Welcome to the first ever Get To Know installment – as in “Get To Know an AWESOME artist!” My first interview is with Tammy George of PuNkrAwKpUrL, multi-talented artisan and creator of really fun cards and artwork. [and soon to be more!]
Xiane: What’s the first thing you remember ever making? Do you still have it?
TG: I was crafting up a storm as soon as I was able to operate a pair of round tipped scissors. I loved any & all types of creative outlets. I used to love melting crayons between wax paper. I ruined a few ironing board covers… sorry Mom. :^D
I do still have this faux stained glass thingy that I made when i was 9 years old. It has a rainbow & says “Welcome”. It’s in my kitchen window by the front door.
X: How did you come up with the name of your shop?
TG: I have always been a fan of Martha Stewart Magazine – not Martha herself, but her magazine. (Martha follows me on Twitter, but I don’t follow her. if you read this Martha, no offense. it’s nothing personal.) So anyway, being a long time subscriber of MS mag, having lots of tattoos, a mohawk (20 years ago) & a penchant for decorating & DIY, some friends statred calling me “The Punk Rock Martha Stewart”. When I started knitting the “Purl” came into play.
It was pointed to me that if I were really punk I would spell it r a w k instead of r o c k. I don’t necessarily think of myself as punk, it’s just a fun name that I think captures my non traditional sense of color & style.
X: What made you decide to start creating cards for sale, and how did you decide on owls and loteria symbology? Do you have plans to expand your line at all? [aside: I love your stuff SO much, yeeee]
TG: As for what I create, the shop is less than 2 months old & doesn’t currently reflect the extent of what I make & intend to offer in the future. I have more ideas than my little brain & working schedule can shake a stick (knitting needle) at.
The cards come from my obsession to sew paper & my bigger obsession to preserve the act of sending & receiving old fashioned mail. The visual & tactile textures of stitched paper make me swoon! As for the subject matter, merely what I had on the top of the craft pile. Previous note cards that I’ve made were Marimekko inspired flowers & geometric shapes inspired by mid century modern graphics & art.
I am most excited about one of my personal favorites, Collage Art! It will allow me to expand what I am doing with the note cards to a larger scale with much more detail.
This upcoming year, the crafty twinkle in my eye is projecting pillows, paper and/or fabric garland & mobiles. OH – and knitting patterns.
X: Where do you find inspiration?
TG: I truly believe that creative people see things in a completely different way. As corny as it may sound, I find inspiration in my everyday life. The architecture of downtown Oakland, a discarded newspaper, the drooping branch of a fruit laden tree, the bright colors of my vintage lunchbox collection (yes among other gems, I do have a Partridge Family lunchbox).
I am especially driven by color. Every project, regardless of the craft, begins with the color palette & then develops from there. I don’t have favorite colors, I have favorite color palettes. In a color theory class the instructor told me that I broke all of the rules about color & it always “worked out beautifully”. I just wrote a Blog post in my head… tips on exploring with color. Expect that one real soon. ;^)
X: What other arts/crafts do you enjoy?
TG: Though it has been neglected by me since opening my Etsy shop, I knit & have an obscene amount of yarn. In fact I recently had one of my sweater designs published in a knitting book.
Whilst in school studying interior design as a precursor to AutoCad, we were forced to learn what we were told was an outdated & never to be used skill, hand drafting. I freaking LOVED it. The precision, not to mention the tools & supplies, pencil leads of every weight, erasers, the rulers, eraser shields, & the drafting table! I am all worked up again just thinking about out. Oooooh… Maybe this skill will pop up in my future collage work!
X: If you had unlimited money and time to learn a new skill, what would it be?
TG: If I had unlimited time & money why would I limit myself to learning just ONE new trade/skill?!! I would love to explore… welding, upholstery, millinery,screen printing, and underwater basket weaving of course. And that would only be the first month I would choose…
X:Tell us a little bit about your creative space?
TG: Even though I live alone in a spacious Victorian Flat… my super RAD self designed work table (a hollow core door atop two bookshelves on wheels) doesn’t fit anywhere. Fortunately I have a large dining room and a large antique Monterey Ranch dinning table.
UNfortunately… since the Etsy Shop has opened… I haven’t done any dining at said dining table. The matching Buffet table houses a lot of my work supplies. My modern day Janome sewing machine is also in the dinning room, perched on an old Singer sewing table with the cast iron foot peddle .
X: What can we expect from punkrawkpurl in the upcoming year? Any secrets you can spill about plans for the biz?
TG: see the short book that is known as #2 ;^D
I guess the biggest thing I want to convey is that the shop is currently just a sliver of what is to come.
I am also working on a custom order for a independent punk band, making felt CD pouches/envelopes/packaging for them to sell their CDs in! This is a niche market that I would love to tap into & expand.
[aside from Xiane - HEY BANDS! Did you catch this? CD packaging from Tammy would kick all sorts of booty, just sayin'.]
It sounds like 2011 is going to be the year to watch pUnKrAwKpUrL kick ass and take names! If you’d like to see more, or contact Tammy about custom projects or other artistic work, you can reach her via her Etsy shop – http://www.etsy.com/shop/punkrawkpurl – or her blog at http://punkrawkpurl.blogspot.com/. As you can see, she’s lots of fun and amazingly creative. And tell her Xiane sent you!