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Craft With Conscience

A weekly series of featured artist interviews discussing inspirations, design process, and being creative in the internet-age.


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Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou

Arounna is a fibre artist living in Toronto. She also runs bookhou, a multidisciplinary studio that focuses on screen printing in the making of a variety of goods including bags and home decor items using natural materials. She also works with her husband John Booth in designing and making wood furniture and accessories.  



Katherine Entis of Soft Century

Katherine Entis is a designer, fiber artist and founder of Soft Century out of Portland, Oregon.  Influenced by memories of touch and sight Katherine's work acts as studies of material, color, and composition. Drawing from landscapes both real and imagined, her recent series of knit paintings are an exploration of color and texture that come together as a collection to tell a larger story.



Lacy Van Court of Die Trying, TX

Die Trying TX, headquartered in Austin, was founded by Lacy Van Court.  Lacy comes from a dusty, long line of West Texas misfits and ranchers that have been in Texas just about as long as Texas has been around. Growing up she spent the summers on her Grandparents’ ranch; where her Grandmother Billie, a Texas landscape painter, inspired a love of making things with her hands by teaching Lacy, among many other things, how to sew and paint. Lacy later went on to earn a BFA in painting from the The Maryland Institute College of Art. Her family history, those early summers, and her home state have always been at the heart of her work as an artist.

After working in a variety of creative fields and mediums, she was drawn to the art of chainstitch by its combination of craft, its deep roots in western American culture, and as a way to continue to express the themes important to her work. Using the same hand operated machines that were used to create traditional western wear, Die Trying TX offers a line of one of a kind pieces meant to be collected, loved and lived in.



Caitlin Cass

Caitlin Cass makes comics, drawings and counterfeit historical exhibits that folklorize historic failures and foretell grim futures.  Often working under the moniker, The Great Moments in Western Civilization Cooperative, she questions the authority of traditional historical narratives by co-opting their power for her own devices.  Caitlin draws and publishes a bimonthly comic periodical called The Great Moments in Western Civilization Postal Constituent. Her comics have also appeared in The Public and The Chicago Reader and online at The Nib. She has exhibited her drawings and counterfeit history exhibits nationally and internationally. Recent counterfeit historical exhibits include How to Fly in America (at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center) and The Museum of Failure (which she has shown in Buffalo, Rochester and Washington, DC.) Caitlin lives and works in Buffalo, NY and teaches Art at Buffalo Seminary.



Julie Marriott

Julie is a painter and pattern designer living in San Diego, California. Her work focuses on bold floral arrangements full of color and expressive brush strokes. She shares her passion for art through acrylic workshops, and through creating paintings and patterns that bring joyful color into your home.



Cindy Hsu Zell

Cindy Zell is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her latest collection of large-scale fiber work features material-driven sculptures that explore gravity’s influence on form. Individual pieces serve as studies on curves, drape, weight, and movement, reinterpreting traditional techniques in rope-making. She also has a line of wall hangings and accessories called WKNDLA, which focuses on individually crafted brass pieces handmade with sustainability in mind.



Tasha Lewis

Tasha Lewis is a mixed-media sculptor with a wide ranging artistic practice that includes global collaborative street-art, book design, self-publishing, illustration based on literature, and a variety of hand-sewn sculptures. Lewis works with cyanotype, a historic photographic process also known as blueprints or sun prints, as well as found and dyed textiles. Her studio-work has recently begun to focus on the human figure through the lens of Classical Greek statues. She embellishes the surfaces of these sculptures with embroidery and beading seeking to evoke a “sea-change” of lost artifacts transformed by ocean-life. Lewis has forthcoming solo exhibitions at The Philadelphia Magic Gardens (September 2017) and the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, TN (January 2020). Signed first-edition copies of her book “Swarm the World” are available on Kickstarter now through November 19, 2017.



Sara Barnes / Brown Paper Bag

 Sara Barnes is an embroiderer and freelance writer specializing in illustration, art, and craft. She has her MFA in Illustration Practice and is obsessed with finding the latest and greatest in the field, which she shares through her blog, Brown Paper Bag. 


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Laura Berger

 Laura is a visual artist living and working in Chicago.  Featuring figurative imagery and dreamlike, minimalistic environments, her current work is centered around themes of self understanding, interconnectedness, and our collective search for meaning.  She has exhibited her paintings around the US and abroad, and also does editorial illustration work, murals, ceramic sculpture, and animation.


