Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vendor Q&A with little blue studio

What is your craft all about?
It is all about expression, a way to say things without words. I am an initially quiet person until I get to know people, which others can mistake for shyness. It's always amazing to see how people respond to an individual piece. I think that's why I love doing mostly one-of-a-kind work, it enables me to relate on a very specific level and understand who my customers are.

How did you get started in your craft?
I am originally a painter. Raising two boys, I don't often find the time necessary to immerse myself in painting. Crafting has helped channel another creative outlet for me. In my studio now, I can stop and start a lot easier, which enables me to work in 20 minute chunks of time if that's all I can get. It's too difficult to do that when painting.

What inspires you to make what you make?
I think much of my inspiration comes through genetics! My great-uncle was a Philadelphia jeweler, so jewelry was a very expressive thing on my father's side of the family. Pieces of jewelry were my Dad's love letters to my Mom. My mother loved to sew as a hobby. She was also very fashionable and had a great eye for details. She worked on the business end of a clothing design company, so I learned a lot of little tidbits that have really helped me along the way. Every person in my family creates with their hands...I could imagine no other way of life!

What techniques do you use?
I do love the sewing bits! It is very simple and honest as a process. Plus, it allows you to undo or alter a piece, so as time changes so can the function or appearance of your accessory. Maybe that idea comes from reading all of those gothic romances (I am a bookworm!), where the women were always reworking their gowns, lending and borrowing bits from others. Beautiful things don't have to be new all the time and then seemingly die when they are deemed outdated...they can evolve. I think women today are moving back toward that idea.

What is your favorite piece...?
My favorite piece that will be with me at the Handmade Mart is my sea anemone ring. It is made from a golden beaded tassel off of a vintage dress. My neighbor collects vintage pretties and he gave me a box of old dress trimmings and beads. I wrapped the tassel with 14kt gold filled wire and fitted it as a ring. People just love to try it on...it looks like fireworks on your finger! It has a lot of movement, which I absolutely love in a piece of jewelry.

Where has your craft taken you?
It's been an amazing creative journey, this past year or so. A couple years ago, I never would have guessed I'd be doing what I am now. But in looking back at my family history and my own life experiences - it makes complete sense!

Where can folks find your craft outside the Handmade Mart?
You can find me through my website, MariaLouiseHigh.com. If you are in Baltimore, you can also find select pieces at the Woman's Industrial Exchange at 333 N. Charles St.

Visit me at booth #3!

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