A magical experience
The Red Shoe Gallery at 226 Craven St. in Historic Downtown New Bern is a place of delightful and creative industry—much like Santa’s workshop.
“I named it The Red Shoe Studio Gallery because it is my studio as well as a gallery,” said owner Andrea Owens. She can usually be found in the front of the store engaging in mesmerizing artistry that you may have never witnessed before.
Owens says that people who come into her studio gallery are fascinated by her work.
“One of the words I hear quite often from first-time visitors upon first entering the tiny Red Shoe Studio Gallery is ‘magical!’ There is something akin to Harry Potter’s Wand Shop about the old place,” Owens said.
From the outside, too, it looks like you’re just going into a little sliver of a shop, but instead you enter a space that seems to ignore its own boundaries. It’s a space that enchants you. The creative display is art in and of itself.
Owens is a prolific artist who arranges her offerings “just so,” interspersed with the work of several local painters and jewelry makers that she curates.
“I consider myself a textile artist, but am primarily a felt maker. I work with wool roving and through a very ancient process (some believe 8,000 years old). I create fabric. I have one-of-a-kind handmade garments, hats, and accessories all made of wool and silk,” Owens said.
“My needle felted animals add an air of whimsey to the gallery,” Owens said.
Owens’ new line of home decor is based on botanical printing, a technique she has focused on during the past year. To make these unique textiles, she collects leaves from trees and gardens around New Bern. Silk or wool is then prepared in a mordant solution designed with those leaves as well as additional fibers and colors. The piece is then dyed, making each one a distinctive one-of-a-kind New Bern creation. You can find pillows, table runners, silk scarves, and wall hangings that are also made this way.
Owens also enjoys needle felting, which is sculpting with wool, and she often hosts workshops at The Red Shoe Studio Gallery. She is also happy to create commissioned work.
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