Hey folks! This week I’m super-excited to introduce local artist, Lindsay Curren.
Lindsay is the set of hands behind a lovely selection of Christmas stockings that we have here at the shop. When I saw her samples, I fell in love with her great eye for mixing patterns and textures. She works in a variety of mediums (not just the needle and thread world) and is active in urban homesteading, conservation and… we’ll… here’s ‘her’ in her own words!
“I mainly work for myself juggling a variety of different writing, editing, design and art projects as well as raising my two daughters Anwyn and Chloe, treasuring my cat Chester, and loving my husband Erik with all my heart.”
Guys…. she has a cat named Chester…
Lindsay dropped off the last of her stockings this week and we had a chance to get to know each other. She graciously agreed to answer a few questions from me (some silly), so with out further ado… meet maker-Lindsay!
Tell us about your background in sewing – how did you learn? How long have you been doing it?
I began with improv sewing when I was around 8 (40 yrs. ago) with my grandma, took Home-Ec in high school (back when it was deemed relevant), and costume construction as an undergrad theater major at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). But in both those classes we were taught more about getting to a specific finished project rather than the elements of sewing. Nonetheless, at VCU, as peon labor to the MFA program, I made a fully lined 18th century aristocratic man’s jacket, and a boned corset, as well as my own project (wide legged pants circa 1985) under the guidance of the Costume Department Head, Elizabeth Hopper.
After that I reverted back to improv sewing (folk sewing). I make my own patterns, make it up as I go along, and revel in the idiosyncrasies and imperfections of individually crafted pieces.
Handstitch or machine?
I use a combination. My dolls, herbal pillows, stuffed animals, wine cozies, handbags, and sewn cards are (almost) all hand stitched. My larger items, couch pillows, Christmas stockings, couture clothes are usually machine made (a 1935 Singer with nothing fancy about it) with hand stitched touches thrown in when needed.
What’s your favorite sewing machine?
I’ve coveted a Bernina that the mother of one of my ex-boyfriends had because I like the idea of taking my drawn designs and being able to embroider them quickly and accurately onto tea towels, onesies, tee-shirts, and other stuff, but I guess I remain true to pre-plastic Singers (late 60s and before).
I’d honestly be at my happiest with a 19th-early 20th century treadle machine because then I wouldn’t even be using electricity (I’m a conservationist — climate change and all that) and my bum and calves would get a little workout! 🙂
What other projects are you working on right now?
In sewing? I’m finishing up some vintage linen hearts that are stuffed with llama wool and organic herbs that are meant to spur vivid dreams and sketching out what will be a small collection (around 12) of one-of-a-kind sewn dolls for Christmas 2015. But I’m working on a lot of other art projects — multi-color linoleum block prints, getting my tabletop Pilot Letterpress going, and little stuffed birds for Easter 2015, tons of lettering and typography layups.
Name your top 3 favorite materials to work with (with which to work!)…
Again..in sewing? Vintage barkcloth, gold thread, linen. Otherwise paper, ink, and linoleum.
What’s your favorite herb (and why?)
Tough one as I cook a lot and also enjoy herbology for medicine and healing modalities. Maybe Rosemary — it’s for remembrance, clarity of mind. I like to add it to scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, and butternut squash soup when cooking, and run my fingers through it to sharpen my wits!
Cats or Dogs?
Cats for sure.
Marilyn or Madonna?
If pressed I guess Marilyn — shocking to think she seems quaint by comparison but I like a little left to the imagination.
Needless to say, we’re super thrilled to have some of Lindsay’s creations in the shop! Keep up with Lindsay on her Facebook page!!