Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an intervew with Lisa Solomon, author of Knot Thread Stitch: Exploring Creativity through Embroidery and Mixed Media. Thank you Lisa for taking the time to share with our Craftside readers an inside peek into your beautiful studio and a bit about yourself and your creative process!
1. What does your workspace/design space look like?
My workspace is an almost 300 square foot studio in my backyard that was designed by a dear friend John Riordan.
I actually do both. I have drawers full of rejects that I just can't throw away for whatever reason. I also sometimes just toss something immediately if it's not working. Mostly because I can't find a single redeeming element in it and if I keep it, it will only frustrate me!
I'd really like to get into some ceramics. I did a little bit of it in school, but not enough to really “get” it. I'd love to make or re-fashion some functional pieces.
Sure ! I have a whole side business – MODify/d where we take damages and samples from the garment industry (a lot of which is cashmere) and make new stuff for you, your home and pets. It's really fun! I also sometimes used found paper/ephemera in my artwork. It's nice, I think, to respond to something, or to reuse what you have around you.
5. What music do you listen to when designing?
I don't listen to music too much anymore. Sometimes I find music too distracting—I want to really listen or sing along and that doesn't always help the design/making process. I listen to A LOT of NPR (it helps me know what time it is) and the This American Life archive. The talking usually is enough to engage me, but also distract me. I find my creative mind works best in that sort of weird space where I can think, but I'm also not entirely paying attention.
It really depends. Sometimes it’s SUPER fast and easy (hurrah!) like 10 minutes (at least for the idea and drawing). Sometimes it can be agonizing. Drafts and drafts and re-working... I don’t really attribute either way to being “better”. Of course I like the fast and easy for my sake, but sometimes the things that required a lot of thought and effort end up being the ones that really sing.
7. How do you organize your supplies?
I love things arranged by type and color. So inks together, all reds together... It just makes it easier for me to find things and it makes things look pretty when they are just sitting there waiting to be used.
8. What books/magazines do you read?
I wish I had more time to read ! But... I love fiction and non-fiction. I use any excuse to buy a book. Books on artists/art/art theory, books on technique, japanese craft books... I used to look at Dwell and Anthology magazine, UPPERCASE... And yes, Martha Stewart! But I don't actually subscribe to any magazines anymore. I want to keep them all and I don't have the space.
I'm a minimalist living in a hoarder/collector color enthusiast's body. Which basically gives me license to try anything right? I'm definitely drawn to anything vintage or retro-inspried. I love color. I love thinking about and working with color combinations.
I’m a conceptualist in this area. I believe that materials have properties and meanings that influence the end product/result. So I use whatever is necessary to make the thing work!
Um. Name something. I might collect it. Polaroid cameras, vintage thread (the stuff on wooden spools), all kinds of vintage sewing notions, art, colored pencils, plastic rings....
I never in a million years thought I'd ever have a BOOK. Are you kidding? Seemed like something that only “cool kids” were invited to do. It just sort of really organically happened. All the credit goes to my editor, Mary Ann Hall. She approached me, and every time I voiced a concern or a scheduling conflict she managed to find a work around. Then it was a labor of love, and even more more than I possibly imagined it could be. Really from start to finish it was over a year of thinking, organizing, prepping, making, corralling all my friends to contribute versions of my projects... I can't believe that it's all done and that people can actually SEE it now.
13. And the all important question (from Ravelry) what is your favorite swear word?
Honestly? I’m an f-word kind of gal. sometimes no other word works. And it's so satisfying.
More about the Quarry book:
Knot Thread Stitch presents a modern, experimental, and creative approach to thread and embroidery projects. You'll find fun and surprising project ideas, a unique artistic approach, and unconventional mixed-media materials such as stamps, paint, sequins, paper, and shrinky dinks. With easy-to-follow steps and project variations, this book also includes project contributions and embroidery patterns from a long and stellar list of renowned artists and bloggers, including Lisa Congdon, Camilla Engman, Heather Smith Jones, and Amy Karol, just to name a few.
Profoundly interested in the idea of hybridization (sparked from her hapa heritage), Lisa Solomon’s mixed media works revolve thematically around domesticity, craft, and masculine and feminine triggers. She is drawn to found objects altering them conceptually so that their meanings and original uses or intents are re-purposed. She often fuses “wrong” things together: recontextualizing their original purposes, and incorporating materials that question the line between art and craft. Visit her online at http://www.lisasolomon.com.