business name: Luxe Fiber Arts
What kind of items do you make?
Lots of hand dyed, handspun, handknitted and crocheted wearables, lots of them ecofriendly and vegan, as well as being rather a button hoarder and often button maker. I adore making crazy, creepy amigurumi (crocheted) softies and doing freeform crocheted belts and scarves. I don’t like following patterns much. I am a bit dyslexic, especially with numbers, so i prefer to go with the flow!
How long have you been in indie artist?
Since birth! No, really, I have never been so good at following direction. It has been a bit of a problem in my life. I went to college for sculpture. In my senior year of college, I opened a tattoo/piercing shop with 2 partners which I ran for 10 years. In the last several years of the business, I grew pretty unhappy being out of the fine art world and started having problems with carpal tunnel and Lupus, among other things. I was so miserable in my job and my health that I thought I needed to get back to my more artsy roots. So I did. But I guess, that was kind of indie, too, right?
What got you interested in your art of choice?
I always loved fiber pieces, and when I got into knitting, I was very disappointed by the available yarns out there, or when I found ones I really liked, they were not the colors I wanted, the fiber I wanted, or were insanely expensive. Of course, in reality, it probably is cheaper to buy it than to make it, but it is a wonderful thing to have just the thing you want. So now, I use a combination of both.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I can do it anywhere. It calms me down. It is wearable. It is something that “non-art” people like too. I still do fine art pieces as well, and crazy fiber pieces, but I enjoy doing simple wearable things just as much.
What most inspires you?
Texture, color, nature, other artists, everyday people, the amazing spirit that encourages every living thing to grow. That sounds really corny, but I see people and animals that have such a rough go of it, and are given the tiniest bit of sunlight or love to inspire them and they bounce right back. It makes you want to do better. To be better. To try to be there for someone or something that needs it.
What makes your creations unique?
Me, I guess. I am not the most detail oriented person, which makes me kind of an anomaly in the fiber world, so all of my pieces are always different from each other, like it or not!
Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I started making big circular wraps and button fringy neckwarmers years and years ago because I tend to feel choked by regular scarves and lose them or slam them in the car door. I love being able to pop a scarf in my pocket or purse and always having something I can put on or take off when I am hot/cold/hot/cold. I am also very funny about how things feel. I don’t use ANYTHING that isn’t really really really soft. I can’t even stand to knit with something that is the teeniest bit rough, let alone wear it. so don’t look for it in my shop! ha. No really. Because of my strange sensitivities, if I assure you that it is soft, it is SOFT.
What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
High quality yarns, fibers, eco-friendly, animal friendly and vegan options in really unique, wearable, comfortable designs.
Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
There is yarn and fiber everywhere in my house, my car, my purse…everywhere. My husband knows what the smell of a dyepot on the stove smells like (and doesn’t complain). I have met a lot of really amazing fiber and knitting people that I would never have met, some have become some of my best friends in the world. When my health problems kick up and I am not well enough to get out of bed, I can knit in bed, and I can feel like I still got something done. That is therapy! And honestly, there is nothing like sitting on the back porch swing with a cup of coffee or tea, listening to some great music and knitting away…
What is your fiber arts superpower?
Making a super duper tangle out of any length of yarn, no matter how short!
How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
It is much much much bigger! When I started dyeing fiber and spinning art yarns all those years ago, there weren’t many of us and many of the more traditional spinners and knitters did not like us. Now the wild stuff is kind of…normal. It all comes full circle, I guess:)