>Artisans to note..

February 19, 2008 § 3 Comments

>It’s great relaxation to take a little ramble around on Etsy, (a site for artisans and hand-crafted items) and ogle all of the talent that’s out there. I very rarely manage to do that without actually shopping mind you… ‘MarmeeCraft‘ is one of the shops that caught my eye the other day. Charming whimsical drawings full of colorful imagination, each printed on quality velvet matte Epson paper.The artists witty style is evident in each of her sweet drawings. The signature stretched necks of her characters are enchanting…seemingly to view the world from above the snarl of life and give us all a tasteful dose of old fashioned whimsey.
Thanks Marjorie for being part of ‘Artisans to note’…

Tell us how you began as Marmee Craft?

I’ve always had a love for vintage and antique things….stories, literature, fashion, fairytales. When I was 15 or so I became enthralled with the Victorian era after reading Little Women….and I’ve come back to it again and again in my life since then…Snippets of lavender water, faded calico, corsets and crinolines creep into my daily life and my art. So when I found Etsy and decided to venture forth with my little cottage industry I took on the name Marmee Craft (after our sweet kitty, Marmee, who is named after the beloved character in Little Women).

Your whimsical creations are full of warm wit and humour. I think my favorite of your prints has to be ‘the Precarious Uniwig’ ! What or who inspires your work?

Thank You! : ) I’m very inspired by Victorian fashions (I reproduce them in my spare time….I’ve even got my own cage crinoline…but that’s another story) as well as 19th century folk art. I also love awkward beauty and surrealistic/symbolic portrayals of girls, animals and nature…I was infatuated with the Pre-Raphaelites when I was in school. Other things that inspire me to create are music and films as well as the odd little stories that my mind makes up throughout the day! Oh…and of course anything cute and furry….I love animals and I think I may, indeed, be that proverbial crazy cat lady!! ; )

What are your biggest obstacles regarding your art and what have you done/are you doing to overcome them (it).

I think one of the biggest obstacles that I struggle with is the feeling of being an “outsider” to the art world, so to speak. Though I took a year of art training in college, my actual degree is in Literature and Philosophy….one of those nice Liberal Arts affairs. Not knowing what to do, or rather the traditional/formal way to do things with my art has actually been more of asset than an obstacle…I can do things the way that I feel is the right way, and not do something just because “that is the way it is done”. It’s very freeing, I find. : )

What is it that you enjoy most about your work?

Colour, pattern, texture….the smell of the wool roving I use to felt, the sound of the birds twittering away outside my little studio window while I work, adding that little glint of light and life into the eyes of the girls and animals I paint, being able to be home when my husband comes home and have a nice homemade supper, knowing that a little piece of my heart is shipped out along with each creation I send to customers all over the world….to places I’ll probably never even go. It’s amazing to think that something I created and poured love and life into will spend it’s new life with a lovely person in Australia, or Singapore, or London, or Texas or Rome….it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy!!

It can be difficult to work at home. Do you have a separate studio that you can go to or do you designate part of your home to your work.

We are very lucky…the house we are renting now has a spare room that has been designated as my little sewing room/ studio….I’m ever so thankful for that space! : )

How do you schedule your day?..whats a typical productive day like for you.

Hmmmm…..let’s see….well, early mornings are usually reserved for checking e-mail/Etsy convos, responding to questions, updating my little blog and catching up on other’s. Then I usually spend mid-morning to lunch working in the studio. After lunch I check back on e-mails, print postage, package orders, and relist prints that have sold (if it’s a particularly busy day) and then head back into the studio until it’s time to venture out to make supper. I usually do sketches and work out ideas for new paintings and dolls in the evening. Of course, I’m not a crafto-bot, so this changes to suit the day….that’s the beauty of working at home…if I need to change something (like do load of laundry, bake cupcakes, or take a day off with my husband), I can! : )

Is there anything else about yourself or your work that you feel you would like us to know?
Be Sweet and Happy…and enjoy your tea and cakes! And thank you so much for the opportunity to be featured on your lovely site!

To see more of Marjories work take a look at her site on Etsy at ‘MarmeeCraft’ or here on her blog, ‘My Cosy Little Whimsey Nook’ ..Trust me, it’s worth the visit! Much more to see than prints and if you hurry, you might even catch her sale…

Are you interested in reading more features from ‘Artisans to Note’? … see more here

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