Thursday, December 18, 2008

Etsy shop of the month interview- MelissasMelange!

1., How did you find Etsy?
I found Etsy through a friend of mine who knew that I had no job and had a few crafty things stored up. I checked it out when I was looking for options to support myself while I looked for a real job in the non-profit public health field. That was the beginning about six months ago.

2., How did you get into the craft/artwork that you do now? I have a mother who sews and knits and does embroidery, so I grew up learning how to sew and do embroidery. But the knitting really didn't "take". In high school I decided to take an art class for the heck of it, and got hooked on painting and took a textiles course where I was introduced to painting on silk. I was hooked, but it took me about 6 years to accumulate all the supplies I needed to do silk painting. So, while I was in medical school, I would set up my silk painting as a needed break from studying. My friends loved my work and bought scarves.
At the same time, I learned that I needed something to keep my hands busy in class in order to pay attention, so I did cross-stitch in class. Honestly, it helped me learn more (though I did get lots of funny looks, the fact that I could answer professor's questions seemed to allay their concerns).
After graduation from medical school, I did one year of surgery residency. Part of building my skills for surgery required that I practice lots of knots (surgeon's knots). I have furniture and bags and items that still are covered in little pieces of knotted string from my practicing. After all that practice, I went back to school and got a masters degree. Again, I needed something to keep my hands busy in class. I had a roommate who asked me to teach her how to knit. I had no clue at that point, so, it became a challenge to learn how to do it so I could teach her. That was the beginning of my knitting obsession because I found that the stitches made sense because the logic was similar to the logic in surgeon's knots. I began making presents for family members and friends, got bored with the basic stitches, so began perusing the local library. A knitting/silk painting doctor was the result of all of the above.
I should probably mention the photography. My dad used to have a photo lab in our basement and we would develop our own pictures and I would "help". In junior high I had a camera and my parents paid me for babysitting my siblings by paying for my film development. As I have traveled around the world, I have had many opportunities to take pictures of beautiful things. I haven't yet scanned all those beautiful photos into the computer yet, but that is in process.

3., What inspires you? What inspires me varies from day to day, it can be a skein of yarn, a saying, a book (did you know that Charles Dickens mentions a knitter in "A Tale of Two Cities" who records the names a crimes of all the aristocracy in Paris in a piece that she was knitting---I wonder what kind of stitch pattern code she used?) a tree, a cobweb, or even just the way the dye moves across my piece of silk. At least half of the time my pieces look nothing like what I intended them to look like at the beginning.

4., Who is your fav. artist? I guess this is kind of funny, but my favorite artist is God! Every time I see an exquisite sunrise or sunset or the variation and subtleties of color in a flower or tree or anything, I think to myself what an amazing painter he is. There are so many different mediums that he uses, whether it is DNA or the way light waves bounce across air particles.

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