ACrafty Interview with Linda Martin

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Linda Martin, quilter and pursemaker!

acrafty interview - linda martin bargello quiltWhen did you start crafting? LM: I think I have always worked on craft type projects. I remember as a child getting craft kits as gifts. Making collages, animals, painting, knitting, sewing, and crochet were always something I did. My Mom and Grandma always worked with me on them and taught me many useful skills along the way.

acrafty interview - linda martin painting of son jasonWhat crafts have you tried and what’s your favorite now? LM: I probably have tried most every kind of craft. In addition to those I already mentioned I have made many clothes, curtains, tablecloths and pillows. For many years I painted with oils and acrylics. I made many landscapes, portraits and animal paintings. Working with color and design was always part of my life. My favorite now is quilting. It’s been a natural progression of my interest in color and design projects.

 

 

acrafty interview - linda martin musical quiltWhat project are you most proud of? LM: Right now I’m very proud of a project I created this summer. I was asked by a friend to make a “music” quilt. I thought a lot about it and came up with a very free form kind of create as you go project. Of course I had the help of a friend as we brainstormed ideas back and forth. The quilt took me outside my normal comfort zone of making quilt blocks and putting them together.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 2Have you ever started a project without a pattern or a plan? LM: I can’t think of a time when I didn’t have some kind of a plan, pattern or design in my head. Sometimes things change along the way, but I have a picture in my head.

 

 

 

 

 

acrafty interview - linda martin seaside quiltHas a project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? LM: Some projects have challenged me for sure, but I have always found a way to complete them. Sometimes I will put a quilt away for a while and let it rest! Really my head usually needs a “vacation” from it while I figure out a way to make it work.

 

How has crafting affected your character? LM: Since I have been making some kind of creative projects most of my life, it’s hard to tell if my character has developed because of my life experiences or creative experiences. I suspect it’s both.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 1Since I was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years my organizational skills from teaching have certainly help me be better at my creative projects. When I began teaching we had to create our own classroom environment. That gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to draw and paint. I had always been too reticent to to take art classes because of fear of criticism. But as I got compliments and “oh wows” on my work from fellow teachers, my confidence grew. I gradually began painting. This taught me lots of perseverance because painting is very much a developmental process. Observing details is also important to a successful product. (whether it’s painting or quilting). Color and patterns in nature transfer to the finished painting or quilt.

acrafty interview - linda martin regatta quiltEven though I’m no longer painting, many of these skills apply to my sewing and quilting. The balance of color and design elements are also very important. This is often the most important part of the quilt. Without the right balance the quilt will not work. When I finish a project whether it’s a purse or a quilt I’m really proud of it. Sometimes I look at the result and say wow, I did it!

As I’ve gained confidence in my work, I’ve definitely become more adventurous to try new things. This summer I made a landscape and a portrait quilt (wall hangings really)! I guess I was brave to try those things.

acrafty interview - linda martin quiltCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? LM: Some of my friends who are not quilters have been curious about what I do. I have shared my skills with them as well as the process of creating a quilt. I helped and encouraged one to make a purse and a pillow! I have also given many quilts and purses as gifts.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 3What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? LM: I’d like to continue with making purses and quilts, trying to expand my horizons with new kinds of projects. Another goal of mine is to do more free hand quilting on my long arm quilting machine. That’s a whole other learning curve!

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Linda for taking the time to participate in this ACrafty interview series, and thanks to previous interviewee, jeweler Ron Buhler, for recommending her for the series! Best of luck with the free hand quilting…

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, needlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpitatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton, stone artist Jerry Locke, potter Nancy Germond, and Tina Puckett of Tina’s Baskets.

ACrafty Interview with Jerry Locke of Walls That Rock

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Jerry Locke, stone artist of Walls that Rock.

