Swede Little Things is a Handmade regular, with a rainbow selection of jewellery, handcrafted from reindeer leather. The question is not whether to buy from the sumptuous selection, but whether you can walk away with only one! As she is preparing to come back to the Handmade Market on 18 & 19 March, we asked Helen von Schrenk about her products, her workspace and her feelings about Canberra.
Tell us about your business?
With my Swedish background I started ‘Swede Little Things’ in Melbourne, making traditional Sámi (indigenous Northern Scandinavians) jewellery, which has been a handcraft of the Sámi culture from the 17th Century.
I use naturally tanned reindeer leather, high quality spun pewter and silver threads, sterling silver, antler buttons and magnetic clasps.
My focus is now on creating contemporary designs, interweaved with the traditional, to produce jewellery and accessories that is unique in Australia.
I love mixing the different medias of the extremely soft reindeer leather with the contrasting pewter and sterling silver, creating eye catching and very different handmade pieces.
Why do you love the Handmade Market?
I look forward to the Handmade market in Canberra each time as it is one of the friendliest and happiest markets to be part of. It has a real community feel to it amongst the stallholders and the organisers. The people who come to this market also appreciate handmade quality products and that is really nice.
What are you looking forward to most about your trip to Canberra?
Driving from Melbourne the first time I was a little apprehensive as it was the first time my husband and I were away without the children and the long drive ahead. Now I look forward to our road trip, meeting people and enjoying some productive time away from home together.
Can you describe your studio/place of work?
I have a room at home to work in, which alternates from a total chaotic mess to neatly organised….once in a blue moon!
As I have four children, much of my sewing gets done in the evening / night in bed with a good movie on and hubby snoring beside, which often lasts till after midnight.