Wednesday, December 3, 2008


WELCOME, Joline and her Etsy shop, BLACK MUSTARD - Fiber arts!! Right now in Wisconsin the weather is perfect for some of Joline's lovely knitted and crocheted creations! At BLACK MUSTARD you will find delightful wrist warmers like the ones shown above, head bands, neck warmers, cowels and more. I even noticed a charming "felted vase" in her shop!

To find out more about Joline and her creations, be sure to not only visit her BLACK MUSTARD shop on Etsy, but to visit her other links listed below the interview.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

My mom taught me to knit about 3 years ago. I'd been wanting to learn for a few years prior to that, but had been very intimidated by the whole thing. Since then, I've been knitting obsessively, for myself, for gifts, and since last year, for sale in my Etsy shop.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

Knitting is about the only thing that is enjoyable and relaxing enough for me that I want to do it all the time. I've met a lot of great people through my local fiber artists guild and online networking, and keep getting turned on to new things to do with fiber. I'm basically going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole, and I love it! Knitting led to needle-felting and spinning, and next up for me will be dyeing fiber.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?

The tactile experience of fiber and yarn is a big one. It is so satisfying to squish a brand new ball of yarn or a fluffy bunch of spinning fiber. Also, I really love being able to make something functional and beautiful out of what is basically string! I can't wait to get into playing with color, as I learn to dye fiber!

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?

I'd say an heirloom tomato. I had the pleasure of trying these recently, and they are so flavorful and amazing! I thought, “this is what a tomato is supposed to taste like!” In the sea of mass-produced and generic “stuff” out there, I would hope that my work (and all the wonderful handmade work available on Etsy) would stand out as “the real deal”.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?

Well, I'm also a musician - I guess that's a creative medium. I've loved singing since I was a child, and I've been playing flute and guitar for about 14 and 12 years respectively. I love to write music and perform in coffee shops and such, usually with my brother (who is also a very talented musician). We teach guitar lessons out of our homes and dream of opening a music center someday.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?

I guess I just want to help add weight and momentum to this whole "Handmade Movement" - to show people the value in handmade crafts and the individual, as opposed to rock bottom prices and the corporations. I’ve made some great connections with other artists on Etsy and elsewhere online, and I’m so excited to see people who support and encourage each other instead of viewing each other as “competition”. It allows us all to breathe a little easier and not feel like we have to watch our backs all the time. I’m also big on being mindful of my impact on the world and the environment, which is why I make a point of finding environmentally friendly and humane sources for my wool and materials wherever possible.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Be true to yourself and do what you enjoy. Don’t try to get in on the fads at the expense of creating what you really love, because that will show in your work. Do what you love, take stellar photos and promote your work well… and the customers who will appreciate you will find you. Also, reach out and get to know others involved in your particular craft! They can be a huge source of support, information and inspiration.

Joline, thanks for a great interview! I'm sure you will go far with whatever you choose to do. In the meantime....keep on knitting your lovely creations.





1 comment:

The Muse said...

I wish I could knit...ok I can knit...I just cannot end it! LOL I get one long...something (depending upon the amount of yarn! LOL

And I could surely use some of her WARM and Cute creations is so cold! Talk about nice Christmas gifts!