A different kind of art
by AnnaScott Cross
Sandi Albery started her career as an accountant. She received her MBA from Campbell University and worked as the Chief Financial Officer for multi-million dollar companies. Then, when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, she was forced to stop. Unable to get a full-time job, she started to think outside of the box.
Sandi grew up watching anime shows like Voltron and naturally had an interest in the Japanese culture, even learning the Japanese language. This interest continued to grow as she watched a PBS series on quilting that featured a Japanese sewing style known as sashiko. She began sewing as a de-stresser, quickly picking up on Japanese techniques. She began selling some of the things she made as her alternative to a full-time job. She supplements this by running her own accounting business.
This piece was made using two different Japanese techniques. The flowers are made in a way known as kanzashi, which translates to fabric folding. This was often used to make hair decorations. The tree was attached to the background using a technique known as boro, which is used to layer fabrics on top of each other. This was often used in clothing to create warm clothes for winter.
This is the sleeve of a Japanese haori, which are made so that one size fits all. This particular one was made for women, since the sleeves are designed to have pockets in them. This one was made with a stitching known as sashiko, which was a way to mend tears in the fabric in a decorative way. The pattern was then sewn all over the garment, so that no one would notice the tear.
This is a kokeshi doll. They are made with the arms attached to the body, and are traditionally made out of wood. Despite this, they served much the same purpose as regular dolls, being held, carried around, and played with.
This is an example of some of Sandi’s stuffed animals that she makes. They are all hand sewn with sashiko-style stitches, so that the seams are almost invisible, and are made with fleece and quilting fabrics.
Another thing that makes Sandi’s work unique is that she makes her own patterns. This dragon started out as a bunny pattern that she altered into a dragon, teddy bear, and a dinosaur.
In the future, Sandi would like to focus more on traditional Japanese sewing, and continue to attend events such as renaissance fairs where she sells her products. To see more of her work, check out her facebook page @CuddlyCreationsNC