Firefly Handmade Fall Market 2017 Artisan Profile - Basin Reclaimed
Would you travel 2,000 miles in the name of passion and artistic integrity? Jesse and Molly, the owners of Basin Reclaimed, a beautiful handmade art and jewelry venue, took the pilgrimage in stride. These hard-working entrepreneurs hail from the snowy mountains of Vermont and wanted to meet their community in the Rockies. They first took this days long trek to join us at Firefly Handmade Summer Market. A wise decision as their reclaimed material artwork focuses on all the magic that the world of skiing, camping and everything nature has to offer. Their canvas is old barn doors and slate roofing to depict snow capped mountains, gondolas and trees. They were a perfect fit for the front range and we’re so excited to have them back at the Firefly Handmade Fall Market, part of the Downtown Boulder Fall Fest on the historic Pearl Street Mall.
Their medium unusual and their mileage epic, we had to learn more about what ignites the flame behind these craftsmen’s passion and dedication.
Why did you begin your handmade journey?
We began our handmade journey because we both have a need and desire to create. We wanted to be in control of our daily routines and design a lifestyle that corresponds with our values. We recognize how easy it is to lead a disposable lifestyle and wanted to creatively inspire others to start the conversation about reuse and sustainability.
How did you begin your handmade journey?
We were both trying to make a go of it on our own, then we stumbled into each other at a local chili festival. We began to discuss our ideas and our passions to create from the old. We had a common interest; use found objects and wasted materials to bring people back to nature. There was an instant realization that we had to combine our talents and work together.
How has your product line developed over time? What materials do you work with & why?
The materials we use lead to our current line of goods. We have this passion for old objects and materials and we strive to bring them back to life. We work with Vermont barn wood, roofing slate, airstream aluminum among other materials. We work with these materials because they are incredible; they tell a story. They have notches, tiny worm holes, cracks, and weathering that can only be created from decades of being in the elements. Each tiny fragment of material on its own is a one of a kind work of art. Our product line continues to develop as we work with the materials more and push the boundaries of what we can do with them.
Our current line of jewelry is created from aluminum from a 1964 Airstream Tradewind travel trailer. We wanted to make good use of the old material that needed to be removed from the trailer. Then we realized we had a perfect solution, jewelry! Every jewelry item is hand painted with nature themed designs, and make beautifully recycled and wearable artwork.
What inspires your work?
Our work is inspired by the materials we use and the world around us. When repurposing materials, you feel a powerful connection to the work you are making. We take inspiration from nature and take pride in the message we are trying to spread. When others become excited and truly engage in our work and express their interest this also inspires us to keep going.
Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
Advice we would pass along to makers is simple. Keep creating and putting yourself out there. Have a purpose behind what you are doing. You also have to accept change and constructive feedback as you move forward. Let your workflow change if needed. By allowing your work to change and keeping your mind open partial ideas will become complete and new and better work will emerge. Always strive to push your boundaries.
What excites you for the future?
The unknown of the journey excites us the most. As we move along we continue to generate new and stronger ideas for future work. We are excited to travel, share and bring this work to new communities and start a conversation about reuse and sustainability.
Your art is mountain and ski inspired. Are you guys ski bums? What is your favorite mountain for downhill?
We both grew up skiing, and are genuinely interested in the outdoors! Molly’s favorite ski mountain is Pico, but she’s got a love for skinning in the backcountry of Vermont. Jesse’s favorite mountain is Killington as it has so much to offer and is close to home.
What motivated you to come all the way out to Colorado to sell your wares at our market?
We know our demographic and had a hunch that the people of Colorado had a lot in common with our neighbors here in Vermont!
What do you enjoy most about your partnership?
We balance each other in a way that has pushed us forward at a pace we both never thought would be possible. We are able to creatively communicate and reach great ideas within our workflow. It is great to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and see what they snowball into!
Jesse, are you a classically trained sculptor? Where did you go to school?
I went to school at Plymouth State University and have a degree in Business Management, but I did complete a minor in sculpture while attending. I have been involved in the arts my entire life, making and creating from whatever I had for materials.
Molly, same question - what is your background in painting? Self taught or formally trained?
I received a Bachelor in Art from Castleton University and have a concentration in Painting. I have been interested in art my whole life and a funny coincidence is that my father actually owns a painting business!
Why did you guys decide to work with reclaimed objects? Why is this important to you?
This is where the reuse component comes in, we see so many things being wasted or thrown away and yet so much of it has a story to tell or has loads of character! We wanted to tell that story and start a conversation through our creative process.
Wood is not a new medium for painting, although unique. However, I've never seen anyone paint on slate before. Is there a story behind this? What sparked the idea to include these as the mountain ranges? It's brilliant!
This is another example of how we excel each other's ideas! Molly had a idea to create these slate mountains back in college, but without the follow through and knowhow of Jesse’s sculptural skills this idea would have never come alive.
The slate is a common roofing material here in Vermont, it has a huge connection to the area around us.
What is your best selling item? Why?
The miniature paintings are our best selling item, they are compact, easy to travel with, fit any where and also have a low price point
What do you love most about the creative process?
What we love most about the creative process is it’s ability to flow and change at any moment. Something can spark your imagination, a feature in the material, something you see in nature, an object or process from our past and you come up with a completely different outcome; a new idea becomes reality. Our creative process is a unique one in terms of independent artists. We communicate artistically in a very free flowing way and are able to excel ideas and progress quickly because of that. We have a lot of fun developing new ideas and bringing them to life.
How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your art?
We would love people to interact with the work and feel that they are a part of something much larger than themselves. Have the work transport them to a beautiful place in nature, or a place that resonates with them. We want them to feel that connection to nature, have that appreciation for the raw materials that they are made from and have the work be the vehicle for starting the conversation about reuse and sustainability.
Why are you proud to be a Firefly Handmade Artisan?
Were proud to be a part of Firefly Handmade because it is an intimate market that is abundant with quality handmade goods, small businesses and makers. Firefly has a comfortable welcoming atmosphere and a wonderful variety and selection. We’re happy to be a part of such a strong handmade community!
Basin Reclaimed joins us on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17 at the Firefly Handmade Fall Market at the Downtown Boulder Fall Fest. In the meantime you can connect with them here: