Sketchbook Crafts is nestled in a light filled studio brimming with looms, felt, wool, rivets, and color. Situated in an old high school classroom with blackboard and transom windows still intact, you know immediately upon stepping foot in the door that a reverence for the past is inherent here. Amber Jensen is the designer/maker behind Sketchbook Crafts, which hand-crafts beautiful utilitarian bags. As her quiet rebellion against mass production, Jensen focuses on small-batch creations: something personal for the client, lusciously tactile to the touch, and meticulous in its construction.

In her own artistic practice, Jensen explores natural materials like wool, leather, felt, and canvas. In 2011, while doing an independent study at the Eugene Textile Center, she fell in love with weaving. Her weaving practice has a foundation in tradition, but Amber’s approach is unique and forward thinking. Wanting the freedom and time to explore this practice further, Amber decided to dedicate the past year to experimentation. “Weaving takes time. Good design takes time. I am trying not to rush while finding patience within myself. My focus is on creating something special and with a lot of intention.”

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jensen received her B.F.A. in Studio Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with an emphasis in drawing. With a few stops in between, Amber has landed in Marshall, North Carolina, where she walks to her studio each day to put her hands to work.