Monday, February 22, 2010

interview with PurpleClem

Hillary is used to doing interviews with experienced artisans on Artful Elaborations, and she loves doing them, but sometimes she forgets what it was like starting out. So, she was thrilled to get a chance to talk to an up-and-comer in the craft world. Val, better known as PurpleClem on the internet, recently started to learn crocheting and was gracious enough to grant us an interview at this early point in her development.

Have arts and crafts been a part of your life before now?
Arts and crafts used to be part of my life... I used to love painting – mainly abstract gobbledegook – and I would find great comfort in it, regardless of the result. It was a mean of expression, an emotional outlet. Mostly out of laziness, I let my creative hands be bound behind my back for the past 15 years or so... I pursued a career in civil engineering, where there is limited scope to be creative, apart maybe in choosing a pipeline alignment! In 2008 I got burnt out and I ended up being on sick leave for 9 months. Some parts of my brain were no longer in use (the square, engineering bits!), and the more creative part of me started to push open a door I had kept closed for too long.

What helped you decide that arts and crafts should be a regular part of your life?
After years of pushing paper around an office desk, I realized that I craved the satisfaction and the energy that comes from creating something with your hands. I also wanted to slow down and find a bit more beauty around me. I suppose when you take the time to create something with your hands instead of buying something off the shelf, it does slow down your pace of life. This led me to starting my own business (I sell greeting cards from home) where I can be creative in a different way.

Why crochet?
I think I wanted to play with some sort of textile material, without getting into sowing. I picked crochet over knitting as it is a lot easier to fit in a handbag.

What have you learned so far?
So far I have learned to do a decent chain link, and I am currently perfecting double-crochet! I know how basic this will sound to some of you, but we all have to start somewhere!

What is your first big project with crochet going to be?
It’s funny, I feel like I am holding back from actually starting a project. For the moment I want to concentrate on learning the different knots (sorry – wrong technical term!?) and see what is possible. I suppose a blanket would be somewhere to start...

What do you want to do with crochet in the long term?
Hopefully this is not just a fad. I am curious about how far I will go with it but I think my ambitions are limited. I will probably not open an Etsy shop in a hurry!

What do you want crochet to do for you?
I am simply looking for something relaxing to do. If this allows me to create something pretty in the process, even better!

Is there a crochet artist that you admire?I have a very limited knowledge of crochet artists... However, I find the work of Monika Mrozkova (@monikadesign) very exciting. I suppose it’s the bright colours and the simplicity of the shapes that I find refreshing. I also love the fact that an everyday object like a coaster can be crocheted.

What about other forms of art? Who do you admire?
I love painting. Favourite painters include Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, Miro, Chagall and Cezanne. Also the French Impressionists from the early 20th century.

Last, where can we connect with you and/or follow your progress?
You can connect with me on Twitter @PurpleClem and I hope there will be some progress to monitor!

You can also connect with Val on her website

We Would like to say a huge thank you to Val for taking time out of her day for us!

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