When did you start crafting? JL: I have and odd theory about that. I believe that crafters, artists, entertainers, lead guitarists, stand up comedians, etc. are all usually first borns, and though many of us don’t want to admit it, we have a need for applause and acceptance that comes from competing for parental attention. For example “Mama has that baby in her arms all the time! I’m gonna have to do something really cool just to get a smile.”

acrafty interview - jerry locke stone mountainscape 1

What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? JL: Wow, that’s a long list. Let’s just say that I’ve worked in every medium most people can think of, including glass, fabric, and photography. I am a life long musician with a degree in poetry writing and I currently make a living with stone. I’m that weird guy. My current favorite is always the one I’m working on now.

Do you currently do other crafts outside of your commercial pieces? JL: Not frequently, but sometimes. What I do with my hands has to pay my bills. Time for other fun stuff is hard to come by.

What is the largest project or piece you have created? JL: Physically, the largest piece I have done is a 14 ft wall hanging mountainscape for a client/friend.

acrafty interview - jerry locke stone mountainscape 5
From your question let’s replace “largest” with “most challenging”. The most challenging pieces I do are always commissions. With commissions I am always trying to meet the expectations of an individual or small group. I would much rather be selfish and just do what I want to do.

Is the stone you use from local sources or from a variety of locations? JL: The stone I use comes from all over the world. I can get most of it nearby because I live in Tucson. Tucson has the largest gem and mineral show in the world.

I buy stone much like a quilter would buy fabric. Although some of the history of some of the stone would be fascinating, there would also be sad stories of cruelty and poverty and I don’t want my worked to get bogged down by that. I try to keep a clear head surrounded by an incredible geology and human history that surrounds me.

acrafty interview - jerry locke stone mountainscape 2

Are you ever surprised by what you find inside a stone once you cut or polish it? JL: Of course. My work is a collaboration with nature and she does not let me forget that she is the master and I am the apprentice.

How has crafting affected your character? JL: Well I think first off it’s made me less patient with difficult questions (kidding). But Catherine, THAT’S A HUGE QUESTION.

I think this goes back to your first question and basically to do what I do and make a living at it, I have to be a tireless self-motivated, self-starter with an insane need for smiles and the good sense to know that other people have to live with me and I have to live with myself.

acrafty interview - jerry locke stone mountainscape 3

Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? JL: I don’t know that it has, and I’m really not out to change anyone’s life. I just hope that when people look at my work that it makes them feel good and perhaps takes them out of their life just a little bit. I’m happy with that.

What projects do you have coming up in the future?  Why are they appealing to you? JL: I don’t really have any big projects in my sights. I have a Fall tour, and a Spring tour, etc. I would really just like to get normal for a change.

Many thanks to Jerry for taking the time for this interview. He spends a lot of time on the road traveling to various craft shows, and this can make communication challenging sometimes. I hope you get the opportunity to see his unique and beautiful works in person!

You can follow Jerry’s adventures on his website and Facebook.

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Sasha of What. No Mints?, the multi-talented David Tedinneedlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpi, tatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton, and painter and embroiderer Karen of Mimilove.

ACrafty Interview with Mimilove

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Mimilove – painter and embroiderer Karen Grenfell.

When did you start crafting? KG: I have been painting for many moons, but it was in 2002 that Mimilove was born, providing a range of artworks mainly large portraits and abstracts for both individual and commercial clients. In 2004/5 a selection of my work appeared at the Birmingham Nec as part of the Memorabilia UK show, it was here that several paintings were signed by celebrities including David Carridine and Britt Ekland.
Daisy02

The sporting heroes World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst MBE and boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper OBE also signed pieces and the Henry Cooper painting was eventually sold at Sotheby’s later that year!

Since then I have been involved with providing illustrations and artworks for various companies including Blast Recording Studios and Brand New Films.
Funky Chickens!

A collaboration with promoter Steve Wraith and former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock helped to raise funds for children’s charity The Bubble Foundation UK. I have also worked with former Scorpions keyboard player and prog rock musician John Young and grafitti/street artists Id iom.

Over the past 2 years I have moved away from the large scale “pop art” pieces and have combined my love of embroidery with painting to produce mixed media works including a range of Cockney Sparrows and Budgie Stufferies and a unique pet portrait service which can be found around the globe from Alaska to Australia!

