So my forte isn’t in arts and crafts, but I extremely enjoy doing them. I know how to crochet scarves (I’ve even given completed ones to my friends as gifts), make miscellaneous paper wall decorations (like snowflakes haha), color complicated coloring books (do those even count?), and do wood working (I know that’s not arts and crafts, but I feel like that’s an extension/another level of it). Seeing the end result of something creative you made with your hands is so satisfying and makes you feel proud of your work. The process of getting to the final product is frustrating at times, but the end result is so worth it… which leads me to discuss the most recent arts and crafts workshop I did! (By the way, I am so proud I made the below. There are a couple of things I can improve on, but for a first timer, I did good!)
I came across Ore + Wool’s air plant decor workshop at B. Willow on Facebook when I was searching for something fun to do with my artsy friends. I don’t really enjoy partying like an animal, dancing at clubs/bars, and getting ridiculously drunk. I enjoy experiences that fulfill my creative side and allow my imagination to run free in an artistic way. I’m pretty much an old lady that can’t really party after 10pm is what I’m trying to say hahaaha!
Anyways, I really do enjoy trying out artsy activities, so I got my friends to sign up to do the class with me. I had air plants at home just chillin’ on my computer table, and I really wanted to adorably decorate my air plants. The air plant decor that Ore + Wool was displaying–as their advertisement for the class on facebook and instagram–was so cute. Also, I envisioned how cool the decor would look against my apartment’s brick walls.
The registration price for the class wasn’t expensive either. I paid $25.00, which covered the cost of the materials I was going to use (if you’re wondering, these are the materials I used for the workshop: macrame hoops, wool roving, super glue, and fabric scissors). You also get a discount if you end up purchasing a plant after the workshop from B. Willow. It doesn’t have to be an air plant either. Can’t remember what percentage that discount was… I wanna say 15% though. Also, after the decor class, you get a discount code for Ore + Wool’s website in case you want to do some shopping. Neat, huh?
So the day finally came! Parking is easy around Remington but it’s street parking (at least it’s free). If you’re a skilled parallel parking person like me (dusts shoulders off), you should be a-ok! Just don’t get distracted by the cute doggos on the sidewalks.
I rolled into B. Willow ten minutes early and checked in. The person who checked me in was Tarah Boyd, the owner and maker of Ore + Wool. But, she’s more than just the owner and maker of Ore + Wool. Tarah is a fiber artist and designer. She’s a full time mother, a teacher, and a sacred space maker (meaning all of the wall hangings she creates are smudged with sage or palo santo before shipping. She also creates her wall hangings in a space surrounded by sacred shapes and crystals). I could already tell right off the bat that Tarah was a very artsy, kind heartened person who loved what she did. She had such a welcoming, warm vibe. Great smile too! The fact that she made a business out of her own hobby and was leading her own workshops showed me how much of a boss lady she was. I definitely dug that.
Site note: Tarah’s love for making hand crafted wall hangings from merino wool and gold-plated ore came from the desire to create something while taking care of her new-born baby at home. She wanted to make something artistic with her spare time and started to make wall hangings out of wool for her home. She was so good at making wool wall hangings (c’mon… all of her products look so fantastic) that she decided to make a business out of it.
I asked Tarah where the name “Ore + Wool” came from. She told me wool is what she uses in all of her wall hangings she creates, and that ore came from a board game. Can anyone guess what board game? ….Settlers of Catan, baby! Tarah and her husband loveeeeeeeee Catan and are nerds about it (according to her). No shame. Dave and I are nerds when it comes to Carcasonne (a board game I HIGHLY suggest playing). Anyways, if you aren’t familiar with Catan, there’s an ore resource card you use to build stuff. And now you know where Ore + Wool comes from!
So back to the story! After all the workshop participants rolled in, we finally began the class! The workshop took place at the back of B. Willow on a large rectangular table. We had stools as our seats, but we had the option of just standing too. Tarah stood at the head of the table and introduced herself and what the workshop entailed. She showed an example of what we would be making and the materials that we would be using. We also got to choose which wool we were going to use! I chose the lavender colored wool because I thought it looked pretty and that it would match my red-ish air plant I had at home!
Tarah was clear with her directions and and didn’t talk fast. All of us were able to follow her instructions step by step. She visually showed us how to apply the wool to the macrame hoops and even gave us tips on how to make each step easy. For example, she said holding the macrame hoop in your mouth when you do the initial first wool wrap around the macrame hoop works best since you need two hands to do the wrapping (Is that a run on sentence? Whatever). She never got frustrated if we couldn’t do a step correctly and was very patient with us. She was extremely pleasant to talk to and none of us were afraid to ask questions.
Remember when I said I wasn’t the greatest arts and crafts person? Well, I kept screwing up my air plant wool hanging decor. I didn’t secure the wool around the macrame hoops well enough, and I was freaking out. Tarah was able to see where I messed up. She corrected the issue, and I learned from her how to not do that mistake again in the future.
It honestly was a fun and relaxing class. It wasn’t really challenging (after I got the hang of wrapping the wool around the macrame hoop), and it made me want to make another one of these air plant wall hangings again, but better.
If you’re interested in taking her classes too, check out her air plant decorating workshops she teaches at B. Willow every month here. Because Tarah was such a cool and awesome teacher, I would be so down to take another workshop by her. I’d love to learn how to make these too, which you can find and purchase on Ore + Wool’s Instagram and online store:
If you happen to be interested in buying her other wall hangings (there are tons more I didn’t display on this blog post), check out her website here. Or you can track her down at future events. Tarah tries to do the Greater Goods Market hosted by B. Willow at R. House every month, but it doesn’t always happen. She’s also hoping to be at Holiday Heap during the holiday season, which is hosted by Charm City Craft Mafia. Cross your fingers for the Handmade Pop Up too. Tarah is hoping to sell her amazing wall hangings there! If all else fails and you can’t do any of the B. Willow air plant decorating workshops, just look out for Tarah’s wall hanging workshop at Trohv in Hampden coming to you soon!
If you haven’t seen Ore + Wool’s collaboration with Wild Minds yet, I suggest checking it out now. They just did a giveaway, and the collaboration piece is just beautiful. I don’t want to spoil what it is, so check out the Wild Minds‘s instagram to see! They might do another giveaway collaboration again!
I feel like Tarah is so crafty and that she can make it far with her wall hangings. I asked Tarah what her goals were for Ore + Wool, and she told me she would love to just continue growing awareness of her art/brand. For her, creating wall hangings is such an ancient art, which stems back as far as weaving. She’s always happy to share knowledge through her workshops too. She enjoys sharing a creative space and exchanging knowledge with her students. In the future, she would love to push herself creatively more and see how much further she can go in creating newer and more abstract designs.
She also wants her brand to be exposed on a larger scale such as being displayed on store front windows or permanent installations. She has seen some small time artists do collaborations with Urban Outfitters and Anthropology, and she wants to experience something like that someday.
Why are you still reading? Go follow Ore + Wool on Instagram or sign up for one of Tarah’s classes! ^_^