Since day one, we’ve mingled products by local artists and makers throughout the store. ~ Mark Burkett, co-owner
Tracery 157 is a local one-woman craft studio. It's not every day that you see a woman wielding blow torches, working massive saws, and cutting stone and copper, but for Cathy Vaughn, it's in her genes. Her dad, a Duke Power employee by day, had a shop out behind their S.C. home. In his spare time, he was a master Marquetry craftsman, and his work was featured in shows throughout the south. That shop, full of tools and jigs and racks of paper-thin wood, was her playground.
Cathy's creative path landed her in the graphic design field, where she has worked for more than 20 years. Never one to be strapped to the computer, her home garage looked more and more like her dad's shop as time went by. She started working with copper several years ago when the roof rack on her car broke before a trip -- she made a new one out of soldered copper pipe. She started making copper trellises, garden stakes and decorative sprinklers in 2006, at the insistence of friends. Demand grew, and she decided to move her operation to a more appropriate space before she burned her house down. Tracery 157 opened in 2012.
Cathy's larger works are mostly by commission. Recent commissions include custom copper gates, wall art, trellises, a kitchen divider, and fireplace screens. She developed her own methods and mixes for verdigis and other aged finishes that add a unique, painterly quality to the fretwork. In each piece, she explores the interplay of light and texture and a fluid, dimensional interpretation of copper pipe and other found objects.
She has recently added a retail line of smaller works of copper, stone and slate, turned into plant stakes, candle holders, wine servers, and small sculptures. Her own take on indoor lanterns and garden torches uses recycled blown glass bottles and meticulous verdigris copper fittings. We have several of these one-of-a-kind pieces in Mongrel.
She says she finds her inspiration in architecture, in nature, and in the patterns that surround us. Deeper than that are those mystical tools that were in her dad's shop, now in her own studio. And they do sing.
Source : Local
Slowdef focuses on modern RVA.
As a locally-owned small business itself, Mongrel is proud to support local vendors who are making great stuff. Mongrel carries a variety of cards and gifts that are produced right here in Richmond.
Slowdef is the one-man studio founded by artist and designer Mike Doherty. Slowdef's first offering came to Mongrel in the form of Richmond postcards. These cards aim to help tell Richmond's story in a new way.
"Too often everything associated with Richmond is all linked back to the Civil War and all of the statues that go along with it. While its importance in history is undeniable, I don't think that a postcard of Robert E. Lee's statue on Monument Avenue comes close to telling the story of what is going on in Richmond right now." ~ Mike Doherty / Founder of Slowdef
Slowdef's latest line of notecards focuses on the individual streets that make up Richmond. While the signs themselves are rigid and rather uniform, the streets that they represent are anything but. The wide array of colors reflect the unique character of the streets and just how different each one is from the next. The cards make great personal stationery for anyone and are also popular gifts.
All of Slowdef's cards are printed slowly on fine archival matte paper, giving them vibrant bold color and a very fine look and feel. Up to par with fine art prints, these cards beg to be framed.
Source : Local
Meet the makers
From the time we first opened our doors 21 years ago, Mongrel has offered locally-made cards and gifts, and we continue to support the makers among us. In this section, from time to time, we will feature some of our locally-sourced items and their creators.
Right: True Richmond Stories is a book written by beloved local writer and character, Harry "The Hat" Kollatz, Jr.