I am Jen McBrien, creator of jennyjen42. The Jenny of my business name refers to my childhood self that started a unique line of handmade gifts that are fresh, practical and offer a fun sense of nostalgia. I play with whimsy through my cut felt birds and fabric choices. The vintage-inspired organic cotton fabrics I use add a sense of nostalgia to each functional product, like my felt-lined eyeglass cases or zipper pouches.
The jennyjen of my business name refers to my adult self, a thread illustrator. I use hand and freehand machine embroidery to illustrate my thoughts of our natural and complicated world. My process begins with ink drawings from observation and photographic resources, which I then layer with juxtaposing imagery and compositional techniques. In my prior life as a painter, I employed a similar technique, beginning with a wallpaper pattern and slowly adding layers that hide and reveal different aspects of the design. Currently, Toile, decorative fabrics, or canvas are my backdrops. I applique or directly stitch figures, birds, and plants onto the fabrics to suggest the collaboration of human life within the natural world
ABOUT THE SHOP:
Living in Baltimore all of my life, I have found an amazing balance between urban and natural environments. I live in an urban area that has a beautiful wooded trail that leads me from home to the studio every day. My studio is housed in a historic mill that used to manufacture 80% of America’s cotton duck for sails in the 1880s. It’s a beautiful space with lots of windows and light, which informs my practice. I am reminded each day of the importance of making ecological choices to keep my business small and sustainable with small-batch, high-quality, and eco-friendly production.