Category Archives: handmade

People Who Inspire Me: Scott White

Scott White is a phenomenal furniture maker based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I first met Scott when we represented Scott’s work in our gallery. I had seen his work around town for at least a couple years before we opened Chroma Gallery and when I started filling our huge 4,500 square foot space, I knew Scott’s furniture would complement the art perfectly.

Once I met Scott, what struck me immediately was his positive outlook on life. Like Aaron and I, he had experiences similar to ours with serendipity, and he knew he was following his heart by making things with his hands. This is what first struck me and still inspires me about Scott. He is living his soul purpose.

Scott uses recycled metal and wood in his craft, as well as plywood and other woods. His chairs are just plain gorgeous and comfortable to sit in. Though he doesn’t like to consider himself an artist, his furniture is sculpture and therefore, Art with a capital A!

Scott’s Statement about his Craft:

In the current environment where ‘disposable’ is practically shoved down people’s throats, my longing is to make objects that will outlive the owner. This culture needs to revive the art of craft wherein the pieces that reside in your space will effect you even when you aren’t physically there. They possess the energy of the maker where the hand touches everything and they think about every line. My technique has evolved predominantly, to that of sculpture, where the object appears to come out of a single piece of wood. I collaborate with the material and rarely make sketches, paying attention and sensing how the form will resolve. The process is conscious and deliberate.

Paula: If you had the power to change one thing in this world, what would it be and how would you change it?

Scott: I have the power to change many things in this world simply by opening my mouth…..or opening a door. Many have said “you’ll never make a difference,” but to those I say, “wait”. One never knows what a kind word or even gesture will do for someone else. I think we are all here to plant seeds…

Plywood chair by Scott White

Plywood chair

Paula: What or who inspires you?

Scott: People who are passionately authentic inspire me. Those who are willing to be vulnerable….anomalies in a culture that stresses uniformity.

Paula: Who has had the biggest influence on your craft?

Scott: In the realm of furniture, George Nakashima and Sam Maloof are my go-to people. I lean towards George’s aesthetic…….. “luscious utility”. I came across Sam years ago before I started building furniture and he was etched in my mind from day 1. He once told a story about the mailman being all worried that his mail contained some bills, knowing Sam and Freda, Sam’s wife, were struggling. Others include Rebecca Solnit, a force of nature who eloquently talks about real change. The natural world is huge for me….not that I get out a lot but to see the genius everywhere is invigorating.

Paula: What do you want your art legacy to be?

Scott:  I don’t use the word ‘artist’ to describe myself. That’s such an ethereal word and employed by a lot of people (on the outside) who deem what is or isn’t ‘art’. I make objects yet wouldn’t even go as far as to call myself ‘maker’. That said, I hope my ‘legacy’ is that I helped more than I hindered, and that I’m remembered occasionally.

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany by Scott White

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany.

Creativity: Back to the Drawing Board

This morning I reworked my new doll pattern. It turned out much better by leaving the legs separate from the body. Now my stuffing hole is back in the bottom, instead of the head. The canvas doll shown in the first photo didn’t make it through the stuffing process. Another case of seams being to close to the edge. Another doll scrapped. Bummer.

doll pieces using new pattern

Two dolls using the new pattern

The Daisy doll on the other hand is turning out just right. I changed the leg shape, no more chicken legs! I sewed a seam for the shoulder joint since the arms are now connected to the body. It was a bit stiff before I made the joint in the shoulder.

New Daisy doll almost done!

New Daisy doll almost done!

I’m just about out of time for making stuff and blogging today. This evening, my  band Sunlight is heading into the recording studio to start work on our second CD! I cannot wait to share these new songs, it’s going to be great! I’m grateful I get to live my dreams on a daily basis. If I can do it, anybody can. Never give up!

Creativity: Disappointment

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

Today I was working on a new doll pattern. This exploration has given me the opportunity to share a piece of the artist’s life with my readers. Not everything comes out the way you hope it will. I have experienced disappointment before. I’m used to it. For those young (or young at art), beginning artists out there, you are not alone! Even seasoned artists have to face disappointment from time to time. All you can do is try, and try again.

I wanted to cut some of the steps in my pattern, so today I drew up a new pattern with the arms and legs connected from the beginning. My other pattern had to be sewn piece by piece with the arms and legs connected to the body after they were sewn and stuffed. I am not thrilled with the result. The legs kinda look like chicken drumsticks!