What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? KG: Ooo all sorts from knitting and crochet (epic failures!) to most recently, concrete casting!
Hero in a half shell...

I pretty much enjoy all the art/craft projects that I do, or try to do! Obviously I’d have to say my painting and embroidery is my main love but I do enjoy pottering around in my garden shed and messing around making things for the garden… I have made quite a few insect and bee houses this year which I’m quite proud to say all have tenants!

What is the silliest question you’ve ever received about your craft? KG: I don’t think I’ve been asked anything silly really. And even I did I would answer it, as I’m always delighted if people are willing to take the time to ask me anything about what I do!
Gordon Bennett! Cockney Sparrow-bit peckish!

What craft project are you most proud of? KG: I would have to say all of the commissioned portraits I’ve worked on. At times they can be overwhelmingly emotional as a lot of the portraits are done posthumously and commissioned by a grieving owner and I’m only too familiar with how devastating a loss like that can be, but when you get it right it’s so rewarding and such a lovely feeling.
Doggy commission - After!

But to know you’ve made someone happy, laugh or cry (in a good way!), that all the research, getting to know the subject, etc. has worked, you can’t get better than that.

What’s the largest craft project you’ve ever tackled? KG: It was actually a painting commission a few years ago. I was commissioned by Blast Recording Studios (in Newcastle-upon-Tyne) to provide a range of musician/band portraits for their new studio. There were 15 in total, most of which measured over 6 ft. x 5 ft. That was quite a challenge, as was posting them!
Gnomely Lonely Heart

Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? KG: Apart from threading the needle with my increasingly bad eyesight?! Trying to maintain confidence and motivation especially during quieter times… It’s like buses; nothing for ages and then all of a sudden 3 come along at once! Also juggling the time for family, cake breaks/naps and the boring day-to-day stuff etc.
...Winter wonderland

How has crafting affected your character? Has it made you more patient, grateful, organized, supportive, adventurous, persistent, proactive, independent, diverse, imaginative, observant, expressive, consistent, brave, calm, etc.? KG: All of the above!

Crazy World of Arthur Brown Guinea Pig!Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? KG: I recently had a comment from a teacher in the USA who uses pictures of my work to inspire her students and I have also had a lot of students from various fields (art, textiles, etc.) who have included my work/cited it as their inspiration in their projects and essays which I was really chuffed about. I have had some really touching emails and letters from people that I have worked for too, which I keep as they inspire me to keep working.

 

What is the one question you’ve never been asked about your craft that you’ve always wanted to answer? KG: That’s a tough one! I’m not really sure?! I do get a lot of people contacting me asking me about my technique and where I get my inspiration from etc. which is lovely because it’s nice to know I’m doing something folks are interested in!
Pidge

What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? KG: From an art point of view I’m busy with commissions and I’m also going to be holding a three day workshop/talk for the Northern Ireland Embroider’s Guild in November so really looking forward to that, although quite nervous too!
Pigeons

On the home front my husband and I are currently in the middle of completely renovating our garden, so I’m working on lots of different projects. I’ve completed a lot of insect/bee hotels and have most recently woven a hazel fence and archway. Our next project is a living willow sculpture and we’ve also recently acquired a concrete polisher so there will be a lot of casting activity!

Big budgie blog GIVEAWAY!I just love being in the garden and in touch with nature etc., and there’s that wonderful feeling at the end of the day, even when you’re absolutely exhausted and filthy when you sit back and look at what you’ve achieved. I also got a great buzz (pardon the pun!) when my first leaf cutter bee moved into the bee box I built!

 

I’m a huge fan of Karen’s work. Her watercolors are absolutely stunning on their own, but the embroidery gives her pieces such texture and depth – they’re like nothing else on earth. So a special thank you from me to Karen for participating in this ACrafty Interview series!

