FriYAY Friends

FriYAY Friends :: An Interview Lee Wolfe of Lee Wolfe Pottery

Happy FriYAY!

We are going to the pool TWICE today, and I'm so excited about it! It's hot and humid in Atlanta, and I love it. I know that's strange to many, but summer is my very, very favorite time of year, and I'm glad it lasts a long time here in the South! We're going to jump in to today's interview, but be sure to stay tuned at the end for some fun announcements! 

I "met" Lee on Instagram, and her kindness and creativity caught my attention. Plus, her foster kittens are heartbreakingly cute. I'm so pleased to introduce her to you today!

1) Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your hobbies, your creative background, etc. I come from a very nontraditional family. My mother was an entrepreneurial business owner and my dad was a closeted conservative gay man at a time when neither of these was socially sanctioned. I have consequently lived on the fringes and prefer unconventional and artistic people. I was a dreamy child and have lived as a full time potter for 40 years. Working in clay makes me happy! It's my primary work goal, and why I've remained a solo studio artist. I love having lots of unscheduled time to follow creative impulses, meditate, listen to audiobooks, care for foster kittens and cats, and hang out with people who are cultural creatives.

2) I love it when you show your dishes being used! What are your thoughts on the intersection of form and function? I deeply connect with the adage that form follows function. There is a primal instinct in humans to first make things and then a curiosity emerges about what that form can do. I start with shapes and imagery that delight and over time tweak them into functional objects. Even with my pieces that are purely sculptural I like them to sit on a surface or hang from a wall securely. I push for the functionality to emerge.

3) How is creative community important to your work? Having a creative community is important to me as a person in that it's a place to find understanding. Our culture glamorizes creativity but doesn't really understand what it's like to spend so much time alone with your own thoughts and creative flow. I really value contact with other artisans because we get each other in that way.

I'm uneasy with the more contemporary phenomena of crowdsourcing the pathway of my creative work. I'd rather trust my own instincts in that regard. I look to other creatives for camaraderie and sharing about marketing more than inspiration in my ceramic work.

4) What advice do you have for other designers and makers on their creative journeys? Being able to sell online has been a paradigm shift for creatives who want to make a living by selling their work. It is infinitely easier today! My advice is to use this but to not make selling your work the goal of nor the measuring stick of artistic success. Remember to grow and expand your personal creative vision, to keep it fun, to find the path that truly supports your highest aspirations. Dare to take risks! Believe in the power of your own authentic voice. And perhaps the most useful thing I can say as a seasoned creator: allow yourself to fail without feeling like a failure. Trying something new will inevitably bring false starts and blind alleys. It's part of the process. Any idiot can follow a path that's already paved. But true creativity is when you are out in the wilderness, forging ahead without knowing what's ahead. The path is made by your walking. You can look back and see where you've been but you go forward only by instinct and courage.

Thank you, Lee! Your work is breathtaking! And those kitties are terribly cute! All of these gorgeous photos are from Lee's Instagram @leewolfepottery, so, naturally, all you you should go follow her!

Now, a reminder-- today is the last day to use the code PERFECTPARTY20 for 20% off the Perfect Fit Quilt Pattern! Spit spot to the shop, friends!

Next, an announcement! My ebook, Anxious to Adventurous : 10 Weeks to Fabulous Free Motion Quilting, is launching tomorrow! My newsletter peeps will be the first to know, and  they'll get a fabulous freebie that goes with the ebook and a coupon, too! You certainly don't want to miss out on all that, so be sure that you're on the list!

I'm so excited, y'all!! I hope you'll buy the book and find it helpful for #MachineQuiltingMonday as we continue practicing our quilting together! In the meanwhile, I'll see you on Instagram!

Happy weekending!


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WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday :: Looking Forward

Hello, my friends!

I spent yesterday morning at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with my Mama and the boys, so here's some lovely inspiration to start our hump day!

When the week started, I had a lovely to do list of all the piecing a quilting to tackle this week, but then inspiration struck. I've done less quilting this week so far and more writing.

I'm organizing how I worked through the #MachineQuiltingBlogHop and the little lesson plans I made for myself into an Ebook so that you can find free motion success. Huzzah! If you want to be the first to get the scoop when the ebook launches, make sure you're signed up for my newsletter!

While I have been writing up a storm, I have done a little sewing...This (top) is the Wayfinder Quilt. If you love Moana, you may recognize that the Snail's Trail Block looks remarkably like the heart of Te Fiti. This quilt is for a precious little almost 6 year old who we love to play with and who shares more with Moana than she might realize. I hope this quilt will give her courage and faith for many years to come. 

What have you been sewing this week? Find me on Instagram @stringandstory and tag me on your work so I can see!



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Machine Quilting Monday

#MachineQuiltingMonday :: Quilting Posture

Good morning, friends!

We had a beautiful weekend. We started strong with four hours at the pool with friends Friday night. These friends are the family I nannied for eight years; Anna was 7 when I started, and now she's almost 19 and has a super cute boyfriend, and Olivia wasn't even born till two years after I started, and she's about to start fourth grade. Katie was two, but she's starting high school next month. And, get this, Alex was 8, but now he's starting a fashion company and wants John on board to build the website. Crazy! They are the closest I had to siblings; Anna was my maid of honor; and spending four hours with them and their mama while we all played with my kids made my heart fit to burst. Starting Saturday morning, Ian ran a slight fever (as did a little friend of ours; there must have been germs at the park Thursday), but he seemed to feel mostly okay, so we just stuck close to home and had a weekend full of cleaning, sewing, and exercise (Hubster did lots of yard work, and I did Zumba and Yoga yesterday). It was marvelous! But enough about our adventures. Let's talk quilting!

I focused on one small quilt this week to practice my paisley feathers and pebbles. I tried to make myself work slowly because I want my technique to improve, but it was definitely hard. The speed of the long arm is intoxicating! The biggest differences I still see between my work on Leo and my work on Festus is stitch length (it still seems weirdly long though not particularly uneven on Leo) and scale (my long arm work is still larger and less delicate). But while I"m working on those things, I've also been working on my quilting posture, and that's what I want to share with y'all today. 

First, as promised, I made a video!

To review, when we are quilting we want to keep our backs straight, our abs engaged, our shoulders relaxed, and our head over our shoulders. 

Do you struggle with pain when you quilt? How have you adjusted your posture or other part of your practice to prevent that pain?

I hope these tips help you as you work this week! I'll be back here in a day or two; in the meanwhile, I'd love to see you over on Instagram @stringandstory.  Also, I'd LOVE it if you signed up for my Saturday morning Newsletter, too. 

Happy Quilting!


PS Don't forget that you can get the Perfect Fit Quilt Pattern 20% off this week with the code PERFECTPARTY20

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