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Rachel Edler

Rachel Edler, owner of Noble Kinfolk is a textile artist from Bristol currently residing in the bright lights of Berlin. She creates her textile works by using the technique, free motion embroidery. It was a technique she discovered whilst studying textiles in college when she was 17, and something she has done ever since. However, it was only when she moved to Berlin that it began to turn into something more than a hobby. Her passion for hoarding bright and colourful fabrics injects a flash of vibrance in her portraits, which are mostly of women in contemplative states, an ode to the busyness of life as a modern day woman, being pulled in different directions. Her favourite pieces to create are her commissioned portraits of people, she loves trying to capture people's individual characteristics in stitch.


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Tara Galuska

Tara is a paper artist whose delicate and intricate miniature paper plant artworks explore interior spaces and the plant owners themselves. Born in Zimbabwe in 1984, Tara spent her early childhood in Zambia before moving to Australia. She now lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two cats (and many plants). Over the last two years Tara has built a thriving art practice and business and creates artworks for clients from all over the world. In addition, she works with select brands to create custom work for their projects including Urban Outfitters, The Land of Nod and last year she lent her paper engineering skills to a commercial for Tide.



Zemer Peled

Zemer Peled's work examines the beauty and brutality of the natural world. Her sculptural language is formed by her surrounding landscapes and nature, and engages with themes of memories, identity, and place. The association of porcelain with grace, refinement and civilization gets turned on itself when it is broken down into shards and the brutality of its jagged edges is juxtaposed with its insistent fragility. The material becomes both violent and beautiful, hard but breakable. When seen in the organic formations of Peled’s structures, a whole for the shards is recreated, this time estranged from its original context of neatness, tradition and cultivation but nonetheless unified by an overall cohesiveness of movement and composition. 



Defne Güntürkün

 Defne Güntürkün is a textile design professional. She received her bachelor's and master of arts degrees at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in Istanbul. Aside from her professional activities in designing fabric patterns as a freelancer, she has taught herself how to embroider in the past few years. This led to a leap forward in her pursuit of art and creation. Her long–term practical experience in mostly nature–inspired fabric design is reflected in her embroideries. She recently started a small business through her website where she makes her embroideries available for purchase. She has an arts studio in a historic district in downtown Istanbul, where she spends most of her time doing what she loves.



Marine Edith Crosta

London based French painter Marine Edith Crosta is best known for her miniature tondi depicting stormy seascapes. More than just another nautical themed painting, her Lost at Sea series addresses the notions of intimacy and introspection, enhanced by the small format and the locket like frame. A feeling also conveyed through her Wanderer paintings, gazing at the ocean, and more recently through her portraits, where the subject depicted from behind looks away from the viewer, creating a level of mystery and privacy unexpected in portraiture.



Katy Biele

Katy Biele is a Chilean Embroidery artist living in Victoria BC in Canada. The style she's developed is based on her South American background and everything that she has taken in while traveling. The result is a combination of textures, a lot of bright colors and a wide variety of stitching and painting techniques.



Libby Williams

Libby Williams is a painter and embroidery artist currently based in Luxembourg City. She moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2016 to Luxembourg, where she now divides her time between making art, teaching English, and travelling as much as possible. In her work, she shifts back and forth between abstraction and representation, working with paint and embroidery, often combining the two. Her work explores the potential of color and shape to create expansive and beautifully complex spaces. 



Laura Agusti

Laura is an illustrator living in the Sant Antoni neighborhood of Barcelona. She studied fine art, specializing in painting as well as interior and graphic design. After 4 years of working in an architectural study program, she decided to leave it all to draw. Her romantic lines evoke past times as her nostalgic imagery speaks towards the present. She is passionate about plants and animals, and it’s reflected in her house and her work.


Jocelyn Gayle Krodman

Jocelyn is an artist living and working in Kingston, NY. She created her brand, PetitFelts, in 2011 and since then she has made it her goal to create high quality, unique needle felted pieces. She strives to make animals that spring to life through their expressions and whimsical humor. She puts lots of love into her work and above all else, she hopes that people can sense that when they come across her creations. She crafts each of her pieces by hand dying wool and using a technique called needle felting. The process involves tangling the fibers of wool with a barbed needle in order to create wool sculpture. 



Ann Wood / Woodlucker

Woodlucker is a visual partnership and studio founded by Ann Wood and Dean Lucker after graduating from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. This partnership is based on both individual and collaborative practices. Ann has created artwork in many mediums—eggs shell mosaics, wood sculpture, embroidery, drawing and painting. Currently she is making plants, feathers and butterflies made of handmade paper with wire structures.  She came to nature as a subject because it is universal. We pause to look at a flower, pick up a feather, touch a leaf or comment to a companion about a particular specimen. Nature’s beauty is fleeting and ever changing in it’s magnificence. Ann's artwork speaks to the notion that everything is temporary. Ann works from the real, not to duplicate but interpret nature’s splendor. She tries to capture the variety and essence of the real but with the outcome being a heighten reality where the viewers stops to take a second glance.


