Tell me a little about yourself.
I'm Kerry, and I'm a 30 year old transplant from southern WI :) I've been doing arts and crafts my whole life-- lots of happy childhood memories of drawing, bracelet making and other assorted crafty activities! I wound up at UW Madison, where I earned a bachelor's degree in fine art...here I focused mainly on drawing and painting, but also dabbled in etching, beading, and ceramics.
How did you get started making paper?
I first made recycled papers at age 11 ...
I was at Octoberfest in LaCrosee WI with my aunt. Her roommate was an art teacher, and had a booth where people were making handmade paper-- I was hooked from an early age I think. I learned some basic techniques which I picked up again with later, when I got my own paper making kit at age 18. I made paper on and off throughout college (not specifically for a class, but on my own), and eventually wound up teaching an art class at a non-profit organization for 5 years. It was a really fun class-- we made lots of handmade recycled paper! Over the years I experimented with different techniques, and kind of developed my own style. It was so much fun! Recycling is a big thing in Madison too, so that made it extra cool-- to create something fun and beautiful out of recycled materials.
What inspires you to create?
I'm inspired by so many different things. In college, I was often inspired by my own experience, and would put my own personal symbolism into my work. I still am a little,(for instance, my Mr. Chicken series at my other shop, Snitterdog, is inspired by the pop culture I grew up surrounded by), but truthfully, these days I am more inspired by all the things I see around me...I love nature! I used to walk in the woods up in WI-- hence all the leaf and flower paintings. I'm also inspired by other artists...I might see a painting I really like, and just want to go home and start painting! I might see a color scheme or mixed media technique I want to try. When it comes to the recycled papers, I just love the idea of making something new and pretty out of scraps! :) I want to see how decorative and sculptural I can get the paper, and still have it be a functional sheet of paper.
Those scrap papers from home and your office really come in handy! That's the main base on my paper and I've found that little tidbits you are inclined to throw a way; little pieces of string, stamps from envelopes you receive in the mail, the old sequins you've had for 20 years and never thought you'd use... often make great additives your art pieces! Sometimes I look at something I might want to throw away and think to myself-- is there a way I could use this in my art? It saves you money, and helps the environment-- extra cool! :)