Don't you just love it when you're trawling the internet looking for something a bit different and then you stumble across beautiful items that you just have to have? This is how I felt when I came across An Astrid Endeavor. As someone who embroiders I really appreciate an embroidered work because I know just how long it has taken to make and also how much the maker has loved creating the item. I have been so lucky to be able to get Astrid to share her inspiration and process.
|Astrid at work in her studio|
How did you get into needlecraft?
I dabbled in so many artistic endeavors (hence the title) over the years and working with embroidery and textiles is just one form that I learned at an early age, and kind of kept in my "back pocket" to experiment with from time to time in my artwork and crafting projects. I have always made jewelry mostly using glass, metal, ceramics and mixed media- but since having a family and a full time job I wasn't able to use the machines and materials in my small home studio. I started using embroidery as a way to create jewelry pieces and ornaments because of how simple, quiet and easy to transport it is. It's perfect for me to do after a long day of work and taking care of my daughter. After everyone is asleep, I can be in my studio quietly creating!!
|Crescent shaped necklace available here|
What inspires you in your artworks?
Over the past few years geometrics have really been in the forefront of fashion and design, which is so wonderful since that's really what I've been drawn to. Part of my background is in Cultural Anthropology (as well as medical anthropology, art and counseling psychology) I've always been fascinated with how other cultures observe rites and rituals and how they adorn themselves accordingly. I love African design, colors, textiles and jewelry design, Angela Fishers book, "Africa Adorned" makes me drool!!
|Geometric Embroidered Brooch available here|
Can you give us an insight into your process of creating your products from start to finish?
Luckily, I grew up being taught that you can make just about anything! So, when I see a design, or image, a color or have an idea- I just start sketching it out and then see where it takes me. Sometimes I need to enlarge or scale down an image for scope- to see how it might work on the body. Once I do that, I am ready to hand sketch it onto fabric and then I choose my colors. I work primarily with regular cotton DMC embroidery floss. Wow, what a variety of colors!!
Most of the time a piece is relatively straightforward, but occasionally it's something I need to think about and rework for awhile, then when it's complete, it's just the best feeling and is usually one of my favorite pieces. As in the case of my latest design for late Summer/Fall 2013:
I have always loved textile wall hangings ever since I was a kid and took weaving classes with my mom. I love how they are making a comeback in home decor. So, it was so exciting when I thought to myself, "wait a sec- I want to take that same concept but scale it down for the body!" It took some thought to figure out how I might be able to do this on a miniature scale, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. There are a lot more in the works- but they take a lot of time to do!!
|Textile Pendant available here|
How do you keep yourself organised- lists, filing, sketchbooks?
Oh my. Well, I try to stay as organized as possible. Everything has it's place- but I do have a lot of stuff. Since I have so many artistic interests, I have just about every supply one might need for any project. I have also been collecting images from books and magazines since I was a kid, so you can image the files I have. Now, with the internet, it's a little easier. God, I love Pinterest for this reason alone!!
|Statement Bib Necklace available here|
Do you ever have creative blocks? How do you get through them?
Occasionally, I have a bit of a creative block. That's usually when I am exhausted and need to sleep. Since I do most of my jewelry making at night I often forego sleep to create since I love it so much! When I find myself sluggish or having a hard time getting through a project I just put it down and get some rest. Creating is truly my passion and what energizes me, but the human body can only endure so much and then it needs rest!
|Geometric Emerald Green Brooch available here|