Madriguera Workshop

Madriguera workshop is a creative workshops based on Galicia (Spain) that is passionate about design and crafts. The workshop was founded by Lydia de la Piñera and Luis Llamas in 2012, since then have been designing and making unique, artisan and creative pieces. They are makers of objects full of life. The process is entirely done by hand. Some of the pieces are hand-thrown on the throwing wheel in different kinds of clay. Their porcelain pieces are cast in plaster molds.



Teresa Lim

Teresa graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts with a First Class B.A. Honours in Fashion Design and Textiles. Her personal design philosophy is to fuse three of her interests together: Illustrations, Embroidery and Surface pattern design. Her designs seek to blur the lines and boundaries between being an illustrator and a textile designer. She gets inspired by themes revolving around gender and womanhood.


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Raquel Martín


Raquel Martín is a freelance illustrator and artist from Barcelona, currently based in the beautiful and tiny island of Menorca. Often drawing from imagined scenes and landscapes, her work somehow creates a narrative through a uniquely minimalistic style that isn’t only beautiful, but also really fun.




Jane’s most in her element when immersed in creating textile art at her studio in Wellington, New Zealand. Her love of color and texture shines through in her contemporary hand-stitched artwork, designed to bring a little bit of happiness to people’s homes. Over the past five years Jane’s work has struck a chord with art lovers across America, who are looking for their own unique, handcrafted piece of New Zealand.



Lindsay works primarily with watercolor on paper, using color and form to create dreamlike narratives that echo folk and fairy tales that we vaguely remember from childhood. Whimsical and dark characters exist in familiar landscapes, playing out scenes from stories with no beginning, middle or end. And where the moral might be lost, switched, blurred or even just completely missing.



To just call Danielle Clough a fiber artist is a bit of an over simplification. While much of her work consists of embroidery techniques in various forms, she's also established herself as a photographer and designer. Her embroideries are not only interesting for their compositional techniques, but also for the various materials that support her stitching, such as tennis rackets and chainlink fences. Inspired by the Cape Town street art and music scene, Danielle's work truly modernizes a traditional craft to make it something totally unique and her own. 



Sara Boccaccini Meadows is a textile designer and illustrator, originally from the north of England. She takes inspiration from nature and the tiny details in her everyday surroundings to create unique and quirky prints and illustrations. She works with a variety of medias including watercolor, gouache, markers and fine line pens and starts her design process by making small studies in her sketchbook or journal. 



Nalani Gloor is a fiber artist and interior architect based in New Zealand. She studied Interior Architecture and Design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, before completing her Bachelor of Design majoring in Interior Architecture at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She learnt her macramé practice from her mother and started Knotty Bloom as a side business when she moved to New Zealand. With a mission to create honestly made and lasting products, that strive to embody a sense of comfort, care and visual aesthetics.


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Her work explores psychological landscapes, illuminating thoughts left unspoken. she create tiny worlds in thread to capture elusive yet persistent inner voices. Literary snippets, memories, personal mythologies, and art historical references inform the imagery; fused together, these influences explore relationships, domesticity and self-perception. Symbolism and allegory lay bare dynamics of aspiration and limitation, expectation and loss, belonging and alienation, truth and illusion. 



Ellie works predominantly on a vintage freehand embroidery machine, she also trained at Cordwainers, specialising in the pattern cutting and construction of leather accessories. Ellie is currently focusing on producing bespoke embroidered commissions and small limited edition batches. She works collaboratively with other designers and brands while steadily building her own collection of embroidered patches these can be found in Wolf and Gypsy Vintage and online at Ellie Mac Embroidery Shop.


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Mar is a paper artist working out of the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona, Spain. Meticulously cutting paper into miniature 3-dimensional forms, she creates entire scenes and landscapes that somehow captivate the imagination but fit into the palm of your hand. Her work seamlessly straddles the line between craft and fine art, with reference to film and popular culture, it can be cute and clever, but always delicate and beautiful.



Emillie is a self-taught illustrator based in England. After completing her studies at University in 2015 she pursued a creative career in Embroidery, which she fell in love with during her 2nd year of study. After finding success through the social media platform Instagram, she has been able to embroider an assortment of pet portraits and woodland animals full-time. Emillie hopes to expand her business by embroidering people in the future, hosting workshops & taking part in fairs & exhibitions.




