Hi! I'm Caitlin. The artist behind the scenes here, and daughter and granddaughter to Velma & Louise.
Velma & Louise is named for my grandmother and mother, respectively. Those two women are huge parts of shaping my life, my aesthetics, and my love of making things by hand.
Around the same time I made a visit to my childhood home on the Mohawk River and collected some driftwood. Somewhere, slowly, something clicked into place and I pulled out my old carving tools and begin the work on the driftwood and then to letter on it. I wasn’t sure where the idea came from, but it felt right. Since then I've been continuously developing my technique to create these unique pieces.
A few years ago I made a bit of a pivot from the track I was on, and recommitted myself to creative work. I had studied the arts in college, but life took me in other directions, and after some time I realized I needed to get back there. I chose to focus on lettering in part because I’d always appreciated the balance it has of being a beautiful art and also a practical tool with purpose.
I had grown up in a school that taught us formdrawing, handwriting, and how to use and become proficient with nib pens and ink wells, so the current trend of ‘modern calligraphy’ seemed familiar to me. I started down that road and was doing the more traditional projects like wedding envelopes but realized I was frustrated by the limits and repetition on it, as well as the constant paper use and waste.
I carve, scrape, sand, and burnish the wood to remove the outer most layer and reveal a deeper core, before painting the lettering in many layers. No harsh chemicals or varnishes are used, only hand tools. The driftwood is both raw and refined, and ready for your home.