Monday, April 11, 2011

Katwise- Artisan Feature

I was browsing Etsy a few weeks back and fell in love with Katwise Sweater Coats. Her style, unique designs and her fearless use of color. Plus her sweeter coats are upcycled! I had to have her featured! So I contacted her and she humored me by answering my questions:) So here I am sharing one of my newest favorite artist/artisans with you.

How did you name your business?

Katwise was my nickname when I was younger. I never realized I was naming my business Katwise, it just sort of happened. I am glad that my business name is the same as my name, because I like feeling that what I offer to customers is personal and part of me.

How long have you been sewing for?

I have been altering clothes since I was a small child, but I didn't officially learn how to make nice clothes from scratch until I was 15. At that age I started travelling around to festivals and selling patchwork dresses. So, I guess that means that now, I am in my 20th year of selling my clothes!

When or how did you find your style for creating such unique wearable art?

I have always been a circus gypsy girl at heart and my roots are in the hippie scene. My style is very personal and organic and it has evolved slowly with me over the years. If you lined up photos of everything as time progressed, it would be like one of those flip books of slow changes. I had a big leap forward when I discovered sewing with knits -because the ease and speed of working with stretchy fibers leaves more time for the creative, colorful part, and less time on fussing with details.So, my current incarnation (making sweater coats) really encapsulates a lot of my colorful exuberance and slapdash nature.

What inspires and influences your work?

I work with recycled sweaters, and very often it is the sweaters themselves that inspire me - I will see a pile of them and notice certain colors calling to me, and take it from there. 
There are some artists who I am very inspired by, though they are not necessarily clothing makers. Lately I have been obsessed with Tony Duquette, Hunderwasser, and Gaudi. 

What do you do when your not creating?

Last year my boyfriend and I bought an old farm that was a total wreck, but very cute. So, we are constantly working on it. There is never a day off. It has been painted a million colors and bedazzled like a princess. We aim to make jaws drop.

What is your favorite piece(s) that you have created?

My favorite is always my most recent. Just yesterday we finished making this insane built in kitchen cabinet/counter that is all shades of teal with crazy mosaic, fancy trim, mirrors and baubles. I can't stop staring at it. I cant believe this thing lives in my kitchen now! It looks like a huge green wedding cake.

What do you feel is special about your art/craft?

I never take myself too seriously - and I think that keeps my work flowing freely and my expression genuine. A lot of times when people are trying to make art a living they end up trying to meet others expectations, or getting so self-reflective that they lose perspective. I think I have a healthy sense of humor and detatchment about what I do and the ability to embrace my many shortcomings as an artist. It is my hope that when people look at what I do they can feel that it came from a genuine place. I want the intentions I put into things to resonate with people, so they aren't just buying an object, but a little chunk of happy energy.
Are there other forms of art and crafts you would like to learn? And why?

I would like to learn the art of meditation. I am such a workaholic that the only way I am gonna calm down is if I can do it obsessively. Life is long, that day will come. :-)

Where to find Katwise 
Katwise on Facebook
Katwise on Etsy


Anonymous said...

aw, thanks for featuring me - typos and all! :-)

Me said...

Funny thing I read it through twice and did not even notice, lol.

Me said...

I think I fixed all the typos;)

Catherine said...

Wow, those are some amazing sweater coats! Thanks for sharing Katwise's work with us, Chrissy.

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