Handmade Holiday is right around this corner! We are expecting this year to be our biggest show yet. The event is now two days, which allows us to feature more makers than ever before. Between now and Dec 3rd we plan to highlight some of our amazing artists. Check back daily!
Richmond Craft Mafia’s Handmade Holiday – at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
December 3rd 12pm-7pm
December 4th 12pm – 5pm
Meet Little Black Sheep Studio! You can find her at Handmade Holiday on December 3rd…
I got started making when I was tiny thing. Both my parents are creative souls, and helped steer me in a path of creating. My mother especially showed me all things fiber like knitting, crochet, sewing, and weaving. It wasn’t until I got to college and took a weaving class that I really fell in love with the craft. Ever since then I just haven’t stopped.
Are you debuting any new products this holiday season?
I am always coming up with new ideas and products, so I definitely have one new ones for this holiday season. Recently I have been playing with new pattern techniques on my scarves, wallhangings, and hanging vases. I am over the moon with the results, and can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks.
Tell us a little about your process!
My process is a very fluid and orderly one. I always start with a general idea but let the weaving itself dictate how it will ultimately turn out. The steps it takes to weave are very systematic, so that leaves room for a lot of go with the flow ideas while weaving. Since the steps are so orderly, it gives me the chance to let my mind wander and create fluid, exciting patterns that seem very natural. Each woven piece takes on a life of it’s own while on the loom, which makes them all unique and can’t be exactly repeated.
Of all of your products which is your favorite to make and why?
Blankets are my most favorite item to make. They take the longest and are the most challenging, but they are most definitely the most gratifying. When working on a blanket there is just so much pattern in front of me on the loom, and the patterns are my favorite part. I get to watch so much more of the pattern grow when working on a blanket. Also when the time comes to take them off of the loom I get a huge rush of excitement when I finally get to see the whole thing at once.
What drives you to continue making? Who/what is your inspiration?
I make for many reasons, but the most important one I would have to say is because I want to help keep my craft alive. We live in a time when computers and big business are taking over. I am afraid that people are starting to forget how we used to do things before machines and factories took over. The traditional crafts were how we did things for so long, and I don’t want it to be forgotten that we can make things just as good, if not better, than a lot of machines with these two little things we call hands. There is a special feeling you get when you cozy up in a scarf you know someone took the time and energy to hand make. It is a process that is harder, it takes more time, and it will be more expensive, but I think it is more than worth it. You will end up with something that has a memory and a feeling attached to it, and it’s not a disposable item that you’ll donate or get rid of in a season or two. These are items that will be kept and enjoyed for a lifetime.
Do you support any important causes with your business?
I don’t have any specific causes I support but I try to use what I call healthy practices. I try to find as many small producers to get my materials from as I can. My materials are natural ones, with the exception of acrylic yarns in my wallhangings. My packaging materials are all made from recycled paper, and cotton yarn. My goal is to leave as little of a footprint as possible and to support other small businesses when I have the opportunity.
How do you spend your downtime?
Between two part time jobs, which keep me busy 6 days of the week, taking care of a dozen different animals at home, and time spent working in my studio, I have very little free time. The time I do have free I like to spend playing in my flower garden, keeping the blooms going for my bees. I also enjoy cooking and baking.
Do you have any pets?
I live out in the country and have lots of pets. Inside the house we have two dogs and two cats, and outside we have four goats, a dozen chickens and bees. There is never a dull moment around here.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My favorite holiday tradition isn’t so much a tradition as it is a moment that tends to happen each holiday season. There is always a point when the day is over, you’ve seen everyone there is to see, ate everything there is to eat, and you are sitting, hopefully around a fire, with your closest family and it’s quiet. Everyone seems to be reflecting on the events of the day and realizing that it is all over until next year. That quiet moment of true comfort and just being together is my absolute favorite.