In our series of artist profiles leading up the Danforth East Arts Fair, writer Shauna Rempel introduces us to Joan Jamieson of kid-friendly Norrie and Hank.
Jamieson spent 30 years as an elementary school teacher, so she has a good sense of what children like. The local artist also been sewing for 50 years and that experience is easy to see with Norrie and Hank, the imaginary friends behind a line of clothing, playthings and accessories for kids that puts new and repurposed fabric to good use.
In a unique twist, Jamieson chooses trims and embellishments from the trunk full of fabric she inherited from her mother, who was an avid quilter. “I combine these treasures with repurposed clothing, linens and other notions to create things that are comfortable for kids to wear and fun for them to play with.”
For the Danforth East Arts Fair, Jamieson is focusing on three types of items. First, she’s making accessories for young children including soft fleece-lined baby boots, hats and mittens. Jamieson’s second focus is on fun, functional clothing that will grow with the kids, such as dresses that can later be worn as tunics. “I like to make things that can last several years,” Jamieson says. She’s also making playthings such as vintage-style hand kites. Included in this third category are a trio of playmats intended for preschool and school aged children to use while playing with toys. The playmats are designed to fold up into a messenger bag with a pocket so kids can tote their treasures with them. Take note, DECA fans, one mat is decorated with Toronto landmarks, including a representation of the East Lynn Farmers’ Market!
The best part about Norrie and Hank? Most of Jamieson’s items are partly made with repurposed fabric so you can teach your kids about recycling while kitting them out with unique and fashionable items!
Joan Jamieson’s wares, which range in price from $10 to $100, will be for sale at the Danforth East Arts Fair in East Lynn Park on Sept. 15 & 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.