Ken and Kathy Mumaw have successfully paired two hobbies that normally don’t go hand-in-hand: cloth crafts and woodworking. In the summer of 2011, the couple joined the downtown Saturday farmers market to bring customers a unique range of cloth and wooden items, from pin cushions to small tables.
Kathy, a homemaker, has sewn since high school and Ken, a plant controller at Metaldyne in North Vernon, began pursuing his woodworking more than a decade ago.
Ken says that attention to detail, from planning to employing the proper tools, is the one commonality that binds their crafts together.
Q: What do you sell?
A: Cloth bowls and fabric flowers, small wooden furniture, trinket boxes, lamps, clocks, and candle and votive holders.
Q: Kathy, how did you get the idea to make cloth bowls?
A: I like to make items I haven’t found at other craft fairs, and cloth bowls are not something I’d ever seen for sale.
Q: What’s the most challenging part about making the bowls?
A: In the smaller round bowls, making the final dart; the fabric piece that adds shape to the bowl. There isn’t much room for my fingers to hold the fabric edges together and avoid getting hit by the needle of the sewing machine.
Q: What material do you prefer to use?
A: I like using cotton fabrics with bright colors. They’re easy to find, and usually have a smooth surface, which works well for bonding and satin stitching.
Q: Ken, what’s been one of your most memorable experiences at the market?
A: A young couple who stopped in and bought one of Kathy’s small cloth bowls. The young lady was from Japan, and the bowl was being purchased as a gift for her grandmother in Japan. It was interesting to me to think Kathy’s craftwork is now sitting in someone’s home halfway around the world.
Q: What sparked your interest in woodworking?
A: I always watched “The New Yankee Workshop,” a television show about woodworking. In 1999, I went to work for a cabinet company and managed to get some wood they were going to discard and started with that to make some things I hadn’t tried before. It was very satisfying, so I kept it up.
Q: What are some items customers have requested?
A: Plant stands, a hall table, a small clock and a desk organizer.
Q: Working full time, when are you able to pursue your woodworking, Ken?
A: It’s limited to weekends or an hour or two in the evening.
Q: What are your plans when the market ends?
A: We’ll keep sewing and woodworking because that is what we enjoy doing with the time we can spare away from other time demands.