I have always been drawn to creativity and ever since I can remember have had my hands working on some sort of project. Professionally, I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2015 and work as a freelance designer, but I especially love any project that takes me off-screen and gets me working with my hands. In 2016 I officially launched North Country Craft—my business of creating handcrafted creations inspired by the North Country. I grew up coming to Duluth most weekends and am now blessed to call it home. I’m forever drawn to the pines and the call of Lake Superior.
What inspires me:
I am forever inspired by nature, specifically the way light bounces throughout it. Whether it be the way an afternoon shadow moves across the floor, the northern lights dancing across the night sky, or seeing the way light trickles through the surface of the ocean from 60 feet down, I am prone to being completely awed by seeing light.
What does your creative process look like:
My creative process can look like a wide range of things, all depending on what medium I’m working with. With woodburning, it is typically starts with a rough sketch of what I want to be burned, but ultimately I freehand the design into the board—you can’t erase while burning so it involves a lot of envisioning the way a design will look before touching the burner to the board.
With my watercolors, a lot of times I start by just putting washes of color on the page and letting the image evolve from there. I am in complete awe of the way watercolors blend and bleed together, pulling out textures that mimic the world beneath the surface of the ocean. Most of my watercolors revolve around sea life as it is one of my biggest passions.
Regardless of medium, I am a sketchbook hoarder and always have random notes and doodles of future projects scribbled away. I think it is important to always jot down the random ideas that flow through the brain and always have a sketchbook on hand as you never know when inspiration will strike.
How I got started in my craft:
I’ve always had a knack for experimenting with different artistic mediums. It wasn’t until 2015-16 that I really found the passion in bringing cribbage boards to life through woodburning. It was almost on accident that I found that niche—I realized I didn’t have a cribbage board in my apartment so I took a hand-held drill to a cutting board and decided to woodburn it. A year and a half later and now that design is my most popular.
What sustains your passion:
The joy I see in others whenever they view my work keeps my passion for creation going. I’ve never been one to be overly ‘showy’ about my work so to speak—I just love creating and seeing others enjoy my work. The stories I’ve been sent these past 7 months as my cribbage business has taken off have been completely heartwarming and humbling. Knowing my work will live on in these people’s lives for years to come, and memories will be made from nights spent around the board is beyond words.
What makes your product local and why is that important:
My products are handmade by solely me. From the drilling of the holes, to the woodburning, to the finishing and shipping—all steps are completed by me. I am a one-woman operation and it is important to me that people know what they are receiving is something unique and individually made. Yes, I do have boards that all have the same design burned into them, but because they are all hand burned, no two are exactly alike.
My favorite color:
My favorite color tends to fluctuate, but without a doubt I seem to always return to the turquoise blue of the waters in the Caribbean, or Lake Superior (my pseudo ocean)
My favorite place in the Twin Ports:
It is so hard to pick just one place in the Twin Ports as a favorite because I enjoy continuously wandering the North Shore. Brighton Beach while the northern lights are out would have to be a top contender though. With the city lights to my back, the sky dancing to the north, and the meditative sound of the waves, it is truly a special place here in town.
How I would like to grow or learn this year:
My biggest goal for this year is to become more organized in my business and expand some of the offerings I have. I feel like things just took off and I’ve been going nonstop since I first launched in September of 2016. I’m excited to see where things are going now that I have some time to catch up and have a set plan. I also am really excited with the opportunity to offer community workshops where people could create their own work—it’s a bit intimidating but I’m excited to share my techniques with others so they may go forth and create!