What is an Artificer

The word ‘artificer’ is an old word not often used in today’s vernacular. The formal definition is one who has the vision of an artist and the skill of an artisan. In other words, an artificer can see the possibility and the potential, can read the vision, and can deliver the goods with skill and expertise. This is how I look at each garment. I allow the garment to literally ‘speak’ to me by following the original lines, details, fabric choices. These are then applied to the time period and the reason for which the original garment was designed and constructed and translated into the purpose for which the garment is being used today.

An artificer is more than a seamstress whose construction skills and knowledge of garment rendering are not to be considered less than amazing if the seamstress knows their work well and aims towards excellence. An artificer already has theses innate skills and the experience to deconstruct, reconstruct, recreate and/or create garments according to a customer’s needs and tastes. This restoration or re-visioning process makes the item a unique piece that is much more ‘yours’ than anything one can purchase at usual sources in the garment industry. This process requires specific artistic vision and technical skill.

The services offered to my clientele include alteration, repairing, restoring, re-visioning, and even replicating vintage garments. The VFR has a selection of original patterns from 1911 to 2011 that can be adapted to the wearer with today’s fabrics and customized accordingly. Work needed for specialty non-wearable pieces like quilts, pillows, doll clothes, etc. is also available. In original pieces, the integrity of the garment design will be preserved. For garments or items that need re-visioning, the beauty will be restored and realized into a new life. My work is environmentally and historically considerate. Custom work on items that may not be intended for wear, but require the specialized attention to detail, design, and construction is available. I do not simply repair dresses or old items. I help create visions for my clientele.

My personal and professional business vision is established upon the foundation of the graceful lines of yesteryear, the silhouettes of past times, and the enduring fashion sense that assures that a well designed and well made garment speaks for itself. The person who wears such a garment need not say much as they are already making a truly independent statement. The revision and the restoration of a vintage piece to fit ‘the current wearer’ is what I do best. When you ‘fall in love’ with a garment, it is literally speaking to that part of you that wants to and can step out with an individuality lacking in today’s mass production consumer fashion market. When you decide to re-create, re-purpose or restore a lovely item from the past, you participate in preserving history and keeping the environment green.

Vintage pieces are truly one of a kind and customizing or creating a garment with the nod to yesteryear is a process that is challenging, creative, cooperative, and fun. I am not able to wear and enjoy all of the pieces I create. I can not use all of the items I have restored. However, when I see a customer happy with the ‘look’ that they were not able to render for themselves, or they have that special item re-enhanced, I have a deep satisfaction in knowing that my work as an artificer has contributed to the enjoyment and memory of a special celebration and a garment or item that will someday ‘speak’ to a future generation. I am blessed with many such happy memories.