Yay! It’s time for another weaver interview (I just love these posts!). Today’s interview is with Arielle from CakeSpun Fibreworks. Not only is Arielle a weaver, but also a genius in the kitchen. She has a really fun blog where she talks about not just weaving and her kitchen adventures, but also some great posts for small business. So let’s get to know her better…
How did you first come across weaving?
I don’t remember which I saw first, Rachel Denbow’s frame loom weaving tutorial or a few amazing weaves on Pinterest. But I know once I read her tutorial I was totally fascinated. And as things do in situations like this, weaves started popping up in my life all the time. It was something I thought about all the time. There were about five months where I just thought about learning to weave. Before I actually went and bought my first loom I must have read that tutorial six times! I just knew I wanted to make these beautiful things. Here I was swooning over Maryann Moodie’s pieces on Pinterest without the means of even making one. Now I own 5 looms!
What time of day do you feel most creative?
I love working early in the morning, with a cup of tea before breakfast. It feels very calming and gets my day off to a productive start. Once I start the morning off with something creative, it sets the tone of the day and I end up going on a creativity roll.
I always have a cup of tea while I weave. Because I always have a cup of tea! We recently got a whistling stovetop kettle, I love it! It makes preparing tea a ritual in itself. I also need to tidy before I weave, not much of a ritual but hey, it happens every time! My workspace is in our apartment’s living room so I try and tidy any clutter before I settle in, otherwise I can’t fully get into it. Once I’m all set to go with tea and tidiness I like to listen to podcasts while I weave. My favourites are the Woolful Podcast and This American Life. I’m also very open to podcast suggestions!
Are you a messy creative or an organized creative?
I wish I was an organized creative! Well, maybe I don’t… Is there such a thing? I’m a messy-but-try-to-keep-it-contatined kind of creative? I do my best to give everything a place. Like I said, I do need a clean space to start working, but it is never tidy once I’m done. My boyfriend has gotten after me more than once about finding needles and scissors on/in the couch. Not good!
What is your process for coming up with new ideas? Do you start with materials or an idea first?
I have a few different processes depending on my mood. Often I don’t have a process at all! I do keep a little book full of sketched weaving ideas, once in a while I’ll pull one of those out to create. Normally though, I’ll pull together 6-8 yarns of textures and colours that I like together and just start weaving. I’ll have a rough idea in my head of what I want, but it always turns out to be something totally different in the end. Very rarely do all the colours I choose actually make it in to the weave. Once the piece gets a flow, a couple will always be unintentionally neglected, but I’m fine with that.
I also keep a secret Pinterest board titled “CakeSpun Inspiration” that is full of food photography I’m inspired by. It’s mostly cakes. I highly suggest keeping a secret inspiration board. I can always find something in there to spark an idea.
I love roving! Love it! It’s one of the materials that drew me to weaving in the first place, I just wanted to be able to work with something so fluffy and lovely. I also use a lot of vintage wools and hand spun in my pieces, it give them more sentimentality to me. Gold embroidery thread is another favourite of mine. I love working gold into my pieces, little embroidered symbols or wrapping. I like to think gold is one of my signatures.
How is making things important in your life? What does being a maker mean to you?
Making is huge in my life, it always has been. Every career path I’ve ever been interested in involved creating. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time. From wanting to be an “artist” when I was five, then an interior decorator, to planning to own a hybrid bakery/consignment shop/concert venue all through my teens. I used to worry that I was flighty, romanticizing my future, and that I didn’t know what I wanted, but I’ve since realized the common thread of everything I’m interested in is creating. Making is a huge part of who I am. Creating things just makes sense to me. (you should see the list of DIY’s I’ve tried through the years!) Not so long ago, I was working as a retail manager full-time and going to school part time for Visual Merchandising, and I was absolutely miserable. I started a food blog and it changed my life. No one even read it, but it made me make things again and I didn’t realize how much I needed that. After that, I found weaving and that’s when everything started making so much more sense. Now I weave and it gives me direction and keeps me happy.
Being a maker to me means being an active part of the supportive community that makers have naturally created. Community over competition! The online community for creatives is incredible; Instagram, Fibreshare, blogging, Etsy, it goes on and on. There are so many platforms we’ve built so we can connect and support one another. But I’m also very lucky to live in a town that has an amazingly supportive local maker community. Victoria was the first Canadian city to be declared an “Etsy Maker City”, which means our local Government works with the Etsy community to create opportunities for makers in our town. What!? That’s so cool! We have so many artists and makers here I couldn’t even begin to count them, and there’s a market place, shop, workshop and guild for every one of them. I work at an Artisan Collective as my day job. Which means when I’m not CakeSpinning, my job is to support our local makers, sell their amazing works, and help build our already wonderful community. I’m very lucky.
I have two! My Constellation piece is one I’m extremely proud of. It brought all my favourite materials together and it came out exactly like I pictured it. I actually ended up making a duplicate because after it sold, one of my very best friends wanted it, so I got to make it again! The second favourite is “Soft Offerings”, a lovely blush, pink and white wall hanging full of texture and vintage wool. I didn’t know where I was going with the weave, I just knew I wanted to use this beautiful silk ribbon I got in a Fibreshare. I let it sit for a few months before ever finishing it and now that it’s done I find it so, so beautiful. It still hasn’t sold yet and I’m so fine with that.
What advice do you have for those wanting to find their own style?
Just keep making things and let it come through naturally. When looking for inspiration avoid looking at other woven work (I know it’s hard). Look at architecture, fashion, food, paintings, nature, whatever, find what you love. I’m serious about having a secret Pinterest board! And don’t save special yarns, use them (I know that’s hard too). There’s a reason you’re really drawn to them and your style will come easily when you’re using things you love.
Are you a eat in or take out person?
If you could pick your last meal what would it be?
French fries, garlic bread, fish tacos and a huge dessert spread with lots of cheesecakes and whipped cream and doughnuts.
What is your favorite color and why?
Light Pink? Because it’s lovely. Or Gold. My Boyfriend has compared my love of gold to Goldmember’s from Austin Powers on numerous occasions.
I think I’m a movie person. Oh geeze I’m into the most dumb movies, haha! Watch Along Came Polly. Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston are perfect. Or About Time if you need something more substantial and amazing.
Do you prefer relaxing beach vacations or on the move sight-seeing vacations?
I love a little of both! Laying on the beach one day, amazing exploratory day trip the next!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just that this interview was a joy to take part in!
You can find CakeSpun Fibreworks:
- At her website/shop: www.cakespun.com
- On Instagram: @cakespun
- On Twitter: @cakespun
- On Facebook: www.facebook.com/cakespun
- On her Blog: www.loveofsweeties.com → This blog is so fun! There are recipes like wild blackberry and compote, there is craft and DIY, and some great advice posts like Working From Home as a Procrastinator
Arielle’s thoughts on being a maker are so great! I love that her weaves are inspired by cakes. How awesome is it that she combines two passions?! And I too have lost a tapestry needle or two in the couch, and don’t get me started with weaving in bed. I woke up next to a skein one time.
Do you also have a passion that influences your weaving or a secret Pinterest inspiration board? Or maybe you’re also a messy-but-try-to-keep-it-contatined kind of creative? I’d love to hear from you.
And if you missed any you can check out more inspirational weaver interviews here.
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