Name: Stephanie Menard
Website links: Fibre Manipulator
What do you make?
Unique Jewellery using vintage and recycled fabric with gold and sterling silver elements and sometimes vintage beads. Felt portrait dolls, needle felted dolls, recycled fabric fingerless gloves and accessories.
What or who inspires you?
I often get design ideas from my dreams, so do I inspire myself? Maybe. Successful female entrepreneurs, repetitive patterns in nature, my cats, Art History.
How did you get started?
I started making beaded necklaces when I was 8 and have been a painter, "sculpey"-tor since birth I think. Floating along from crappy retail job to summer camp lifeguard job I didn't realize I could do what I love and get paid for it until much later. After falling in love with sculpture in the Langara Fine Arts program I went to VCC for Jewellery Art and Design; which is essentially small scale sculpture. I stumbled into textiles when I needed a jewellery break after school. Now I mix my two loves together and have a great time making shiny pretty textured things. My fickle nature means I'll probably incorporate some new techniques often. I just picked up needle felting this year and am really into it. There is so much to learn, how does anyone pick just one technique to master?!
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Delicate vintage lace, luminescent peridot beads, ornate kimono fabric, merino sliver, vintage beads, inventiveness, problem solving.
What is the hardest and most favourite part of crafting?
Problem solving. When a design doesn't work out the way you see it in your head it can be the most frustrating experience but such incredible work can come from this too. It's like playing detective. Solve that mystery!
List 5 of your favourite links and why you like them
ScoutMagazine: Great local articles on fashion, art, and food. I'm a closet foodie and they have all the food news and gossip in the city.
Everybody likes sandwiches: Speaking of food, Jeanette's blog is filled with tasty recipies, gorgeous photos, and witty prose.
Bliss in a teacup: She's so honest. This blog about everything is very inspiring. I want to be a better blogger and I want to be more like Becka.
The boss of you: It's a great book and a great blog. I was lucky enough to hear a talk with Lauren Bacon at a VCM event. She got me so excited about my business I couldn't sleep. With one simple exercise - finish the sentence "I will feel successful when..." she changed my whole outlook on my business and life in general.
Vancouver Public Library: They have a huge DVD selection and you can order whole British mystery series so you don't have to get cable.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
Don't guard your secrets. Share what you have learned with others and you will learn from them as well. Let's all help eachother become better business people. Networking equals getting together with new friends over a bottle of wine or some snacks and being inspired.
Art vs. Craft – Are these terms different? Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
I don't want there to be a difference. I am an Artist and a Crafter. There used to be a big divide between high art and everything else but I believe the DIY movement has shortened that gap. I have always had as much respect for ceramics, jewellery and textiles (all traditionally female crafts) as I have for painting, drawing and sculpture. I think the art world and our generation of artists is moving in that direction and I'm glad.
(photo images courtesy of Stephanie Menard / Fibre Manipulator)
If you are interested in being featured, please send us an email at info(at)gotcraft(dot)com.
Check out our past features...
Sam Made - feature #11
All Things Paper - feature #10
Owl + Pussycat - feature #9
Bliss in a teacup - feature #8
It's Your Life - feature #7
Faythe Levine - feature #6
Coco Cake Cupcakes - feature #5
pomomama design - feature #4
GroovyGlassGirl - feature #3
Bueno Style - feature #2
The Beautiful Project - feature #1