I'd like to welcome Michelle Keller and her Etsy shop, MiK Designs! At MiK Designs you will find "vintage" items, and also Michelle's most innovative, unique designs using beanie babies! I think it is pretty fantastic the way Michelle has made use of these adorable creatures, and how she has turned them into some real delightful characters, such as the one above. What a great imagination!
What led you to start creating your art/craft?I am a trained metalsmith with a BFA in metalsmithing, but my senior year I had a real drive to sew and play around with constructing conceptual items in metal and fabric, mostly because I just love the contrast between the two mediums. My first sewn/metal series was a group of finger puppets some of which I have on my website http://www.michelleakeller.com/ . From this point on, I began experimenting with toy construction.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
Kind of answered that above but in addition, after constructing jewelry out of metal it is very pleasing to see sculptural items be able to take form with fabric in a much more fluffed out manner!
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
The problem solving. I love coming up with an idea and the enjoyment I get from executing that idea all the way to the final product.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
Pomegranite, because it is kind of weird, sometimes lumpy, slightly rare, and full of goodness!
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
Well um, I guess it would have to be silver and gold, conceptual jewelry is really were my heart lies!
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I use a lot of "used" toys, like my series of altered beanie babies. Most of these toys have never even been played with since they are collectors items. I reconstruct them into hand-sewn monsters that are re-stuffed without beans. My main message with this series is that even toys can be made from recycled items and materials in a clean manner. Our world is full of recyclables!!
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Push your concepts and come up with some type of well planned, well executed idea that relates to your work and can take it just that much further. The marriage of concept and craftsmanship makes a piece just that much more interesting.
Michelle, thanks for sharing your delightful creativity and ideas with all of us!
Be sure to visit the links below to learn more about Michele and her creations.