Meet Jen.

Posted by on Nov 26, 2020

Jen Manuell of Fish Eye Sisters in her booth, with a backdrop of her fibre wall art.

Jen Manuell is the owner, operator, artistic force and maker behind Fish Eye Sisters. I actually had heard about Jen through one of my other fibre loving friends, Wendie.  I had heard so much about Jen and her unique fibre work that, when I met her in real life at the One of a Kind Spring show in 2016, I felt like we were already “fast craft show friends”

Jen is descended from a long line of talented craftspeople and artisans. She is an accomplished rug hooker, and in terms of textiles, she is largely self-taught and an enthusiastic experimenter. Her passion is coming up with new twists on traditional techniques. Jen has a large stash of wool she started to amass with her rug hooking adventures in 1999. Her love of this fibre continues to be the inspiration behind her current focus of sewing and quilting pieces that are as beautiful to look at as they are functional. Her colour sense is unrivalled. And the combinations she creates are unique every time and delicious to look at.

Fish Eye Sisters Bonnie Brae Boulevard Cushion, 15” x 22” $230.00.

Jen begins by over-dying much of her wool to get the specific colours she has in mind. She then cuts and pieces the wool into unique patterns to create the larger cushion shapes, which she then free-hand quilts with a long-arm machine. These swirly patterns add even more texture and dimension to the pillows that look like topographical maps.

From the moment I met Jen and saw her work, I knew she had “deep roots” in fibre and textiles. Her labour-intensive technique, her amazing colour combinations and her attention to all the little details tells you how dedicated she is to each and every piece she makes. All of her materials are “the best”. No detail is overlooked. From textural over-dyed wool, to the beautiful Japanese cotton cushion backings she chooses, and the feather-down, removable pillows, made right here in Canada. No detail is overlooked. Jen thinks about every facet of her creations and tries to use as many Canadian suppliers as she can find.

For my studio holiday event, Jen is sending me a couple of collections of her pillows.

Fish Eye Sisters NE 41st Avenue Cushion 15” x 22” $230.00.

Jen’s cushions are just as happy living on the corner of your living room couch, or in your favourite reading chair at the cottage. No two pieces are ever the same, and if you have a specific colour palette in mind, Jen loves to take on custom work.

Along with the cushions, Jen is also sending me some of her absolutely adorable Holiday-themed Snow Folk.

Snow Folk. Find your family. Place them on your fireplace mantle, book shelf or buffet. Instant holiday home decoration that makes you smile every time you walk past it. $60.00 each.

Each Snow Folk is hand sewn, hand stuffed, and hand embellished with buttons. Jen even goes out on her property in Northern Ontario and finds the perfect “stick arms” to make them authentic and irresistible. How could you not have a Snow Folk or two around your home this holiday season?

Website: fisheyesisters.ca

Instagram: @fisheyesisters

This is the fifth in a series of highlights of Artists whose work will be available at my One of a Kind Artisan Holiday Show, starting on Thursday, November 26th and running everyday until Wednesday, December 23rd.

If you’d like to view Jen’s work at my studio, please book an appointment by clicking here. You can book one hour appointments, starting at Noon daily.

Now that we are back in full lockdown in Toronto, the online booking options have been changed to:

Zoom/FaceTime Meeting with curb side pick up ONLY.  When you go to Zoom, there is an “additional notes” box. Please indicate your cell phone number, so that I am able to text/phone you when your purchase is ready for pick up.

Window/Studio Front Door Shopping with curb side pick up. This is where you do come to my studio and we prop the front door open. I then bring the items you are interested in seeing to the front door for you to see. Once you have chosen your pieces, you can return to your car (bring a thermos of tea or coffee!), I will pack it all up and text you when it is ready and to arrange payment(s). So, one trip that will take care of both shopping and delivery!

Looking forward to seeing you then!