You can follow Mimilove’s adventures on her websiteFlickrblog, Facebook, and Etsy. She says “I’m always thrilled when folks visit my sites so please do drop by and say hello! :)”

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Sasha of What. No Mints?embroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, the multi-talented David Tedin, needlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpi, and tatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton.

Hexagon Crafts Part 4

Welcome to Hexagon Crafts Part 4! This series on hexagon crafts should really be titled HEXIE MADNESS! Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the series covered all kids of crafts: from quilting to quilling, jewelry to crochet, origami to leatherwork and everything in between. Today we’re covering hexagon crafts ranging from needlework to making a pendant lamp and lots more!

Hexagon sewing machine

 [Hexagon Sewing Machine by Crafty Dogma via Flickr – (what a beautiful machine!)] 

Hexagon Crafts in Cross Stitch, Needlepoint, and Embroidery

StitchyPuff - Cross Stitch Chart PDFDragonflylotus Designs offers this cheerful hexipuff pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 4 - hexagon shaped plastic canvas boxThis pattern for a hexagonal sewing box (or anything box, really) made from plastic canvas is interesting. While this is particular example is pretty, the colors and accents used here don’t intrigue me much. I’m sure that with the right colors this could be made into something really gorgeous!

 

 

Hexagon Stitch ArtMollie of WildOlive created this project which combines fabric hexies with colorful and freeform stitching for a fantastic decorative result.

 

 

embroidery samplerOn FeatheredNestStudio, Jennet posted about her very pretty hexagon embroidery sampler. I like the simplicity and her use of colors and fun stitches!

 

 

Embroidery Pattern Aqua Snowflake Christmas Winter PDFOf course, snowflakes ARE hexagons. I just love these colorful and beautiful embroidery snowflake patterns by Carina at PolkaandBloom.

 

 

 

 

Just two weeks ago, Becca at Ladyface Blog posted this tutorial for embroidering hexagons on tea towels. Very cute!

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Gardening

hexagon crafts part 4 - hexagon raised bed gardenI wish I had the space for this compact hexagonal raised bed garden! This post by Alexdlp at the Instructables site gives layout suggestions and construction details. The keyhole element to facilitate maintenance is both practical and attractive.

 

 

Quilted Kitchen Garden 01This article at PhoenixPermaCulture doesn’t contain construction instructions, but you can see how they used “salvaged and scrap 2×4 and 4×4 lumber pieced together to form 4 1/2′ across hexagons.” And when you’re gardening for sustenance these hexies are surely a great way to go.

 

Hexagon Crafts in Baking and Cake Decorating

hexagon crafts part 4 - hexagon chocolate wedding cake with flowersOf course, there are many, many hexagonal shaped wedding cakes. Here are two beautiful decorated examples: This Chocolate Garden Wedding Cake by MaisieFantaisie,

 

 

 

 

 

and this henna-themed cake by Natalie at ChandelierCakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I found this cake, decorated with colorful fondant hexies, by Maggie at VibranceandChaos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow hexagon cookies inspired by crocheted afghans!My jaw dropped when I saw these amazing cookies, inspired by crocheted afghans, by Zoe at WhippedBakeshop. WANT. I wonder what flavors are available…

 

 

 

 

Next up are these decorated cookies by EmmyJeanCookieMachine, based on the hexie shaped board game “The Settlers of Catan.” Fun!

 

 

 

 

Bee CookiesI found this recipe for honeycomb stained glass cookies at FancyFlours, with their adorable sugar bees. I’d like to see these cookies made with other flavors and colors of sugar candy as well!

 

Hexagon Crafts Pendant Lamp

PVC-Pendant-Black-After-2This tutorial for a DIY pendant lamp by Amanda at OurHumbleAbode is pretty good! It’s not perfect, but for a first attempt and at the inexpensive price it’s hard to beat. I wonder how it’s held up over time…

 

Hexagon Crafts in Paint

SolidWoodBench has this great tutorial for making a cute hexie stenciled door mat,

 

 

 

 

and Morgan at PepperDesignBlog, as part of a Pinterest challenge, made this planter box with fabu painted hexie accents!

