Tim’s Sally: Painting for me, is a nostalgic descent back to my childhood – a time when dolls were a huge part of my life. Today is not altogether different. I think of my paintings as play sets where I dress my dolls up and create their own environment. Sometimes this “land” is a sweet setting of animals, nature, and innate innocence while others are captivated by a mysterious engulfing darkness. I can relate.
Memories of playtime and my special collection of “neat stuff” that I kept in a wooden trunk made specially for me by my uncle were treasures to me. Baby doll heads, vintage dolls, sweet scents of everything yummy are areas of great inspiration. Artists such as Mark Ryden, Joe Sorren, and Casey O’Connell also capture my heart with a sweet tenderness encompassing subtle moments of time we all would like to revisit; a dream state so unique one could only wish to take part.
This week I’m profiling Nichola of KnitFrekkles, who uses both machine and hand knitting to design the most beautiful scarves. Nichola has always been crafty, from a young age but did not learn to knit until senior school. Her love of the craft stayed with her, growing stronger during her time at university, during which she completed a master’s degree researching traditional knitting styles, mainly fishermen’s ganseys and fairisle. “I wanted to change my own opinion of those styles as well as the wider world. They have been rurally crafted for centuries and largely forgotten about by the art world, I think they deserve more attention than they currently get. They are beautiful and intricate, there is a high level of knowledge and skill required before you can even begin to experiment.”
Nichola started selling her creations in January of this year and balances crafting with her ‘day job’ as a fitness instructor. She had been building the courage to sell her garments for a long time and wanted to help promote contemporary patterns, structures and ideas in knitting. Selling online gives Nichola a way to develop personal contact with buyers worldwide, and she enjoys creating unique garments and receiving positive buyer feedback!
Without a dedicated studio, Nichola has limited space at home for her crafting. Luckily, hand knitting is very portable! The inspiration for Nichola’s beautiful scarves comes mainly from the natural world – the colours, landscapes and patterns in nature.
Nicola’s scarves are unique in a very saturated market. She uses modern and historical influences, focusing on care and attention to detail. When creating a new design, Nichola thinks about how a yarn will interact with the wearer – how it will feel and whether it will make them special. Nichola knows that buyers are looking for something distinctive and completely unique in handmade items, and that they want a high level of craftsmanship not found in mass-produced items.
“I think that so far I have only scratched the surface of the handmade scene within the UK. It seems to be a fast growing scene which I think is fantastic and with more website being set up for selling handmade items it really does help potential sellers take the plunge.”
To see more of Nichola’s lovely designs, visit her shop.
Shihar: I am fortunate to be designing & creating clothes since 2001. Originally a sculptress and a performance artist trained in Fine Arts in London ( Camberwell college of art & design), through the experimental multimedia art in Jerusalem (School of visual theatre)
I am inspired by architecture, nature, origami, Zinas, folklore costumes merging eastern lines with modern cuts, An internal hybrid of my English and Mediterranean culture.
A trip to India revealed to me the magical world of fabric. Initially by sketching locals munks and nuns, discovering the rich nature of fabric, with It’s folds drapes and crinkles.
From there on I started designing my personal clothes, and shortly after, on demand from my surroundings, I began creating for other wonderful women.
Raw sterling silver cries out to me, begs me to convert it into bold jewelry with subtle finishes. Of course, I must obey.
Sarah Mann: Sarah Mann is fascinated by the creative and technical challenges of transforming her medium into objects of provocative adornment. Geometric shapes flow into organic elements, producing clean, straightforward designs that often incorporate kinetics. She is proud to carry on a family tradition in the crafts and pleased that this enables her to exercise her talent wherever her peripatetic nature may have her living.
Mann realizes fully the broad potential of sterling silver. She crafts her jewelry with torch and tools–saws, files, pliers, nippers, drills, hammers, and the more arcane rolling mill, dapping blocks, and mizzy wheels–then endows it with a range of hues through delicately controlled oxidation. The combined effect of patina on texture is a signature characteristic of all Sarah Mann jewelry.
Tracy Melton is a full time artist based in Knoxville, TN. He has sold thousands of paintings in the past ten years. His work has recently been published by Mcgraw-Hill publishing and featured on, “The Martha Stewart Show” this past March.
His work is a expression of what he sees while hiking and camping in the Appalachian Mountains. It is based on how nature develops, grows, dies, then starts again. Tracy says, ” I like to engage in a nonverbal conversation about nature with the viewer through my paintings. They make me think abstractly about the process of life. I think my paintings look really cool!. If I don’t why should I expect you to?”