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

One issue I hadn’t considered, is having to sew up the doll at the top of the head instead of at the bottom where the legs are connected. The head is rounded, which makes it really difficult to hand sew it shut. There is a reason the pattern was made the way it is.

The first doll I started today didn’t work out because I stitched the seams too close to the edge. I ended up with holes in the seam. The linen canvas I used was also a bit too stiff, hard to turn right side out after sewing. The red cotton fabric was easier to work with, but I still have the issue of sewing up the head. I may still be able to salvage that one, we shall see.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

Another problem I discovered was putting the body together from the beginning was not a good use of my fabric. I had to use a much bigger piece to get the whole body cut out. When the arms and legs are detached, I can use more scrap pieces and less fabric overall.

I learned my lesson today. Back to the drawing board for another idea. Next time, I think I will keep the arms connected to the body, but leave the legs detached so I can sew them to the flat bottom and then sew up the body from there.

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

I hope to have something more interesting to share with y’all on Thursday. Today? It’s a wash, I will chalk it up to a learning experience and move on.

Creativity: Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl Doll, DONE!

I worked on her for a few days, but she is finally done! My first Love doll made with my own custom art fabric. Daisy Sunshine was made using my Yellow Daisy fabric design.

She is just as I imagined her, I hope you love her too!

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Love Doll

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Love Doll 🙂

My next creativity project will be another painting! I must admit, I’ve missed my daily painting sessions. I also need to make more dolls, they are much more popular than I thought they could be. I’m so grateful to all the people who have adopted my sweet babies! It’s time for some new fabric designs as well. I have so much work to do, I guess I’d better get to it! Have a fantastic rest of your day! Please subscribe to my blog up in the upper right corner. Thank you! 🙂

Creativity: Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl with hand drawn eyes

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl with hand drawn eyes

Working on a new doll today. Using my custom art Daisy fabric. I’m also trying something a bit different with her face. Using fabric markers to draw her features. What do you think? My previous dolls had embroidered faces, but the fabric on this one left the center of the daisies in the perfect spot for eyes. I considered leaving them alone, after looking long and hard at her face I decided she needed eyes. Unfortunately, I had already sewn up her body which makes it more difficult to embroider the face. Solution? Use my fabric markers to draw her cute little face on! I’m calling her a hippie girl, so she will have rainbow yarn hair. She is going to be adorable when finished! Stay tuned for more pics of the finished doll in my Thursday Creativity post. 🙂

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl before face, kicking back on one of my heart pillows

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl before face, kicking back on one of my heart pillows

 

Creativity: Art Pillows Galore!

Pile of art pillows made by Paula Manning-Lewis

Pile of pillows currently in my studio and available for purchase!

Do you love soft things like I do? Then I have a sweet art pillow you may LOVE! I finished up a new heart pillow yesterday. It has stripes of green, yellow and red on one side and my daisy art fabric on the other side.

I really LOVE making these sweetheart pillows! They are the perfect size to take with you when traveling by car, bus, train or airplane. They make a great neck pillow! Plus, with a neck pillow like this, you will be the envy of your fellow travelers! Just fit the crook of the heart on the back of your neck. Perfect fit.

As with ALL of my pillow designs, you can have a custom pillow made, choosing your own favorite fabrics and colors. Contact me directly at plewis11@comcast.net for more information. Don’t forget, I also make “Memorial pillows” to help you remember your lost loved ones, using a favorite shirt or any piece of clothing.

I’m working on releasing some other fabric designs very soon. If you have any thoughts on any of my images you would love to see in fabric form, please let me know! I’m open to suggestions.

Next up, more peace sign pillows! Stay tuned or better yet, subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner of this page for automatic updates. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! Have a glorious, love filled day!

 

Creativity: Memorial Pillow

I’ve posted about my Memorial pillows before, last month actually. Today, I’m working on another one, commissioned by the same person who commissioned the first pillows I made. Let’s just say he was happy with my work! 🙂 If you don’t know what Memorial pillows are, check out my previous blog post about them. 🙂

photo of memorial pillow commission I'm working on

Memorial pillow commissioned by a client

Do you have items you would like me to make a memorial pillow from? Contact me via email (plewis11@comcast.net) or comment here for more information. You can also go directly to my Etsy listing for your own custom memorial pillow HERE.

If you don’t want a pillow, I can make just about anything you can come up with, a doll? a quilt or blanket? A wall hanging? You name it and we can discuss all the details, ie, price, size, etc.

I hope you are all having a lovely day! Thank you so much for reading my blog! 🙂