 

 

 

This tutorial from Jesse at NineRed not only shows how to paint some awesome hexies, it also has great information about refinishing any piece of furniture, even if it’s ugly 70’s plastic!

 

 

 

Honeycomb Hexagon Wall @ Vintage Revivals-2This photo and DIY from VintageRevivals left me nearly speechless. HOW COOL IS THIS WALL? Actually, the whole room is very cool, but the hexies and the graduating shades of color – stunning! I imagine that the biggest pain was building the hexagonal wood latticework. Do you think an equally cool latticework could be accomplished using washi tape?

That gorgeous wall wraps Hexagon Crafts Part 4. Is there anything else in these crafty categories (paint, cross stitch, embroidery, baking, lamp making, and gardening) that you would like to add in the comments?

Make sure you’ve checked out the quilting, leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry featured in Part 1, the crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, and popsicle sticks in Part 2, and the sewing, pottery, knitting, quilling, woodworking, plastic, and stained glass in Part 3!

ACrafty Interview with WhatNoMints

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with WhatNoMints! Sasha is a nature lover, scientist, and the heart of What. No Mints?

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - sasha2When did you start crafting? SW: It’s hard for me to pinpoint an exact time when I began crafting. As a kid, I constantly looked for an excuse to stretch my creative fingers – I took a few art classes to learn the basics and always overdid any school project that came my way (I remember creating a pretty epic plant cell for high school biology). I would say that I really started sharing my work with others about 4 years ago after I graduated college – I had a little more free time and (because I can’t sit still for too long) decided to jump back into crafting with both feet!

 

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - alligator in feltWhat crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? SW: My love affair with crafts started with acrylic paint. My parents’ house had a large unfinished basement where I would sit for hours, painting my favorite photos from magazines, etc. But college and post-graduation life has since pushed us into tiny apartments where room for easels, dirty paintbrushes and canvases are limited. My materials have since switched from paint to fiber and I now try to achieve my creative goals using embroidery floss, felt and assorted linens. I have really grown to love embroidery and enjoy trying new designs and stitching techniques!

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - final frontier starry embroidery hoopWhat’s your most popular (or bestselling) project? SW: I would have to say that my embroidery hoop art pieces are my bestsellers – I usually just sew whatever crazy thought/animal/design that comes to mind. Luckily, there seem to be a bunch of other people out there who share my interests and sense of humor because even my quirkier pieces (like my “Baller” mason jar) sell like hotcakes!

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - anhinga bird embroidery What craft project are you most proud of? SW: My most prized embroidery piece is actually not available for purchase. I moved to south Florida 2 years ago to begin work on my PhD in environmental chemistry. I have since fallen in love with the Everglades and the anhinga has become one of my favorite animals. This “snakebird” is as clumsy and awkward on land as it is quick and agile in the water. Unlike a duck, it lacks an oily coating on its feathers. Therefore, after going for a dip, it needs to stand in the sun, wings outstretched, for lengthy periods of time to dry. Their persona and lifestyle are both intriguing and amusing. After sewing the likeness of this wonderful creature, I realized I just could not let it go.

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - packaged parameciumWhat’s the biggest craft project you’ve ever tackled? SW: I remember my first wholesale order of 45 hand-sewn ornaments to be a little daunting. “45” doesn’t seem like such a huge number, but then you have to remember to multiply by 2 for the number of woolen shapes to be cut and factor the time it takes to sew each unique ornament by hand. After completing the first few ornaments, I was worried I had bitten off more than I could chew. But I remembered to be relaxed and work on the project in segments so as not to be too overwhelmed. In the end, the collection of wool ornaments was perfect and lovely and shipped on time!

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - spoonbill embroidery in progressHas a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? SW: I can’t say that I’ve experienced any unexpected challenges while working on a project. Embroidery floss gets tangled, stitches need to be pulled and redone, entire designs fail and must be scrapped, etc. These are all just regular hurdles that those working with a needle and thread face! I almost welcome these challenges, because they make the enjoyment of finishing a piece that much sweeter.

