Our featured artist is a fiber artist who crochets. Her shop is Millie Fern.
Come and meet Adie of MilleFern -
Briefly describe what you make?
I make mostly handbags and plush animals/dolls. I also make some home accessory items like baby blankets/throws that don't usually make it to my website. I crochet and often felt my projects. I also create bags and animals from recycled wool (i.e. wool sweaters) tht I felt and use to create with.
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
I love yarn! However, I also line my bags by hand, and hand-dye leather to use for the straps. I often add embellishments such as beading to accent the work. There are lots of steps involved in making one of my bags since they are lined and have leather handles. I see a lot of felted bags for sale, but most of them are unlined. In addition to my etsy shop, I love to paint and also work with paper (I make cards).
How long have you been creating craft?
Forever. I've been creating since I can remember. Whether drawing, using leftover materials to create items as a child to now- crocheting and still using leftover materials to create!
How did you get started?
As far as my handbags go, I got started crocheting just a couple of years ago. I had wanted to learn, so I did. I practiced and practiced, learning stitch after stitch until I could finally crochet something that didn't curl and twist and look generally awful. Then I saw a felted bag on TV. I had to learn how. I did it once, and I was hooked. Someone saw my first felted bag and wanted one. That was my first custom item, and when I had to come up with my name(I'll get to that). After that, I started exploring what I could do, and I've come a long way. I use my own designs for my bags and animals. The bags you see in my shop are one of a kind! After I learned about etsy I was hooked on that too. That helped keep me motivated to keep creating.
Where does the name of your shop come from?
My shop name is very personal. My great grandmother was Millie Fern. She was a creative and beautiful lady. I had always loved the sound of her name. I had always thought it would be perfect for something, I just didn't know what. When I sold my first bag two years ago, I had to have a name and a tag to go on the bag, of course. So, I decided on Millie Fern!
What would you most want people to know about your work?
I would like people to know that there is a lot of time that goes into each bag. I'd like people to know that they are quality. That they're original designs! Someone could copy me, but they are not going to end up with the same product. I create my own designs. I'd like them to know that I add a lot of detail that also takes a lot of time. Most of my bags have embellishments such as felted flowers/blooms or beadwork. The lining is done by hand. The strap is real leather, and I dye it and seal it myself. Basically, that if they choose one of my bags, they're getting something unique and original. Also, I love custom work!
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
You have to keep exploring and trying new things. Think outside of the box, get outside your comfort zone, and keep it fresh. You've got to practice your craft and you've got to get better. If you're not growing and improving, then you're going backwards. There is no such thing as standing still- gotta keep on movin'!
That was a great interview! I love it when artists share so completely with us! You must visit Adie's shop - MillieFern!
While you are at Etsy please be sure to come look over my photography shop - Past Perfect. You will find some beautiful prints and I soon will be adding notecard assortments of some of these great prints.