On a daily basis I scroll through Instagram to find inspiration. The day I came across Lauren was definitely a good day. I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to this super talent.
Hi Lauren, would you do us the honor of introducing yourself and sharing anything exciting about your business.
Hello! I’m Lauren Holton of Lark Rising Embroidery. I make hand-embroidered hoop art and DIY embroidery patterns from my little home in Seattle, and share them with the world through my Etsy shop (http://www.larkrisingembroidery.etsy.com) and with my Instagram account (@larkrising). I have a website where I blog about my craft, tools, and experiences, and where I post my free video stitch tutorials. (http://www.larkrisingembroidery.com). I will be teaching two modern embroidery workshops here in Seattle this summer, one with Social Creative Workshops (https://www.wearesocialcreative.com/) and one with Molly Moon’s Ice Cream (http://www.mollymoons.com).
I’m a stay-at-home-mama with a creative spirit. I’ve always been drawn to art—both collecting it and making it. I have tried my hand at ceramics, knitting, sewing, and painting. A couple of years ago I stumbled into hand-embroidery on a whim and never looked back. It just clicked for me. I love working with fiber and bringing the ideas in my head to life in a way that I never could with other mediums.
What draws you to embroidery?
Embroidery is really methodical, which is very soothing to me. I love how portable it is, and how it’s always waiting for me exactly how and where I left it. I love that I can incorporate any idea I have into an embroidery design, so I can depict whatever kind of content is moving me at the time.
I find most of my inspiration in nature. I try to spend as much time as I can out in nature—whether in my own garden or out in the woods. When I can’t get outside as much as I’d like (winter in the Pacific Northwest can be pretty dreary), I often find inspiration on the internet by looking at beautiful photos of landscapes, well-designed interiors, and color combinations in dreamy floral bouquets.
What process do you use when you think about a new piece? Do you begin with sketches? Photos? Visits to museums? Nature Centers? What is the process from start to finish for a work?
When I create a new piece, I start by sketching out ideas on either paper or my iPad, refining it until I’m happy with it. I then trace the finished design onto my chosen fabric (my favorites are linen-cotton blend), frame it into a hoop, and start stitching. I draw on my fabric with an erasable fabric pen because I almost always change my mind on what I want to do while I’m stitching, and I need to be able to erase my lines afterward. I spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks working on a single piece of embroidery art, and usually have several pieces in the works at a time. I switch back and forth between working on designs for my monthly DIY pattern program and my personal, more complex body of work.
Many of us working with needle arts collect yarn, thread and other raw materials for future unknown projects. Some artists just buy what they need for a specific project. Is your studio filled with stash of all kinds of materials? If so, how do you organize everything? Do you pick up unusual supplies as you travel?
I have a huge stash of embroidery thread that I keep sorted into different drawers on my desk according to color. I sometimes find beautiful, unused thread at thrift stores, and try to stock up anytime my local craft stores have a sale. I also have a pretty big stash of fabric, but have honed my fabric choices over the last couple of years and try to only keep what I know I will use. My studio space is in a re-purposed breakfast nook in my home, so space is at a premium. I try to be really smart about organization to make sure I have room for my supplies, as well as plenty of functional space to work.
What artists have influenced your work? If you could choose a group of artists (dead or alive) for a dinner party, which 6 would you choose?
I love connecting with other modern women artists. I try to keep my work as original and authentic as I can, but I often find inspiration for color palettes in the work of others such as Anna Rifle Bond of Rifle Paper Co., and Erin Barrett of Sunwoven.
If I could attend a dinner party with some of my favorite artists, I would invite a combination of women in my own family and famous women artists in history. I love the comfort and ease of being with loved ones just as much, if not more than the thrill of meeting new people. I would invite my step-mom, Kristin Kuhns, who is an amazing mixed media artist out of Salem, OR., and her mother, Sherry, who quietly weaves and knits beautiful, handmade goods for family in the most humble and loving way possible. I would invite my great-grandma Elizabeth; she departed this life while I was pregnant with my now 3-year old son, but was an impressive hobby-painter and fiber artist throughout her life.
As for the famous ones, probably Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Helen Frankenthaler. All of these women were amazing feminists who worked to make their artistic voices heard in a masculine-dominated field.
Wow! Nice to meet you Lauren! Thank you for sharing your talents with us.