We're taking a little holiday and MAST will be closed from Sunday, July 3rd to Wednesday, July 13th. We will re-open with our regular hours on Thursday, July 14th. This is a great time to shop at www.ilovemast.com or, if you have a shopping emergency, email us at info@ilovemast.com for a private appointment.

What's Inspiring Mellow This Month...

I do love clean and simple, and often live by its rule, but I think my spirits elevate when I do pieces with fun color combinations. Color can be so dynamic and evocative. 

A great example of this is found in the Tuareg tribes of the Sahara region. They are incredibly creative leather workers, and they’re a matriarchal society (it doesn’t hurt my appreciation. I'm just scratching the surface on that book).

Seeing a Tuareg bag in person is so inspiring, there is so much detail in every piece. They look and feel organic and manage to still have an elegance while being unrefined.

There are many nomadic tribes in this part of the world sharing colorful ornate decoration in their everyday lives. I've always loved this dramatic and colorful self-decoration.

The other side of the colorful tribal inspiration is the simple code of well-made, functional, and beautiful.

One who has been a steady inspiration to me in this way is Toyo Gilman from Dark Star Leather.  Toyo has been crafting leather by hand for 40 years here in Tucson. He makes more belts these days than bags, but those who know or own his work covet it. His “Classic Bags,” as he refers to them, are well-made, beautifully crafted, and timeless. He cuts all his intricate patterns by hand still, often accepting repair jobs of his own pieces from twenty years ago. Dark Star bags are maintained not replaced.

I recently visited him hoping to glean some wisdom of the process, like so many before me. What I confirmed is...it’s long. It’s laborious. It’s addictive. You know that you can expedite the process, but then you feel like you’re cheating. There’s something in the truth of handmade.

Below are a few recent additions...

This summer heat is keeping us all inside and working hard on new product, so throughout the summer we will all have new offerings from our design collectives. In the meantime, check out some of the super rad new items that we are obsessed with this month! 

Tuareg Tassel Keychains
Mellow found these incredible leather tassels, which are handmade by the Saharan Tuareg Tribe, and has been adding them to some of her clutches. She is now offering them as super special key-chains as well, but these are limited edition, so snap one up while they last!

We LOVE the Lovelane kids line, which turns your little one into a super duper super-hero with the clip of a beautifully hand-crafted cape, cuffs, and super cool soft helmet that would do even Batman proud.

We now have 3 Tucson-made coloring books in stock and ready for those lines to be filled in. Danny Martin's Tucson Neon, and two from Caleb Gutierrez: Color the King, ElvisPresley and the super sweet De Grazia Coloring Book. These make a great gift or offer a lovely way to pass some time with some guided creativity this summer.

Form meets function with the gorgeous new ceramic wear from Salt and Earth Ceramics. These are so special, mimicking the unique shape and color of mussels, and are available in a range of sizes for a variety of uses.

We are so thankful that these glorious monsoons are upon us a little earlier than normal, because the heat this summer seems even more brutal than usual. We do love the pace of Tucson in the summer, though. Despite the relentless heat we want to offer a few suggestions of fun ways to get out of the house without suffering heat stroke.  

Every Saturday until September 3rd, The Sonoran Desert Museum hosts Cool Summer Nights. The desert comes alive at night as nocturnal animals awake. Bats perform aerial acrobatics in pursuit of dinner, beavers splash around in their pond, and scorpions glow green under black light.

Another fantastic way to stay cool this summer, in every sense of the word, is to check out the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson (MOCA Tucson) for Night Time Concerts throughout the summer months. Tucson has a fantastic music scene and MOCA lifts creativity up in so many ways, including by spotlighting local talent in its many platforms.

Stay cool, Tucson. MAST is always air conditioned, so although we will be on a short holiday from Sunday, July 3–Wednesday, July 13, come in for a visit and to cool off once we return from our lil ol' break.