Cate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in Fiber in 1978, later receiving an Artist’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. Today Cate only makes things for her own pleasure, and teaches knitting at the The Yarn Lounge in Richmond, VA. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach. She credits her mother with encouraging her creative ventures. Says Cate, “she had a wonderful eye, unlimited curiosity and was the first person I knew who had a personal computer (in 1980!)”
Being asked to be a Featured Shopper for Etsy was a surprise and the fulfillment of a secret wish. This is my idea of a really good time. My Favorite Shops are my curatorial database, selected for personal pleasure. After a lifetime of collecting, I am at the shedding stage, so I use the Favorites feature as a way of collecting without adding to what I own.
I knew immediately that I wanted to choose work made from iron, an ancient, humble and strong material that becomes beautiful in the hands of skilled artisans. And, to balance such a durable material, I chose ink in the form of original prints on paper. I always look for work that reflects an individual eye, skillful creation, consistency of vision, quality of materials and good photography.
Blind Spot Jewellery was one of my earliest finds on Etsy and the first piece I purchased from him was an iron and bronze Victorian Mourning Ring that I wear daily. His Double Axe Ring is an elegant evocation of ancient tools and symbols that predate written language.
Beardie Bloke transforms industrial detritus, combining it with precious metals and stones by means of the most ancient and the most contemporary techniques and tools. The three Decline of British Industry cufflinks would make the perfect fasteners for a very simple handknit cashmere sweater.
Studio HR creates simple, slightly quirky vessels by actually casting iron — like this dish. Cast iron is the perfect medium for someone who lives near a 56-foot statue of Vulcan, God of the Forge, in Birmingham, Alabama. She is new to Etsy and I am very much looking forward to seeing more of her work.
I have a weakness for words, letters, numbers, equations and diagrams, although I tend to avoid commands and exhortations. This carved and printed alphabet by She Rides the Lion would be perfect on one of my walls.
It is difficult to respect animals and capture their essence without verging on cuteness. I have found several printmakers to include in my Favorites who manage to do this.
And Nydam Press has captured perfectly the posture and beauty of greyhound family members with her Italian Greyhound block print. My next dog will be an Italian greyhound rescued from a puppy mill where they are horribly exploited and abused.