Featured Artisan Spotlight: Dawn L.E. Riden, DawningDreams
Posted by ArtFireContent on 04/04/2011 at 14:55:11
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
As a young child in a military family, I traveled around the world with my family visiting countries many only see in pictures; experiencing the joy of unique cultures and ideas that give me a different outlook on life. I've always had a tactile touch and would run my hands along the clothing racks at department stores as we shopped. This quickly led into the world of fibers and how they play together to make the wonderful fabrics of our time. Wool, silk, cotton, and linens are just the basic elements I use to create art supplies and finished works. Whether you need yarn to knit that special project, wool to spin and weave, or a beautiful shawl to wrap your loved ones in, I have something specially for you.
What role does your family play in your art?
My family supports my art in many ways. They ask questions about the projects I have going on that make me really examine every nuance and angle for a more complete finished object. They are sometimes my guinea pigs when I want to try something new for the first time. They smile when I get excited about a particular achievement, which adds to my joy because they are sharing it with me. If not for their constant love and positive support, I would not have been as comfortable displaying my talent to others.
Where did you learn your medium?
Much of what I have learned has been self-taught. In the very beginning, though, my mother taught me how to crochet as a child. It wasn't until after college, when I drove up to attend my first fiber festival that I found my place. Surrounded by a rainbow of yarns, spinning wheels, and weaving looms, I felt at home with my creativeness. There were so many textures to enjoy and colors to see! On top of it all was a warm group of individuals that fully understood my passion with whom I could talk with for hours on end.
What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?
I want my ArtFire studio to be the central hub of my creative endeavors. Everything comes around full circle in my shop, from raw materials to finished projects. I want to give other fiber artists a place to buy supplies for their creations as well as be inspired by my own creations that I sell.
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
It is about the heart and the joy you get from your work, not the money. Artists with staying power have integrity and certain quality. Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime. Now, his work, such as "Starry Night," is infamous and resides throughout many countries. Where would the world be without our visions to help keep our society thinking beyond the everyday?
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
Many forget the importance of knowing how something is made. In our societies, we can buy completely finished items, then throw them away because there are always more available. By taking the time to make things by hand, you appreciate the work that goes into it, and therefore, treasure things. It's not always about the result, but the journey.