design Graduate Lecture Series.

PNCA/Cyan PDX Cultural Resident and Alabama-based artist and designer Natalie Chanin presented a lecture on “Craft, Identity and Commerce” at the MFA Applied Craft and Design Studios at the Bison Building.

Chanin spoke about forging a modern day model for cottage industry production; how she and a bunch of ladies from Northwest Alabama have influenced the global fashion industry; lessons learned while establishing her sustainable fashion business; the urgency of the situation that the US is facing right now as it continues to lose small-scale industry and multi-generational family businesses to globalization; and how sometimes “all it takes is to bake one cake to make a difference.”

Chanin’s projects reflect a wide range of disciplines, from sustainable clothing and home furnishings to a limited edition jewelry line. She is best known for her work as co-founder and designer of Project Alabama, which became known for elaborately embellished and completely hand-sewn garments, made from recycled materials by local artisans and sold in stores around the world. Her design collective, Alabama Chanin, describes itself as “a lifestyle company that focuses on creating an array of products through focusing on slow design and sustainability.” They craft limited-edition products for the individual and for the home.

The MFA in Applied Craft and Design is a joint degree program offered by PNCA and Oregon College of Art and Craft.

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