Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Interview with BozenaWojtaszek @ Etsy


When did you become interested in quilting/sewing?
I was taught to sew by one of my grandmas when I was 9. I loved sewing at an early age, so it was just the matter to get the knowhow. But the talent and love for sewing I inherited from my other grandma. Of course I sewed my own clothes; I also knit, crochet and embroider.

How did it evolve to the artwork you are doing now?
I love all crafts but sewing was always my biggest love. And I mean sewing by machine. I like to embellish my works with beads or embroidery but it is just an addition, the main fun is done by machine. And I was trying to make art quilts not even knowing they are quilts.


Where do your ideas come from? Care you share your creative process?
Nature (as seen in plants and their fruit), culture (art and history but also material culture) and emotions (personal and social). Some years ago I "discovered" that kitchen and food related themes cover everything. Since then I stayed focused on those topics with small excursions into the woods (my trees) and medieval art. I love to discover connections and relations between everyday small things and big ideas.

My creative process isn't a secret - I have a blog where I share it and it turned out that it depends on many factors. Sometimes I just like the color combination of some veggies and I want to translate it into fabric. Sometimes there's an idea, the mood and I have to find the elements to carry it into my art. But one thing is constant (and it always surprises my viewers) - I don't start with drawing. I can't draw. I can sketch some idea, a plan but to execute it I have to go through tons of pictures and drawings of others to choose the most interesting for my elements. And then I pull up my fabrics and they tell me what to do next!


What is your favorite item? Tell us why?
As of today my piece "They see" (image below) made in 2009. Why? I don't really know - it was very nice to sew but it is even more interesting to hear what the viewers see in it. It turned out that this piece is very meaningful and evokes so many interesting associations that it is hard to put your eyes off of it.


How did you find Etsy, and what made you decide to start selling your work?
I always wanted to sell my works. But I know it is difficult to sell fiber art online. On the screen it looks just like a colorful picture, you can't see the main part of textile - softness, texture, warmth. So when I discovered Etsy (through the fellow artists) I decided to give it a try. What I like the best in it, it is that's rather easy. I'm not a computer geek but it is easy even for me :) I can change the picture or the description of a piece to make it viewer friendly.

What challenges have you found in your work/business?
The hardest part is marketing. I'm rather shy person and I don't like to talk about my art. I can answer questions if the arise or if someone is interested in something. But I can't stand and say "people, come here, what a beautiful work I do". All the SEO matters are a real pain for me.


Do you do this fulltime? If not please tell us about your “day” job.
Yes, I'm full time artist, although now I'm full time etsian :-)

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Textiles from my grandmas - kitchen towels, doilies, tablecloth.

If you had to use only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Curiosity.

Find Me:
Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BozenaWojtaszek
Blog: http://textilecuisine.blogspot.com/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bozenawojtaszek

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interview with Misscongeniality @ Etsy


Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a quirky, former teacher, stay-at-home mom, who loves to sew. I detest chick flicks and heels; but, I love pink, polkadots--and given the opportunity, I would live in flip flops and dresses. I can't pick up a book, because once I do, I can't put it down (that's probably why I was an english teacher :). And if given the choice between a vacation at Disney World or a secluded beach, I'd pick the later.

Is there a story behind your store name?
My store name is my daughter's nickname. Sice she was a toddler, I've called her that, but always sarcastically. I love her dearly, but she's a grumpy old soul. Over time, the name seems to have fit the business. I've moved into making aprons and dish carriers, both are items associated with being congenial.

How did you get started with your craft?
When I was 8, my parents gave me a sewing machine. At the time, I thought it was the worst present ever. Now, not so much. For 20 years, I sewed on and off. It's been in the last 5 years that I've started to become serious about sewing as an art. I take various technique classes and plan to eventually get a Master and Design Certification from the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals.

How did it evolve to the artwork you are doing now?
I started sewing small things like doll clothes, pillows, decor items, etc. I would sew just to make things, not paying attention to details or precision. I began teaching high school, and sewing fell to the wayside. I had kids, stopped teaching and returned to sewing. Perhaps it was motherhood, who knows, but I looked at sewing in a different way. I began reading about techniques, stiches, thread tension, etc. I started taking classes and really began to see sewing as a handmade art, not just a "craft." My friends saw this in my gifts, that they suggested that I start selling them.


Where do your ideas come from? Care you share your creative process?
I love to browse magazines (i.e. Threads, Sew News) and books. I also LOVE small quilt stores (there are some in Shipshewana, Indiana that i frequent a lot.) The small stores tend to carry fabric from designers like Amy Butler and MODA lines. My ideas always start with the fabric. I look at the fabric and think until an idea just "feels right" for apron ties, or an apron lining, a dish carrier flower, etc.

What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created? Why?
My favorite creation is my large casserole/dish carrier. All the carriers I had seen, only carried 1 dish or rectangular pans. I wanted to create something that could carry a variety of items from large bowls to cupcake trays. Plus I wanted something that was unique and pretty. I spent several months, and more than several mistakes, creating a casserole carrier that is truly one-of-a-kind.

How did you find Etsy, and what made you decide to start selling your work?
My college age cousin pointed out the site to me several years ago. I like the simplicity and user friendliness of it. I also love that the customers understand and appreciate a handmade item. They shop etsy for the craftsmanship, rather than just a bargain.

What challenges have you found in your work/business?
My biggest challenge has been a "production vs promotion" dilema. So much of small business succes depends on promotion in blogs, posts, facebook, art shows, etc. But at the same time, you have to devote time to producing a product that you can promote. It's a blancing act that i'm still learning how to do.


Do you do this fulltime? If not please tell us about your “day” job.
For the past two years, I have done this part time. Actually, you probably couldn't even say that. For the past four months, I have been preparing to promote and produce for my business full time. All my kids are now in school, so now I have time to fully devote to it.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
It has to be a toss up. It could be the stuffed animals I made for my kids from their baby clothes. They adore the animals, and I love that. Or my favorite could be my daughter's first communion dress that I'm making. I've taken my wedding dress and deconstructed it and am using the material for her dress.

Your top 5 most played songs on playlist?
Matt Kearney: Hey Mama
Josh Wilson: Savior, Please
B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars: Nothin On You
Lee Ann Womack: Last Call
Jason Chain: You Got Me

Find Me:
Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/misscongeniality
Other Site: www.shopmissc.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/shopmissc

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20% discount using the code HOBBYSHOP
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