28 April 2014

On the Joy of Handmade with Lisa Jordan

In today's edition of our handmade interviews I'd like you to meet Lisa Jordan, a very inspiring wool artist living the rural life in the woods of Minnesota. She creates art that reflects the variety of textures and colors around her. The tiny worlds of fungi, moss, and lichens are particularly intriguing to her. Lisa uses primarily recycled and natural materials in her work, especially wool and wood.

Lisa Jordan

Apart from making intricate designs out of felted wool, Lisa shares her creative process, inspiration and daily musings on her blog, Lil Fish Studios.

How did you start crafting?
I can’t remember a time when my hands weren’t busy making something, but about 8 years ago I left the corporate world to raise my children, and at about the same time I discovered the joy of working with wool. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Why are you passionate about handmade?
I think the act of making something by hand, whether a scarf, a pie, whatever, is a loving act. Pieces made by hand have the maker’s story woven in them; they’re personal, and I value that connection. 

Felted stones by Lisa Jordan

How and where do you sell your products? 
I am incredibly lucky that through the years I have connected with “my people”… people who read my blog and who really “get” where it is I’m coming from in my work.  When I have pieces to sell, I do so mostly through my online shop.  I also participate as an Art-o-mat artist and some of my small pieces appear in Art-o-mat machines around the United States.

How much influenced do you get by the Internet in your creativity?
I see work online often that I think is thought-provoking or beautiful or clever and it makes me feel the urge to get up and do my work.  I can’t say I find my inspiration in the pieces themselves, as I’m at a point in my creative process where I’m focused on translating my own thoughts on nature to wool, but seeing others being creative makes me appreciate how incredible and varied we are, and makes me want to join in the fun.

On the Joy of Handmade with Lisa Jordan

Do you remember the first time you held a magazine your work was featured in? What was the feeling? 
I do!  I had made some gift tags out of old sewing patterns and CRAFT put a little picture of them in their magazine and sent me a t-shirt.  I was beyond excited then, and still get a thrill when something of mine shows up in print.  That will never become old hat for me. (and I still have the t-shirt)

On the Joy of Handmade with Lisa Jordan

How is your family involved in what you do? 
My young children love to sit down and needle-felt with me or stitch stones, and can point out many natural dyestuffs when we’re out for walks in the woods.  My husband will sometimes cards wool for me and good-naturedly deals with bowls of stones and bins of fiber crowding the dining room table.  Our life here together under poplar and pine is integral to how I relate to nature and without it, my work would be very different.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?  “Crafting a Life Under Poplar and Pine”  it’s my blog tagline and a reminder for me that I’m crafting this life, not just along for the ride.

If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?
That’s a difficult scenario to imagine, but I suppose I’d do less “doing” and more “being”. 

What does "being creative" mean to you?
It means valuing the process and result of self-expression, and that can come in many forms.

What advice do you have for people wanting to be more creative?
Stop thinking that you aren’t, and open your eyes to the ways in which you are.  I hear so many times from people who say “I’m just not that creative” because they’re comparing themselves to someone else, and that’s not fair.  Everyone comes from a different place, and has different stories.  Take joy in exploring yours.  

Connect to LIsa:
blog | shop | facebook | twitter | pinterest | flickr

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