Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Featured Designer

Becky Tesch is the designer behind the bike-part earrings, bracelets, and cuffs that we carry under the label My Mish Mosh. She is a recyling wonderwoman, and can turn almost any discarded item into art or fashion. Inspired as we are, we decided to interview her as our featured designer this month.

How did MyMishMosh get started?
Well, I have always made stuff and I've been repuropsing things since I was a little kid. I always hated throwing things away. I Loved "The Littles" on Sesame street, I thought thier car with button wheels was so great, and thier trash can was a toothpaste cap! I loved it! I studied and made art all through high school and college. I moved to AZ in October of 01, after graduating. I still kinda thought MKE was a boring town back then, so I went out into the world looking for adventure. I came back for a visit and saw a call for artists for the first Art Vs Craft. I also saw an early ad for Kunzelmann-esser lofts, and I couldn't belive that was happening in Milwaukee without me! I started looking at Indie craft stuff on line and thought: "Holy shit, when did this start?!?!?!?!? That's it! that's my thang, that's my ship! I better not miss it! so I looked at all the stuff I had been making, and thought about what I could do to recycle, get suplies for cheap or for free, and be a part of the inde, DIY craft wave. After about 3 years of small town desert life, we moved back to MKE, and I jumped in with all kinds of good stuff I had dreamed up while living in the desert. I got a sellers permit, put up a website, opened and Etsy store, adn started applying to shows!

My fiance and I are also bicycle people. We especially LOVE mountain biking. We commute to work and run errands and go out at night by bike here in town every chance we get. I ride my bike to work every day I possibly can, inclding a lot of winter days.

So, I had been making jewelry and thinking about design, and riding bikes for years and had all these bike parts laying around. I looked at some of the bike parts one day and thought "hey, those could be beads..." The bike part jewelry was born.

The duct tape stuff came to me in high school. my memory isn't really clear anymore on how that all happened, but I started making wallets, and the purses were the next logical step. And of course I make lots of other things too... Picture frames and keyholders and sculptures and furniture and stuff. All of it just comes out of fidgety hands, the pack rat instinct, and some happy madness in my head.

What materials do you use, and where do you get them?
Mostly spent bicycle parts, which I get from Crank Daddy's Bicycle Works. They have a little box in the service department with a sign on it that says to save junk for me, and they do! I have more than I can use most of the time. The junk I use for sculptures and other things is just found on the street usually. You see a lot more stuff when you're on a bike than in a car, and I stop and pick it up. I order Duct Tape on line. (I'm sure I'm on a government list somewhere for ordering copious amounts of duct tape... ) I also have a running offer for cyclists of all stripes: Anyone who donates a used chain to me gets a free bracelet out of thier own chain!

Are you inspired by a particular asthetic or culture?

Definitly inspired by the DIY stuff, Make mag, Readymade mag, Stuff on ETSY, folk art, art history, I love the Dada people... And I'm super cheap. I like the idea of making stuff out of garbage. "Materials can be free" a wise old professor told me that once, and I've never forgotten it. also, america is sucha wealthy and wasteful place. One can do quite well with that kind of trash! I love stuff that I find at rummage sales and thrift stores.

What do you get the most enjoyment from creating?
That's a tough one. I think I most enjoy the moment when I come up with something new, like the new bike tube cuffs I've been making. I had always wanted to make cuffs, and then thought of using the popped bike inner tubes. The moment where I figured out how to make laces and attach ribbon was so great! I got realy excited adn couldn't even make them fast enough.

Will you be at any craft shows in the coming months?

Yes, I will be very busy!!!
I will be at the South shore Froliks on July 13th,
in Chicago at the Pitchfork Music Festival July 18-20. this music festival has a craft section run by the people who put on the DEPART-ment shows in Chicago. That's going to be amazing!
Sputnikfest in Manitowoc September 5 & 6th

I'll also be at Vital Surce on Gallery Night and Day July 25th and 26th.

Hopefully I'll be at the Discovery World market in August and December.

And you can see some of my handi-work in the Insurgent Theatre's productions at the Alchemist Theatre. Performances are the second, third, and fourth weekends in July. I made some sweet props.

1 comment:

Jeff Stevenson said...

So, gas is now more expensive than it has ever been. The timing seems perfect for a Bicycle to Work! group on the LinkedIn business networking site. Oh! There already is one! Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Put more money in your pocket and not in your gas tank.

Gas prices are never going down folks. Never. Get used to it.

Human powered and public transportation will become vastly more important in the next 50 years. Not because its the right thing to do. Which it is. Not because it will help global warming. Which it will. Not because it will help you get and stay in shape. Which it will. Not because it will cut back on our dependence on foreign oil. Which it can. Not because of the decreased demand on bio-fuels. Which will help keep more people from starving as more arable land is converted from food crops to bio-fuel crops. (Don't get me started on the bio-fuels scam).

Bikes are going to become more important in the next 50 years for one main reason - ITS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE TO DRIVE EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. So get out there and start riding everywhere all the time. Spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and start saving some dough..

Just go to my profile at and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 11,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.