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - spoonbill embroidery finishedHow has crafting affected your character? SW: I think sewing has made me a more placid person. With the workload of being a full-time graduate student, I have a tendency to not know when to stop. Oftentimes I’m the first one in lab in the morning and the last one to leave at night – Even my advisor tells me I work too much! Needlework still allows me to learn and accomplish new things, while giving the left side of my brain a break from scientific undertakings.

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - fox in feltCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? SW: I think my Mom has been most affected by my crafting – She cannot get her hands on enough of my pieces!! Her home is riddled with a whole bunch of my hand-sewn items. Now that I live 1300 miles away from home, I think it’s a way for her to still keep me close 🙂

ACrafty Interview - whatnomints - sasha photo 1What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? SW: The following creatures are currently on my “to-sew” list: golden orb-weaver (a giant 5-inch spider), green heron and leaf notcher weevil. I am constantly being inspired by my environment – I love to photograph the tropical critters that live around us and transform them into embroidery art. I would also like to come up with some mythical animal patterns and create 3D soft sculptures with wool felt. These designs could include anything from dragons to hybrid animals like an allipanther (body of a panther with the head of an alligator). Sewing gives me the freedom to create literally anything that comes to mind – I love that.

Many thanks to Sasha for participating in this interview. I first fell in love with her paramecium magnets and it’s just gone uphill from there (her recent dragon piece is terrific)! I look forward to seeing all her future explorations and creations…

You can follow Sasha’s crafty adventures on her blog, Twitter, Pinterest, and her Etsy shop!

Would you like to be a part of this ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodknitter Apockylypsequilter Betty Busby, cross stitcher Katie Kutthroat, and potter Chris Tedin!

ACrafty Interview with Chris Tedin

Welcome to this week’s ACrafty Interview with Chris Tedin. Chris is a potter, and he is also a talented artist in the areas of drawing, painting, and sculpture. He’s a Faculty member of the Animation & Visual Effects Department of the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy in Chicago. He can create works in three dimensions in the physical world, four dimensions in cyberspace, and he lives and works around some of the best art and architecture in the world. I have to admit I’m a little envious of his abilities and location (but only in the best ways!).

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery teapot 3When did you start crafting? CT: I began to pursue the craft of clay during my senior year as an undergraduate. I was fascinated by the process of building pottery, and the endless possibilities that it afforded me as an artist. I was fascinated by the firing process, and building my own kilns to fire the clay with wood was an incredible experience.

 

 

 

 

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery tall vase 1What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? CT: I think that clay provides me with the most flexibility in terms of form, and allows me the ability to make functional as well as large scale sculptural works.

 

 

 

 

 

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery cup 1What craft project are you most proud of? CT: I think the pieces that are used every day seem to satisfy me the most. The large scale sculptural pieces are satisfying in a totally different way. They are primarily symbolic and aesthetic. Although they are carefully “crafted” in the same way a good coffee cup might be, or a teapot, the large pieces speak to another kind of expression, and therefore are more abstract. A bowl is used every day, and is simple and direct, and easily accepted. Neither is “better” than the other, just serve different purposes. I like to see my work used in an everyday context. When someone enjoys a cup of coffee, I am with them every morning, enjoying it with them. I find a great deal of satisfaction in that.

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery teapot 1What’s the biggest craft project you’ve ever tackled? CT: I tend to use my craft projects to “keep it simple” and try not to be too ambitious. My work is direct and quick, for the most part. My sculptures tend to be more time consuming, so I use the crafts I learn in pottery to execute them. I have made works that are over 9 feet tall, and weigh over 500 pounds. But my pottery is much lighter and more manageable. My teapots can be time consuming to execute, requiring me to throw a half a dozen parts, and assembling them together before firing them.

