By The Baker
Hi! I'm Kira, the maker behind By The Baker (BTB). In 2009 I graduated from Oberlin College which is where I studied studio art and fell in love with weaving. I appreciate the quality of the fabric that weaving produces, the gentle variations in each piece of work that shows the maker's hand. Every piece that I sew or weave has my handprint and I enjoy combining that with a utility of pieces that accompanies everyday life.
BTB started in 2012 as a place to share items that are both utilitarian and simple. It's the items that have been used, loved, torn, repaired and handled that I cherish the most in my life. My hope for the pieces that populate BTB is that they are used for years and decades - wearing into their practicality. Incorporating my love of weaving and sewing led me to numerous ways of using materials to make everyday items with a long-lasting quality.
When I'm not sewing in my Brooklyn studio or doing home improvement projects you can likely find me at Textile Arts Center where I have been Director of Operations since 2016. It's been a home to me for much longer – starting in 2010 as an intern and continuing through the years as a weaving instructor.
I do most of my sewing work on a Janome HD-1000 sewing machine and Juki MO-654DE serger.
Before upgrading to a Juki serger I used a Simplicity serger that I found on the street in Brooklyn. Thank goodness for Brooklyn sewing machine repair shops.
I have an industrial Juki, bought second hand, waiting in the wings for repair when I have a spare moment.
My woven work is done on a Schacht Baby Wolf, 4 harness loom.
Baker is my middle name and my maternal grandmother's maiden name. My grandmother, Lois Baker Muehl, always kept her hands busy with a variety of tactile crafts – creating small stories and characters with shells, stones and driftwood, sewing and embroidering hand-pieced wall hangings, hooking rugs, and creating joyful sculptures with trinkets and found materials that brought her joy. Her creative generosity, sense of play and love of materiality has always resonated with me.
My favorite object is hands down a pair of toast tongs that my great-grandfather (who I never met) crafted. They were made when the spring mechanism in my grandparent's toaster broke. They consist of a 3/4" block of wood sandwiched by two wood tongue depressors held together with electrical tape. They tips are singed and the wood has a deep patina from the decades of use. Now they sit by my sewing machine as a reminder to slow down and troubleshoot – To train my instinct to repair before replace.