How did you get stated with crochet, knitting, embroidery and fiber arts? Did you have formal training or are you self-taught?
I learned most of my skills from how-to books and online tutorials and just jumped right in. The great thing about knitting, crochet, and embroidery is that you can start out with really simple projects and then challenge yourself with more complicated stitches or patterns as you gain confidence. I made a ton of mistakes and messed up a lot of patterns, but by working through each challenge I really began to understand and master each technique.
Fiber art is the medium I work in 95% of the time, but I also love to draw and make art zines! I just started making zines last year and now I'm always trying to come up with ideas for them. It's nice to have a low-maintenance artistic outlet that doesn't require many materials and doesn't have to be so perfect - sometimes when I get stressed out I just say to myself, "I'm going to work on a zine tonight and NOTHING else!" and then I feel better. I also love the fact that zines are so "in the moment" for me... each zine tends to reflect a thought or feeling that I'm having that day, so they're really personal.
I've noticed that much of your work is based on forms and colors in nature. Your work also looks very detailed, well thought out and time consuming. What inspires and motivates you?
I am a person that becomes totally absorbed in whatever I'm thinking about and everything else is zoned out (one reason that I am a terrible driver), so I get really drawn in by art work that involves constructing a bunch of little parts and then assembling them into something larger. When I construct a fiber work with a bunch of small pieces I get totally lost in the process - and the process of "making" is what I love most. When I started crocheting my "pod" forms I started seeing similar shapes everywhere in nature and that made me really excited about finding ways to use them in different compositions. It has become a huge obsession!
Do you feel--either personally or on a large scale--that fiber artists are often neglected or miscategorized in the fine arts world?
This is such a great question! My background is in Art History, so this dilemma is one that I've been thinking about for a long time and it's the main reason that the tagline to my shop is "art + craft." Traditional craft techniques have experienced a revival lately and the contemporary art scene is open to fiber artists because there is some really cool work being done. As artists do more and more exciting work in fiber mediums I expect that interest in fiber art will continue to grow.
|All photographs courtesy of Rachel Hunnicutt|
Special thanks to Rachel for interview!