Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Artists Answer: Lori Plyler

I'd like to start today's Artists Answer with a little personal story. Remember when I begged for your help in finding the perfect fall purse to replace my oh-so-loved handmade purple velvet number that I had bought from a local lady? Well, one of you (I'm sorry I don't remember who!) suggested today's Artist. So...
I went to her shop and didn't find exactly what I wanted, but was blown away by the quality and all around good-lookiness of her work, so I started stalking her work and kept checking back to see what she was doing....
and then she did this:

 and I fell in love, threw it in my shopping cart and ran to the check out hoping no-one else was doing the same thing. (the woes of online shopping) I LOVE my new fall purse and have been carrying it non-stop since I got it.
Lori, with her talent and ingenuity went straight to my list of artists for Artists Answer and I was so excited to get her e-mail explaining a little about her creative process. So, without further adieu..

Here's what Lori had to say about herself (I'm sure she wants me to make it elegant, but I liked her version better!)

Began as a graphic artist in 1985-ish. Married, had kiddos. Began painting commissioned portraits and architectural renderings. Began making jewelry in 2005 when my daughter became very sick as a form of entertainment. I was hooked after that. I've sewn my entire life - making clothes, drapes, slipcovers, even padgent dresses. In 2009 I began making handbags and once again, I was hooked.

Can you describe your creative process? 

There's no real organization to my creative process, unfortunately. I usually work one of two ways. If I have a specific type of bag in mind, then I look to my fabrics and leather to find a good fit. If I have a specific piece of leather, for example a bomber jacket, then I'll take the sleeves off first, then lay the main part out and play with different things until I decide what to do. I guess that the common thread is that I play rather than sketch an idea.

How do you start? Do you use patterns?

I have patterns that I've made myself. I draw the pattern onto an ironed paper bag and cut it out. That way I can draw around the pattern onto the fabric or leather with a sharpie or fabric marker and just cut. Sometimes if I don't have a pattern I'll just use the ruler or various shapes to sketch directly onto the leather and then cut.

Do you have a technical tip to share?

Use interfacing or some form of stabalizer - it makes all the difference in the world. When sewing leather, you have to go as slow as a snail!

What is your favorite tool or technique?

I have two.  First, my seam ripper.  It's my new best friend.  Next is a VERY sharp pair of scissors.

Thank you, Lori! Reading about sewing brought back such fond memories of my mom sitting hours in front of a sewing machine with a needle between her lips muttering something about seams and hems.

If you'd like to follow Lori, or you just want a cool bag, you can internet stalk her here:

Thanks for stopping by for Artists Answer! Have a great Wednesday!


  1. Thanks for this. I love her bags, they are absolutely amazing!

  2. Oh thank you so much Marcie! You're the sweetest and I'm truly honored.

  3. Thanks Marcie, great article great bags. I don't have one yet but I'm sure I will some day!

  4. Wow, Lori's bags are amazing! They are just oozing with wonder you just had to have one, Marcie ;-)

  5. Lori's the bomb and I was lucky enough to win one of her sweet creations and I am In Love with it !!!

  6. I bought the one above with the silver belt buckle for my wife and she loves it. I also asked for a matching wallet and Lori made one to go with the purse.