Thursday, December 9, 2010

Artist Feature: The Weather Up Here, Christmas D.I.Y. Day Three

For today's Christmas gift to you we have an awesome Artist Feature with a very talented local fiber artist, Adrienne Callander.  Adrienne not only produces beautiful felt bowls but she also writes a great blog at weatheredheights.blogspot.com.  Check her out and check out our first ever Artist Feature.







What is The Weather Up Here ? 
The Weather Up Here offers a line of felt bowls for utilitarian purposes or to soften a room with color and a natural handmade aesthetic. 

Tell us about yourself/selves? 
I live with my artist husband and our four year old in the Highlands. I am a New York City native, captivated by the agricultural bounty of the Ohio Valley region.  


How long have you been making this type of art? 
Since moving to Kentucky with my Louisville-native husband in 2008, I have been investigating the potential of wool and other natural fibers.  Before discovering my affinity for fiber and the animals that produce those fibers (sheep, alpacas, rabbits, goats), I put concept first - now my process begins with my hands and eyes.  It is quite a change for me.  

What makes you D.I.Y.? 
I do it all myself!  Well, not all of it.  I do not yet raise sheep. Although, I do now have my very own sheep (a Corriedale-Romney mixed) that my friend JoAnn Adams in Henry County has given me.  "Baa" stays out at the Meeting House, part of Sweet-Home-Spun in Pleasureville, Ky - if you have not been there, I'll show you the way - it's wonderful.  JoAnn is a masterful hand spinner and a generous teacher - she hosts an open house the 2nd Sunday of every month. 


How does your art/business impact Louisville? 
Last year, I had a contract with Anthropologie, but this year I focused more on small batch orders to local independent retailers.  Currently, my felt bowls are in the Shop at 21c and at Consider Boutique on Bardstown Road.  I love it when someone I do not know approaches me at a fair to tell me that they received one of my bowls as a gift and where it now sits in their home. 

What are you currently working on? 
I am getting ready to make the leap to rugs.  I have played with wet felting fibers and am now working on a knitting loom to see the effect that generates.  I hope to show an initial collection at Art in the Arbor in the Spring. 


What are your long term goals? 
Oh, to be happy and homey!  I teach at IUSoutheast and occasionally at U of L - I would like to balance teaching 3D Design and Art History with the slow steady growth of The Weather Up Here.  I love spending the day at the mill as much as in the classroom.  As much as I enjoy the home life, I want to travel to Mongolia and participate in an old fashioned Yurt raising. 
I plan to apply for designation as "Kentucky Crafted" in 2011 and will approach the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts to see if my work might be a good fit for their shop. 

What is your favorite thing about running your business?  Being an artist? 
"You can be rich; you can be poor; or, you can be an artist."  As long as I can test my ideas and make things with my hands, I am in the right place professionally. 

What is the most challenging aspect of your work? 
Money, money, money.  I wish they offered me a minor in economics along with my MFA. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists/business owners? 
Don't try to milk your product.  Develop at a pace that you can maintain.   

Where can folks find The Weather Up Here products?   
Consider Boutique
The Shop at 21c
Various art fairs - I announce them on my blog:  weatheredheights.blogspot.com
The Weather Up Here on etsy.com

Thanks Adrienne for letting us into your crafty world!

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