Sunday, September 9, 2007

Featured Artist of the Week

Our featured artist of the week has a shop called Handmedowns - but don't let the name fool you - this is all original work.

Here is our interview with the artist, Carrie -

Describe what you make?

I'm a photography student by day, a knitter and bookmaker by night! I make photography using a large format camera (the kind with the accordion looking bellows) and negatives that come in 4"x5" or 8"x10" sheets. Often I print them in the darkroom using traditional or historical processes, but you can also find more affordable digital prints in my etsy shop. I knit all kinds of things in my free time. I love knitting baby items because they go so quickly, but I'm also a huge lace knitter. The finer the yarn the better! I began making handmade books to store some of my photography because I felt nervous about the archival quality of plastic portfolio sleeves and every day books available in brick and mortar stores. I'm really nuts about the beautiful papers available that are of the highest archival quality!

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

That's really hard to answer because photography and knitting each have a really special place in my heart. I would have to say without photography I feel like half a person. If I go too many days without shooting or printing in the lab, I just don't feel like myself! That can be both a curse and a blessing.

How long have you been creating craft?

I remember being really small and making crafts with my mom and little friends for my birthday party. I would make things with my mom all the time. I can't remember a time when I wasn't crafting!

How did you get started?

I'm so lucky to have been raised surrounded by people I would call crafters. My grandfather is a woodworker, my great grandmother was a seamstress and my mother followed suit, while my grandmother was a knitter. My crafting and creating was always encouraged, and I'm so blessed to have a family that supports and appreciates my need to have a career making photographs. I learned to knit and sew from the women in my family, and obtained a technical aptitude from my grandfather that has certainly played into my success with photography. It just happened.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I love the idea that people treasure handmade goods, and that often they become family heirlooms or treasures. I wanted my shop to reflect that idea of passing handmade items on like hand-me-down clothing.

What would you most want people to know about your work?

That it means something special to me to make it, and I hope people will see that. I just want to make that connection with one person so that they too will feel something special about what I've made. That's what it means to be an artist: to communicate something using a sensory language. I feel exactly the same way about my handknit sweaters and shawls as I do about my photographs.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

We can't make everything perfect all the time, and it takes a while to learn how to make things perfect. When you get in a funk or make mistakes, just remember that the lull or the mistakes will surely bring about your next works. A mistake or what feels like a creative block will undoubtedly make your next creations better! Try not to dwell on them... just work through it toward the next thing.


Carrie does very nice work and you must go look at Handmedowns.

And while you are at Etsy come visit with us!

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