Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Feature: Bonfires

1. Tell us about you and your shop.
My name is Niki Lee Carlson and I have bonfires!

I’ve lived a lot for 31, yet I have this sneaking suspicion that some pretty amazing things are on the horizon. I explored the globe through my twenties, finished two degrees, settled down in the Red River Valley, and along the way learned that I am at most content and inspired when I am drawing from where I am to make something meaningful.

I remember walking through the Amazon about eight years ago with a small group of students and picking some plant fiber and seed from the ground. I wove it, used the seed for a closure bead, and gave this artifact as a bracelet to a peer. My work in bonfires is emerging from experiences like that. I want to take materials and turn them into signs of recognition and harmony with the environment.

2. How did you get started in your craft?
I make a lot of things and my shop is beginning to express what I envision.

I was always an imaginative, busy kid. I was an only child until the age of eight at a beautiful semi-rural place. I was constantly stimulated by nature and picking up leaves, snakes, and rocks. Evidently one of my uncles told me that if you were able to throw salt on the tailfeathers of a bird you could catch him, so I spent summer hours chasing birds with the saltshaker…Now I just like to pick up found tailfeathers!

My graduate degree is in landscape architecture and I make every decision considering its impact on the land. Everything we do makes landscape.

3. What tool can you not live without?
A nice flat surface.

4. What inspires you?
Birds, funny things people say, the sky, seeds, plants, the smell of humus, my quirky family, bones

5. Name one favorite item from your store.

Probably my ‘Listening as Lilypads Do’ card. I love the serenity and colors in this card; if I had to pick one to blow up and hang on the wall this would be it. Plus I remember clearly the days both photographs were taken and they were marvelous days.

No comments: