Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring Bada-Bing Crafter Interview with Suzanne L. Vinson of Silver Tree Art

Suzanne L. Vinson
Silver Tree Art

Describe your business and work: Silver Tree Art has grown into many branches. My art consists of block prints, mixed media works, and jewelry featuring vintage elements. Another branch contains fabric works which spread peace, love, and blessing. Whether creating for you or myself, the work brings healing and wholeness. Another branch includes guided creative experience, both individual and group, through birth art, bereavement support, or other forms of support.

How long have you been a crafter or designer? i have created all my life. from mud pies to cheesecakes, from notebook collage to mixed media. folks have called me an artist longer than i have. i admitted my love of art and craft and have claimed the role in the last five years.

How did you get started with your craft? my grandmother a quilter, my mother a painter and teacher, and other influences brought me to believe that we each possess a creative spirit that comes to bloom in various ways. my development came through exploration. i have made jewelry as gifts for years, beginning with silk threads and knotting and it grew into sterling silver works. inspired here in richmond by the bead poet, i began using objects i'd collected over time to express creatively. i have always had my hand in sewing and wearing brooches, as well as making my block prints. as a minister, i would use much of my artistic juices in worship, adding visual elements to the experience. one day i realized that i was not the same person when i didn't have my hands in a art or craft related project. so, i began making more. the need to create grew and i began selling my wears because there were too many to give away. once the selling began, it hasn't stopped. i have some very loyal friends and fans that i LOVE sharing my art with. sometimes i have them in mind when making something new. creating feeds my soul and i gladly share that joy with others.

What are your influences? i've mentioned the bead poet, karie walker. i also love so many of the artists and illustrators that i see. the small object, anna maria horner for her use of color, doinky doodles because these works are so cool. there is a long list. mostly i step into my backyard and am inspired by the plants and colors of flowers. simple structures inspire me. a conversation with my son inspires me. a person working through pain is inspiring. i love surrounding myself with people and spaces that allow me to be present to them or to the space.

Do you have a particular item you want featured?
My blessing birdies are too cute. These birdies feature a winged pocket that has enough room for a tiny note to slip into. Then you give your blessing, prayer, or good word to a friend (or foe) as an act of generosity or blessing. These birds are functional for wearing on a shirt, bag, or other beloved object. When all else fails, look to a sweet birdie. Each of these are made from a variety of fabrics i use in my circle brooches and quilting. The base is a felted sweater. Each is cut and sewn by hand and has a snazzy pin back for securing. Priced at $12, these make a great gift for anyone who needs blessing: for any old day, a new child, a loss, or just because.

What do you like best about Spring? the smell of spring. blooms. the fresh green.

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