Sarah is a illustrator and textile designer living in the creative hub of the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. She works mainly with gouache on paper and has been painting for as long as she has been able to hold a brush. Sarah's work focusses on close observation of the everyday stuff around her. Lush colour give her paintings an otherworldly feeling, that seeks to draw the viewer in, so they can calmly observe as well.




Allyson’s work explores the relationship between traditional methods and contemporary design. With each piece, and each new idea, her goal is to express a simple concept of good design by breaking down the design elements; color, shape, texture, space, and form. With this process, she is creating work to push beyond the realm of traditional craft making, with the ultimate goal of contributing a unique and lasting perspective in contemporary Fibre Arts.



Tessa is a fiber artist based out of Asbury Park, NJ. Using vibrant colors and expressive stitching her work seamlessly crosses back and forth between fine art, craft, and fashion. Often working from observation, Tessa reinvigorates an old world craft with rustic iconography, floral patterns, and plant design into something unique and modern.




After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design with an Illustration major / painting minor, she started her first job with Carter's/Osh-Gosh kids clothing as a technical/creative artist in Atlanta. After 4 years, she gave in to wanderlust and moved to San Diego and found her place with Free People in visual display/creative merchandising. She was able to work with URBN Inc. where she learned the value of compelling creativity in a brand. Constant soul searching started to eat away at her and she jumped. Jenny has grown Living Pattern as a way to connect herself and her audience to the still delicateness of nature and to themselves. For her, it is a learning process that changes day by day. 




The Crafter’s Box delivers hands-on workshops in collaboration with experienced artists to makers all over the world. The Crafter's Box pairs monthly online workshops with a thoughtfully sourced box of tools & materials shipped to makers so they can learn more about and dive right into crafting techniques such as block printing, embroidery, weaving, leather working and ceramics. 




Bodil Jane is an illustrator from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She graduated with honors from Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, specializing in illustration (2014). Bodil Jane loves to illustrate food, recipes, animals, fashion, interiors, plants, packaging and maps. All of her illustrations include hand made elements and digital techniques. Bodil Jane's clients include Wrap Magazine, Red Cap Cards, Unicef, Chronicle Books, and Marks & Spencer, among many others. She is represented by the London based illustration agency Folio Art.





Brannon Addison an artist that specializes in hand embroidery. While pursuing a career in education and nonprofit communications, she turned to drawing and painting as a creative outlet, which resulted in the launch of a stationery line in 2011. Following an ankle injury in 2014, she taught herself how to embroider and fell in love with needlework. Brannon releases monthly collections of her framed embroidery and has extended her work into pillows, pins, and clothing as well.

My inspiration for the Craft with conscience series:

'Craft With Conscience' began in early 2016 as a weekly Instagram series dedicated to sharing the work of other creatives and as a platform to openly discuss certain aspects of ethical art-making and consuming in the age of the internet and social media.  

This series arose out of my own frustrations related to seeing my work constantly copied stitch-for-stitch, sold without permission, and credited to other people.  Rather than wallowing in unproductive negative emotions, I wanted to find a way to bring this common issue to light in a positive way.  My solution was to share the work of artists, crafters, designers, and makers who I greatly admire for their originality and dedication. Initially, I shared work similar in materials or subject matter to my own, having heard the argument, "There are only so many ways to stitch plants, I'm not copying you..." one too many times.  The truth is, no matter what the medium or subject, every artist from hobby crafter to professional painter has their own perspective and voice. It takes effort to develop one's visual vocabulary and it can be disheartening when your's is taken and misused by other individuals and sometimes larger companies.

All that being said, now is an incredible time for working artists because of the vast resources of the internet including sources of inspiration, the ability to reach a large and global audience, and as a community building tool. As you may know, I love sharing my work on Instagram and following other makers. It's a wonderful way to connect with other artists, be inspired, and feel supported, but we all need to be aware of how we use these resources and what effect it may have on others.

Since the start of 2016, 'Craft With Conscience' has grown and evolved just like any other creative pursuit and has recently expanded to include short interviews with featured artists. I've asked participating artists a series of questions about their studio process, sources of inspiration, and how image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest influence and affect them. I hope you read on to see what they have to say!


craft with conscience submissions:

Do you think you are a good fit for the Craft With Conscience interview series? If so, please fill out the form below. I can't wait to learn more about your work!

Name *
Why would you be a good fit for this series? Have you built a creative career using the internet? Have you encountered copies of your work online? Do you have advice you are willing to share with readers? Please be sure to include your website and links to your social media accounts!

*Please note that submitting this form does not guarantee a feature. Thank you. 

© Sarah K. Benning 2016