Thursday, January 14, 2010

Michigan Artisan- Gaelic Knot Studio

Please check out the beautiful work these ladies do! And, take note of the paragraph at the bottom, discussing their charitable contributions and how you can help!

Name or Store Name: Gaelic Knot Studio
We are a mother and daughter team of “Renaissance” (multi-talented) women.
Delaney Hansen - mother
Skye Hansen - daughter


Redford, Michigan - A western Detroit suburb
We are a home-based studio, there is no actual shop. Our business is done via the Internet or at Local Farmer’s and Artisan Markets. We chose our name to honor our Celtic heritage.

1) What medium do you work in?
A number of our pieces are created using knotwork, also known as macrame. Skye and I design and make hand-knotted jewelry, snowflake tree ornaments and round mats using Crawford Linen Cord imported from Belfast, Ireland. Our choker-styled necklaces and bracelets use a bead and loop closure system, specifically created to contain no metal making them hypo-allergenic or safe to be worn by someone with allergies to certain metals in some jewelry.

I also cut and wrap my own wreaths from willow and grapevine. My willow wreaths are made with a Trinity knot.

Skye and I both paint.

We design our own stained glass.

We’ve also worked in silver and pottery in the past and will add these things back in as our business grows.

I also sew and often create my own patterns, including the cute sitting kitty shape we use to make our Scrappy Cat cat toys.

2) How long have you been creating?
Probably all my life. My favorite gift as a child was a box of 72 Crayola Crayons, the ones with a built in sharpener in the back, plus a big stack of paper to go with it. When I was little I dreamed of writing and illustrating my own books. I’ve always been interested in art and attended College For Creative Study for a year before life interfered.

I’ve worked in macrame, paint, silver and clay for over 40 years, stained glass for 30 years. Floral design 25 years. Desktop publishing and graphic design 12 years. Wreath wrapping 4 years. Did I miss anything? I also crochet, cross stitch and make candles

To satisfy my other area of interest I write content for the Internet, including our website. I’m an aspiring novelist and screenwriter. Who knows I may actually write and illustrate that children’s book one of these days, even if it’s just for my own five grandchildren.

3) What is your favorite thing you have created?
That’s a tough choice, but I’m rather fond of my Winter Collection jewelry (see the picture at the top of the interview). Skye and I have both been making chokers, bracelets and earrings for a few years now. Last winter I came up with the idea to combine a smaller version of my snowflake tree ornaments as a pendant to one of our necklaces, but wasn’t sure about how I’d downsize it. This year I figured it out and created the set using clear glass beads that resemble pieces of ice in the necklace and bracelet with a one and a half inch hand-knotted snowflake for the focal point. I also made snowflake earrings and a matching brooch or lapel pin. It’s a rather impressive and beautiful set.

4) How long have you lived in Michigan?
I was born and raised in Michigan and have actually lived in both peninsulas. My younger daughter, Skye, was actually born while I was living near Escanaba. Most of the time I’ve lived in the Detroit area though. In total I’ve resided in the state of Michigan for all but 8 of my 56 years.

Leaving in search of greener pastures and warmer weather gave me an interesting perspective and a greater appreciation for all that truly is a part of life in Michigan. My younger daughter Skye and I returned to Michigan over two years ago to help care for my elderly mother who is now 93. My older daughter, Cerina decided to stay in the Florida Panhandle with the love of her life, and their five children. With the economy as it is and jobs being scarce Skye and I decided our only choice was to create our own jobs, so we re-started the small craft studio we had in Tennessee.

5) What is your favorite Michigan product?
It’s very difficult to choose, but I’d have to say the produce. Michigan grown sweet corn has the most flavor. The apples, carrots, potatoes, everything. We don’t know if it’s the nutrients in the soil, but everything grown in Michigan tastes better!

6) What is your favorite attraction in Michigan?
The diversity of our beautiful state is incredible so it’s very difficult to pick just one thing. I love nature. Michigan has by far the best State Parks for camping amongst the trees, on the lake shores or along rivers. Each of our Great Lakes are unbelievably different too. I guess my favorite attraction is our beautiful lakes.

7) How do you think the handmade movement will benefit Michigan?
How can the handmade movement not benefit a state where part of it is shaped like a hand? Being handmade seems to fit our “Mitten” state very well.

8) Is there anything, in particular, about Michigan that inspires your work?
It’s beauty, diversity, nature, the lakes, the forests, the farms, the changing seasons, the people...I guess everything! I love this state and I’m glad to be home. My daughter and I wrap wreaths from the branches of trees and vine that grow here. We recycle Michigan grown Christmas trees into rustic hanging bars and beads for our knotted banners. We paint on lake and river rocks to be used as paper weights and door stops or garden decorations, then coat them with a sealer so the beauty of the stone itself can be seen. We paint trees, flowers, lakes. Even the ice and snow of our Michigan winters inspired my knotwork jewelry’s Winter Collection. The economy and the plight of stray or abandoned cats and kittens in our area have inspired us to try and help with donations through the sales of our Scrappy Cats Cat Toys. Every where you look in Michigan there is inspiration.

Gaelic Knot Studio directs 50% of the sales from Scrappy Cats Cat Toys to helping care for and find good permanent homes for stray and abandoned cats in the economically hard hit Detroit area. Our own cats are all kittens of stray or abandoned cats we have rescued over the years.

1 comment:

  1. I love getting to know Michigan artists better.
    Will enjoy checking out Gaelic Knot Studio!