Name: Melanie Mitchell
Business Name: Melanie Mitchell Designs
What medium do you work in? Silks and other fine fabrics, liquid dyes, found objects
What do you make? I create colourful patterned silk scarves and yardage inspired by an ancient Japanese silk painting technique called Shibori. From the yardage, I create one-of-a-kind gowns and accessories.
What compels you to create? It usually starts with the fabric; it tells me what it wants to be. When I run my hand over the fabric, an image will pop into my head ...or it says nothing. It sounds corny and frou-frou, I know, but it is what is ;-)
How did you start creating? I had a quarter life crisis...for serious. I've always been creative but after I graduated high school, I worked a retail job for several years. At 30, out of the blue I started having anxiety attacks. After a bit of soul-searching, my decision to attend the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design helped control the anxiety. But I really knew I had found my place when, in my very first design class, my instructor said "Look around. After today, you will never see the world the same way." And she was right.
Where is your studio is located ? My second bedroom, kitchen table, living room floor...anywhere there is a surface!
Why do you create?: I create for myself, not for others. Of course I want others to love what I'm doing but if they don't thats ok too. I create because it brings me happiness and being surrounded in smooth colourful silk is indescribably satisfying.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? I have a crush on my tiny 5" ruler. It's the one constant tool I use across all my creative goings-on.
What is unique about your art practice?: To be honest, I'm not sure that it IS unique. In a sense, all shibori patterns are one-of-a-kind as it is difficult to duplicate a design completely, due to the nature of the process. I don't object to experimenting with new ways of doing it, if something comes to me, but I don't actively seek out truly unique ways to create these patterns.
Number of years you have been a crafter or artist. 15 to 20
Describe your work with a movie title. Splash
Would you let us hook up your ‘Recently Played’ list on Spotify to the studio speakers?Absolutely YES
Favorite season and why? Definitely Autumn! I don't like being cold and I don't like being hot and Spring is too messy. Autumn is the perfect temperature with the added bonus of the trees turning the most glorious colors. Maybe not so much here in the Prairies but where I grew up in New Brunswick, it was magical.
Favorite place? My sofa corner curled up with my kitties.
What is your idea of time well spent ? Big bathtub,
Quirky fact... I was a vegetarian for 10 years (1991-2001) ...out of spite for an annoying neighbor who said I'd never be able to do it.
Photos!: Website: https://mjmbathbeauty.wixsite.com/melmitchelldesigns