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about mkc photography

mkc photography is an eco-friendly, hand-made gift & home decor company that creates gorgeous art and wares using salvaged wood, paper from damaged library books, and original art by Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes. Customers love to purchase our artwork both for themselves and for gifts because they know each piece gives new life to otherwise discarded materials. We’ve been making beautiful things by hand in our Philadelphia-area studio since 2009.

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Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes is the award-winning artist, creator, and story-teller behind mkc photography. Until the age of ten, Michelle was certain the secret passage into Narnia truly existed and if she just rifled through enough closets and cupboards, she would find it. Fables, fairy tales, and legends have always enchanted Michelle, her favorites being those where feisty and daring heroines like Lucy and Alice run off to have wild adventures. She graduated from the University of Oxford, where she would read in the same gardens that inspired C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll’s imaginations, and her whimsical, witty, & joyful {with just a hint of quirky} artwork is still influenced by this idea of magical worlds that mingle with our own. She’s a former librarian (hence, all those salvaged books) and she creates every piece of artwork featured on her handmade wares.

Michelle creates her artwork by photographing or illustrating each separate component: moon, cottage, flowers, or any other inspirations in her imagination. She then weaves these pieces into a digital collage, combining them into one magical scene.

Michelle is a member of  the Artessa Alliance (an award-winning artist collective), received the Artist Cultural Exchange prize for   “Alone With the Stars,” her mixed-media piece honoring Amelia Earhart, and was named Runner-Up Entrepreneur of the Year (2017) by Handmade Business Magazine. MKC Photography and has been a finalist for the Happening List’s Best of Montgomery County, PA in 2019 and 2020, and in 2021 won “Best in Show” at the American Handcrafted market.

Questions about our work?

Check out our FAQ below, read our customer reviews,

or contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

                                                                                                                                                  Visit mkc photography on Instagram.

Here’s a peek inside the studio!

FAQ

Art Blocks

Handmade by Michelle from her archival art prints, reclaimed wood, and vintage book paper. Michelle seals each block with multiple layers of non-toxic matte varnish and signs them on the reverse. All blocks come with a keyhole opening in the back for ease of hanging.

Canvas Gallery Wraps

Professionally printed with archival inks on water resistant canvas that last over 100 years in direct sunlight. The canvas is stretched over 1.5 inch-deep handmade frames constructed of solid wood, and arrives signed and ready-to-hang. Michelle signs every piece by hand in the lower right corner.

Growth Charts

Printed on removable, reusable vinyl and each comes with application instructions. In stock and ready to ship today!

Fine Art Prints

Professionally printed on archival photo paper with light-safe inks. Prints last 100 years in home display and 200 years in dark storage. Michelle signs each print on the reverse with photo-safe ink. If selecting the matted 8×8 or 8×10 option, your print will arrive matted in classic white archival mat board and will be signed on the mat in pencil. 

Keychains, Ornaments & Picture Holders

Beautiful and eco-friendly! Michelle creates each one from salvaged wood and book paper, and seals them with multiple coats of a high-quality, non-toxic finish. Our keychains aren’t fully waterproof (so please don’t leave them outside in a rain storm) but they are super durable and will withstand years of daily use.

Shipping

All items on this site ship free in the Continental United States. Please allow three (3) business days for prints, ornaments/keychains, photo holders, and 5×5 art blocks & seven (7) business days for canvas gallery wraps and large art blocks to ship once you’ve placed your order (expedited and international shipping is available for an additional fee: please contact us for a quote).

become an mkc wholesaler

Would you like to carry mkc photography wares in your shop? We’d love to join you! Simply contact us or fill out our wholesale application to receive our line sheet and order form.

Apply here

retailer boutiques

mkc photography is available at these fine retailers in the USA:

Alabama

Madison Drugs: Huntsville

Connecticut

Creations: Madison

Delaware

Hockessin Bookshelf: Hockessin

Florida

Gathered: Ormond Beach

Indiana

Ivy Boutique: Valparaiso 

Maine

Calluna Fine Flowers: Ogunquit

A Little Mad: Bar Harbor

Massachusetts

Westcott Mercantile: Belmont

Michigan

Two Fish Gallery: Leland

 

New Jersey

August Heart: Ocean City

Good Scents: Cape May

Ocean Galleries: Avalon

Ocean Galleries: Stone Harbor

North Carolina

Fable: Charlotte

Over the Moon: Ocracoke

SugarBritches: Holden Beach

Pennsylvania

Earth & State: Media

Reads & Company: Phoenixville

The Frame Game: Newtown

The Frame Game: Yardley

This Little Gallery: Jenkintown

Topeo Gallery: New Hope

Urban Princess: Philadelphia

 Texas

 Coast & Cottage: Rockport

Virginia

The Book Dragon: Staunton

Reunions: Alexandria

Washington

Crow: Edmonds

The Handmade Showroom: Seattle

Online

Art Star

Bas Bleu

Clover Market

Tree Free Greetings

 

Selected Interviews and Features

The Story Exchange “She’s Repurposing Old Library Books” January 2021

Interview with Bas Bleu Booksellers December 2020 

The Story Exchange Home for the Holidays Gift Guide December 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Happening List Best in Montgomery County 2020 Finalist                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “Rebirth” with Kate Brenton on Apple Podcasts May 2019
The Happening List Best in Montgomery County 2019 Finalist
“Tastemakers” on Sirius XM July 2018
Giftware News Designer Spotlight Jan 2018 (PDF)
Handmade Business Magazine 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year: Runner Up
NBC10 News
The Story Exchange: “The Independent Life”