Friday, December 07, 2012

Sprouthead :: Handmade Holiday Vendor Feature

Business Name:  Sprout Head
What is your newest crafty creation?  Is there specific item you'd like to feature for the show? One of the newest pieces is this linocut featured here, called "Ecdysis I." While at first it looks like a two-headed snake (and you can think of it that way if you like), I meant it to be a snake shedding its skin. I found out that the new skin grows in under the old, and when the snake is ready to shed its skin it is practically blind because it sheds its eyelids too. The snake is very vulnerable during this time. For me, it is a metaphor of renewal and of how difficult, but necessary, transition can be sometimes. The vines in the background also symbolize the process of growth, and they are a pinkish color because I associate that color with warmth and healing.

Is there a story behind your shop name? 
Basically I love plants and nature, and my ideas grow organically - I'm a Sprout Head!
Describe your studio.
My studio is also my bedroom, but I mostly use it for making stuff. I have two desks, and one is usually cluttered with stuff, and the other I try to keep more free so I can work. I have a bookshelf filled with art books and supplies. I have some prints and paintings on my wall, and a French memory board full of postcards and trinkets - I love small things. Soon, I plan to make an altar to hang on my wall - not a religious altar, but a little shelf and some artwork surrounding it to place objects of importance and intention. I want the coming year to be very focused, and I think the altar will remind me of my artistic goals as well as help me to stay balanced and positive.

What are your influences?
Lately I'm influenced a lot by color. I'm trying to experiment by adding more color into my linocut prints, and it feels like I'm just beginning! And of course I'm influenced by the calming beauty of nature - that is apparent in most of my artwork.
What is your favorite thing about the Holidays?
This is my most busy season in terms of making artwork and selling it, so it is exciting to bustle around making stuff and doing craft shows. It is also a stressful and emotional time, but this is the first year that  I have consciously tried to be kind to myself during this period, as opposed to pushing myself to the limits. I also love going to my hometown of Rochester, NY and visiting my family for a couple of weeks. I don't get to see them often, so I enjoy hanging out with them, lazing around the house, and eating good food.

What is the best handmade gift you've received?
Both of my sisters are creative people, so I've received lots of fun illustrated cards and poems from my younger sister, and elegant ceramic sculptures from my older sister. But I would say that the best spontaneous handmade gift I've received was when I was working in a cafe 8 years ago. I wasn't very happy with my job at the time. One day a high school age girl came in to the cafe to order a drink. I remarked that I liked the fabric pins she had safety-pinned to her tank top. She said her friend had made them. When she was about to leave the cafe, she said "Here" and handed me one of the pins that had a flower with a tiny heart on it and some machine embroidered patterns. She smiled and left the cafe. I was so surprised. It really made my day and everytime I look at it I am reminded her sweet act of kindness.

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