 

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery medium vaseHas a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? CT: Each piece has a unique challenge, but as I find myself becoming more familiar with the fundamental forms, they are a natural part of me. The only surprises now are in the glaze firings, when I’m testing out new glazes or firing using different “atmospheres.”

 

 

 

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery bowl on wheelHow has crafting affected your character? CT: Working in craft, especially pottery, gives me a strong sense of “center.” I know that, no matter how challenging my day has been, that the clay is always ready for me, and since I know its language, I am always ready for it. I am more patient by using clay, and much more willing to take risks with forms, glazes and allowing for accidents to occur in the work. My imagination is always sparked by things in nature, and I love exploring those forms in my work on the wheel.

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery tall vase in progressCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? CT: My friend, Joe Crossetto, is a sculptor and painter. After working in clay around him, he got the “bug,” and began using clay as his primary medium for the last 5 years. He purchased a large gas kiln, has executed a dozen sculptures, and throws on the wheel regularly. He loves to experiment with glazes, and it is something that has brought us closer together as friends.

 

 

ACrafty Interview - Chris Tedin pottery bowlWhat crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? CT: I have been sketching some ideas for sculpture and pottery, but I will be throwing a lot of large and medium sized bowls in the next few months. It seems that bowls are popular, and I would love to see more of my pieces being used by my friends. I also love throwing bowls because it’s simple, but there are a surprising number of variations that are possible.

Thanks so much, Chris, for sharing your valuable time with us! 

Would you like to be a part of this ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodknitter Apockylypsequilter Betty Busby, and cross stitcher Katie Kutthroat!

Spring-y and Hopeful Pussy Willow Crafts

Until I was about 12, I lived in Anchorage, Alaska. After every long gray winter we would always be on the lookout for pussy willows as that was THE sign that Spring had finally sprung. So to celebrate the fact that it’s Spring (in spite of the snow in the Rockies yesterday) let’s take a look at some fun pussy willow crafts.

A moose nibbling on pussy willows is often a Spring-y sight in Anchorage:Hitting The Photographic Lottery

Flower Arranging

Let’s start with some flower arranging (did you know that pussy willows are a favorite flower for Chinese New Year?). This article from concretecanopy shows how to treat pussy willows so they’ll keep fuzzy for a long time, and this tutorial by The Yellow Cape Cod shows us how to make this elegant tulip and pussy willow centerpiece:

 

 

 

a jar holding three balls covered in pussy willowsThis article is a tutorial on how to make decorative Pussy Willow balls. RunnerDuck says these “really work nice as a therapy ball. They feel so nice and fuzzy that they make you feel good all over.” I believe it!

 

 

 

 

Colored pussy willows add a pop of color to glass vases.Betz White has this tutorial on making some colorful pussy willow branches. She thinks of pussy willows “as a hopeful sign that spring is on its way.” I really LOVE this idea from Bonnie Thomas via Yankee Magazine. Coloring the pussy willows with chalk dust could be a very fun family activity.

 

 

 

Paint, Ink, and Markers

If you’re looking for a quick and inexpensive pussy willow project, this example by MeaningfulMama using ink fingerprints and this example by meethedubiens using finger paint are lovely and simple. Both blogs credit the April 2012 issue of Disney’s Family Fun magazine for the original idea.

 

 

 

Quilting

Pussy WillowsI spied this 10″ square pussy willow block pattern by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time on Craftsy. This pattern is very pretty as a quilt block and it could be made into a number of different crafts. I’m thinking this would be stunning in stained glass!

 

 

Jewelry

Mary of Paisley Peacock Designs put this photographic tutorial on her Facebook page. It shows the process she uses to make her beautiful pussy willow enameled pendant available through her website. I’m unable to put a photo on this post, but you can see the pendant on her home page on the right.

Knitting 

I found this pussy willow knit sock project designed by Cat Bordhi on KnittingDaily. Cat states that her “…inspiration usually comes from nature.” I can imagine how pretty and comfy these must be. The pattern is available through the sock knitting master class mentioned in the link.

 

 

Do you know of other pussy willow crafts out there? Share them with us!