Wednesday, September 28, 2011

John Koch - Creative Genius at Montrose Studio

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a two day workshop at the Montrose Studio. John Koch is the owner and propetier of this eclectic studio located on West Berwyn Street. The location is unassuming, but when you enter your eyes are on visual overload. John makes everything. Customes, stage props, purses, shoes, hats.  You name it. John makes it.

John made almost everything on this wall. The shop is filled with sculptures, pictures, hats, purses, beads and all the supplies and equipment needed to produce beautiful works of art.

John has degrees in Art and Design and Art History. He has dressed windows for Carson Pirie Scott and actors of stage plays. His work has been featured in newspaper and magazine. Looking through his portfolio is a sweet treat that you should not pass up if you happen to stop by his shop. Seriously, I could just watch him work.

Below, Sandy Young working her purse. This lady is a pro at making purses. She gets orders for her custom made bags.

Janice pictured here with one of John's petite purses.

Below are several purses designed by John. Many shapes, sizes and types to fit the occasion.

The Haute Couture Club coordinates workshops and seminars with local and national artisans to help us hone our creative skills. John Koch regularly gives workshops on designing purses, hats, and gloves. This was my first time attending one of his workshops and it was worth every cent.

So if you have a group or club in the Chicago land area that wants to take classes at Montrose Studio, give John a call. He would be happy to share his talent with your group.

      Montrose Studio
      1070 West Berwyn Avenue
      Chicago, IL 

At the end of the workshop, I had made two purses: clutch and clarinet type bags. Both taking less than a yard of fabric, plus lining, and a few other notions. All in all, I enjoyed the experience and look forward to the next class.

I thought about doing a little tutorial on making the clutch bag, but I am not sure yet. Believe me, it's easy and you can modify the process to a very nice portoflio.

So here are pictures of my bags. The insides are just as beautiful as the outsides.

More pictures can be found here.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Your bags are beautiful. By all means make a tutorial. TFS

  2. Those bags are gorgeous! Why would you ever BUY one again??!! Would luv a tutorial!

  3. Lovely, girl! That must've been so cool to experience this special day, too. Inspiring to say the least.

  4. I love the purse in the shop with the matching gloves! What a GREAT experience this must have been and you got two great projects out of it! I love the bag you made with the strap/handle. SHARP! A tutorial would be WONDERFUL!

  5. Beautiful bags! Can't wait for the tutorial! :)

  6. Thanks. I have to gather the supplies. The process has a lot of steps, but it's easy. So I will post mini tutorials throughout the month of October on how to make the clutch bag. Thanks again. C

  7. That looks like a wonderful workshop! I am really into that classic handbag shape, so 50s!

  8. Your bags are fantastic. I too am looking forward to a tutorial.

  9. Very, very cool. Count me as jealous!

  10. I can hardly wait for the tutorials!

  11. Gorgeous bags. And based on the pictures of the items in John's studio, he is immensely talented. What luck to be able to attend his workshops.

  12. Wow what beautiful bags!! Looks that made for a very fun trip!

  13. Wow! What a great opportunity. Those bags, those fabrics!! Fabulous



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