Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Grapefruit Slice Coasters - Set of 4

Let's welcome Mel and her Etsy shop DRAGON IN KNOTS. When you pay a visit to DRAGON IN KNOTS, you will find a delightful selection of items to choose from.....brightly colored coasters, like the ones shown above, traditional crocheted items like scarves and hats, fantasy inspired crocheted accessories, and a lot more.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

Creation is part of the nature of mankind, at least for me. If I did not create through crochet, I would be creating through some other medium. I began crochet when my mother decided to get back into it. The designs that could be created with crochet appealed to me more than those created by knitting, and, of course, I thought my mother could help me. Well, that did not turn out quite like I expected. There was some disconnect in our communication either on the teaching end or the learning end (or, quite likely, both), so I eventually learned on my own with the help of a book and lots of pictures.

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

It was a long process. When I first started (pre-Etsy) Dragon in Knots, there were no crocheted items at all in my inventory. For awhile, I did not feel like I was skilled enough at crochet to actually start selling it. I made many scarves, and hats too, for friends (God bless them for not laughing, but instead insisting that the scarves were not “that crooked” even when I knew they were) and, eventually, a rather involved “sampler” blanket before I was confident enough to start offering my work to strangers who might be less forgiving. However, crochet, like sewing and other crafts, balances practical use and aesthetics, and that really appealed to me. You need to keep yourself warm in the winter, so you may as well look great at the same time.

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

I enjoy coming up with ideas for new projects, though actually working out the patterns can be a pain. I also love the times when creating gives me the opportunity to pique an interest in crochet or handmade in general. One instance in particular sticks in my head. I was sitting near the duck pond at the university, crocheting a very girly scarf with white sparkly snowflakes, and this young guy with a shaved head, tattoos, piercings… the works comes up to me. He thought this scarf was the coolest thing ever. That was a beautiful moment.

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

A kiwi! First of all, they are soft and fuzzy, like many crocheted items. Secondly, they are a subtle brown on the outside and a vibrant green on the inside. Crochet, and knitting also, has a reputation of being what your spinster aunt does to make you tacky sweaters for Christmas. Well, I’m not a spinster aunt, though I may eventually become one, lol. In reality, crochet can be as fun and hip as other art forms, and I think the current generation is becoming aware of this. Young people are presently appropriating the fiber arts and taking them to new depths.

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

This is a difficult question because I like to think that I already display my creativity in many mediums: cooking, music, art, other crafts, even sometimes in my academic work. However, for various reasons, I would never think to try to market my work in most of these areas. If you want to know which medium you are most likely to see next in Dragon in Knots, I would say sewing. I do not have any plans to list many sewn items in my shop, but I am considering introducing certain crocheted clothing articles that will require some sort of lining to be sewn inside.

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

Find your own style and flaunt it with confidence. Many people worry too much about what is “in” and what everyone else is wearing. With clothing and home d├ęcor, the important thing is that you find items that work for you and make you happy. You should not have to throw out your wardrobe every two years because it is suddenly tacky. Real class has a certain timeless quality to it. On the other hand, each individual is different. You should not blindly follow the crowd. Your friend may look great in a babydoll dress, leggings, and ballet flats, but khakis and a flowing blouse may fit your body and lifestyle better. Fashion is not about wearing great clothes, but rather looking great in them.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Don’t ever forget those who helped you get where you are now, whoever they may be: the grandparent who taught you a skill, the mother who dragged you to craft shows, the mentor who helped you find your way when you felt hopelessly lost, the friend who gratefully accepted your not-so-perfect creations… Many times creation feels like a solitary activity, but it’s not, even when you are the only one in the room. We humans are as much molded as the materials with which we work.

THANKS, Mel for a great interview and for sharing your creativity with all of us.

To see more of Mel's work, be sure to visit her Etsy shop and other links below.




1 comment:

PlumValleyDesigns said...

I would love to be featured on your blog. You do such a great job with hosting featured shops! Just let me know what you need from me