Monday, July 21, 2008

This week's featured artist: Michelle Martin, Purple Moon Fibers

Michelle Martin, Purple Moon Fibers

I am a fiber artist with no real formal arts training, just a desire to create and a love of all things wool. It all began with a drop spindle in college. The process of working the wool with my own hands was relaxing and fascinating. Then I moved into spinning on an actual wheel and from there it was not a big jump to knitting. Weaving was tried briefly and then given up for the sake of my marriage (I am not calm or sane while trying to warp a loom). In 2004 I experienced needle felting at a local wool farm and I was hooked! I still knit and spin but my true love is felting.
Most of what I do is a process called needle felting. You work the wool by poking repeatedly with a small notched needle, eventually forming felt. It is a dry process and allows you to really sculpt the wool. With needle felting you can make art dolls, hats, bowls, toys, even tapestries.
My business on Etsy so far has been primarily natural toys. I love making things that are simple and still stimulating to the imagination. We are big into fairy and imaginative play in my home and the toys I make reflect that, lots of mushrooms, gnomes and woodland creatures. I am a member of the Naturalkids Street Team, check them out for lots of lovely natural toys.

I will begin to add more items of fiber art soon. I love making art dolls by needle felting. And lately have been doing felted nesting bowls and vessels. Watch for wet-felted birds coming soon! I am challenging myselt to learn more about wet felting.

After making things and selling them locally at a couple of craft fairs and to friends I was encouraged to open an Etsy shop. One friend in particular was the Etsy cheerleader in my life. So I checked it out and fell in love. I started out as a buyer and became addicted to shopping on Etsy. As I saw more and more wonderful things with such a wide range I realized that this was a great fit for my creations. So I made a New Year's resolution to open an Etsy shop. By mid January Purple moon Fibers was up and running!

I love being able to make such a wide variety of things, being ADD means that I am always thinking of new things to make. It's really hard to choose a favorite item. I am having a love affair with things that fit into walnut shells and making walnut shell baskets. But as for a favorite item, I'd have to say that the Labyrinth and Spiral Nesting Bowls are my favorite. The colors are so vibrant and peaceful at the same time. They just have a good energy to them. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12243723



I'd love to have you come and check out my shop! http://purplemoonfibers.etsy.com
More of my art dolls can be found on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplemoonfibers/
And once in a blue-moon (or purple moon) I add to my blog http://purplemoonfibers.blogspot.com/

Peace,
Michelle

My personal favorite from Michelle's shop is the Mushroom Hut Playscape Bag. It's cute, colorful and super-convenient to store since it all folds up into it's own bag. I could definitely see this as something to tuck into my bag for my two year old so he won't get bored on outings.