Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meet Our Boomers

This week's interview is with Sassa from SassaLynne

1. What is the name of your shop/s?
It is a bit of a misnomer to say that I have two shops at the moment. I am currently selling from ‘Sassa Lynne, but I hope to have ’Nuvo Felt’ up and running before too long.

2. What kind of items do you sell?
With a couple of exceptions the items I have been selling at on Etsy, are all hand dyed. Even those that weren’t directly hand-dyed had/have elements of my dyeing in them (a couple of ACEO’s and a postcard). The theory is that anything stitched will be sold at Nuvo Felt, but all dyed goods will be a feature of Sassa Lynne at Etsy.

3. How did you find Etsy and Boomers also?
I was introduced to both Etsy and Boomers by my friend Liz Plummer. We both have a passion for textiles and originally met through an online textile group. I’ve probably known Liz for about 10 years now.

4. How long have you been engaged in your art/craft?
That’s a good question. I have always dabbled in crafts, learning to knit and sew as quite a young child. My grandmother was a court dressmaker, and she passed on scraps of precious fabrics that I used to make little bags, purses etc. In the mid 1980’s I was taken to a City and Guilds Embroidery Exhibition, I was blown away by what I saw but due to family circumstances I was unable to enroll until 1989. I loved the course, and ended up sourcing all sorts of products which I sold first to my fellow students and then to the wider public. We called the business Winifred Cottage, named after our Victorian cottage which was built for a girl called Winifred. I used to dye a few threads to keep my stock turning over. We called the range Sassa Lynne after our daughter, but it became too much. A friend took over, using my original recipes, and expanded the range a little. She adopted the name Sassa (real name Sarah like our daughter) but had to give up when her husband became terminally ill. I took up the dye pot again about 10 years ago and have developed the techniques I use now. Of course, I don’t get as much time to stitch as I would like, which is why Nuvo Felt is a little slow getting off the ground.

5. Do you consider yourself a hobbyist or a professional craftsperson?
I am definitely a professional crafts person. Apart from dyeing and selling I also teach and give talks at least once or twice a month.

6. What inspires you?
I am definitely inspired by colour! I find that I am using more and more unusual combinations as they develop in the dye bath. I am also inspired by nature and the Impressionists.

7. Please share with us what a typical day is like in your workshop or studio?
It is often a long day. I will probably start twisting dyed threads into skeins while I drink my early morning tea. After that I will sometimes sneak a little time to do some design work before breakfast. It’s surprising how much can be done when under pressure. The design may stay unused for some time, but at least it is there waiting to be developed. After breakfast we begin to put orders together – either those that come from our conventional website where we list our named range of threads (www.sassalynne.com) and some of our other supplies (www.winifredcottage.co.uk) or that come via telephone or Etsy. Once these are done I’ll start the dyeing. Threads have to be wound into skeins or hanks, and then introduced to the dye. Once the fixer is added they just sit there for a minimum of 3 – 4 hours, so I can get on with packaging threads and fibres. After dinner in the evening is the time we tackle paperwork!

8. What keeps you company while you are working on a project?
Silence! I love the sound of silence. I love being alone with my own thoughts. Also, some of the techniques I use are quite complicated so I don’t want too many distractions.

9. What is your favorite 'task' related to your art/craft?
I have to say that it is mixing colours.

10. What is your least favorite 'task' related to your art/craft?
Paperwork! (Fortunately my husband helps with this so it isn’t all my responsibility)

11. Would you care to share any 'words of wisdom' with other aspiring artists or crafters?
Go for it! You won’t know if you don’t try. You won’t make a million, but you will have a great time creating.

Please leave a comment for the artist/crafts person on this blog as she is sure to want to know what you think and what you can relate to!


Judy Nolan said...

Myfanwy, I really enjoyed reading about the origins of your shop. And I'm with you...I love the sound of silence!

On a Whimsey said...

I loved this interview which gave a wonderful insight to the background to Sassalynne. Her work is magical and her use of colours amazing!

Thank you so much for sharing.

Dayna said...

Love the colors that Myfanwy is able to bring out in her skains! Absolutely gorgeous.
I can't deal with complete silence. That's why living in the country is so awesome. The sounds of nature abound!

Sixsisters said...

How wonderful to learn more about Myfanway and
her lovely work.

ZudaGay said...

Great interview!! Looking in Myfanwy's shop is a delight!!!

AltheaP said...

Myfanwy is a color genius -- her fibers are alive!

Night Sky said...

Oh yeah, I can speak for Myfanwy's colors! I have some of her viscose felts and they are amazing! This interview was really fun to read.

Thanks for sharing part of your story with us, Myfanwy.

Myfanwy said...

Thanks so much for your comments, Gals! And Brett, thank you for the interview.

Diane ~Ever so Dear jewelry artisan said...

Myfanwy, I love your colors! They are so gorgeous they sing!!
It was great learning more about you!! :)

Pam said...

Myfanwy, your yarns are always so gloriously beautiful! I really enjoyed learning a bit about how you go about making them that way! And, also getting to know more about you in general. A wonderful interview!

Gunnels blog said...

So beautiful to read here and to know you better :-) Wonderful work!

Anonymous said...

Sassalynn is one of my favorite shops to drool in. Such beautiful color combinations. Something for everyone, and I especially enjoy thinking about which to use to incorporate into my next knitting project.