Photography & Text by C. Whitney-Ward
I love to visit artist studios, so when Katherine "Kat" Schilke invited me to her studio opening, I couldn't wait to see where she made these..
Kat made her first bag - 14 months ago when Santa Fe's legendary Mary Emmerling asked her to create a bag. Kat did. Mary was thrilled, and says Kat, "The Soo So Santa Fe collection exploded from there."
Indeed it did. These gorgeous bags are fashioned from Navajo rugs, re-cycled leather, and wonderful found objects that scream Native American/Southwest. Kat brings all the elements together to create these handsome one-of-a-kind bags. "I have a mechanical brain," says Kat. "I visualize in 3-dimension and make it happen."
This bag has the original brand on the front
Each rug and leather pelt, Kat explains, informs the design of each bag. She keeps the basic design simple "because the more you cut into the rug, the more it unravels."
As she works, adding trinkets, fringe, embellishments, the design comes together seamlessly. "It just all falls into place," says Kat.
Her trusty Singer...
But Kat's talents go beyond Bags. She does beautiful bead work...
And makes what she calls SPIRITUAL HARDWARE and painted rustic tin work which she exhibited at Mountain Man Fairs . Julia Roberts, says Kat, is a collector.
KATHERINE SCHILKE - OOO SO SANTA FE