Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meet Your Neighbor - Jennifer Miller (aka jennifermiller)

What is your shop name & URL, real name, and what do you sell?My shop name is JenniferMiller http://jennifermiller.etsy.com/ and that is my real name. I make all size quilts, wall hangings, ladies clothing and lots of other smalls---ACEO's, animals, bags, bookmarks, purses, hats, dolls, vessels, placemats.....jackets, skirts, dresses...pet collars... I also making a small amount of jewelry.

Where do you live? Tell us a about your town.
I live in Lamoine, Maine which is on the coast near Ellsworth on the way to Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. I have lived here for just over 5 years when I bought a small house in the woods. It is a small town but has its own beach and a state park. I live on a small quiet dirt road on the side of a hill. I find I am able to forget everything when I go down the hall to work. My business has taken over one of my bedroom where I actually work but has overflowed into other spaces of my house.

Tell us about your family & pets.
I was married for 33 years but have been divorced for 6 1/2. Sadly we were to unable to have children. I have one older sister living in New York and a step-sister in Virginia. I was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island.
Currently I live with about 60 snails--they are in a fish bowl near my computer. They live inside during the winter and then go out to a small water garden. As pets they are well behaved and fairly quiet. I keep thinking about getting a cat. I do shows through much of the year and hate the thought of leaving a pet alone. FYI-- snails blow bubbles which does make a noise. Years ago I tore up my ankle and since then I have always said I wanted a pet that I could run faster than. I can't run at all now and so I have snails. I had a big fish but he ran away last summer.

How long have you been making your craft & what got you into it?
I have been sewing and doing other needlecrafts since I was a little girl. My grandmothers belonged to a sewing circle and taught my sister and I how to sew, knit and crochet. I used to love making things for my dolls- small blankets from scrap yarn and elegant outfits for my bobbie doll. For years I did macrame and have also done some painting. There are so many I would love to find the time for but haven't been able to manage. Earning enough to live on is a major job in this economy.

Do you feel like your craft is related to where you live?
I love living on the coast and many of quilts have an underwater theme. I love fish-tropical. We had a saltwater tank when I was little and I fell in love with the colors and shapes of sealife. I also love flowers and wildflowers which are also used in my pieces. I grow orchids and everyday I can, I at least walk through my yard and see what has returned from last year or how every plant is doing. I start most of the perennials from seed which makes them special. This year I did a lupine and they had already started to grow. I was out there with my pencil and paper drawing the leaf shapes and then with a stack of fabrics to chose the right color. This is a happy place and my work is bright and happy and has many embellishments just like in nature. I love to add beads and stones and shells. The lupine piece is the first I added highlights with oil sticks. This has opened a whole new avenue of dimensions to my work. If I get frustrated I can always go outside and get centered again...even in the snow. I love to add the unexpected. I love what I do.

Tell us about the awesome craftspeople that you've met around Maine-- have you collaborated or met with any Maine Team members?
I have been a member of DIRECTIONS-Maine Crafts Guild for almost 20 years and have met some wonderful artists that live in Maine. Jo Diggs put a few on my quilts in her presentation years ago. I have not met any members of Maineteam, that I know of but do hope to get to the mext meeting. (interviewer's edit-- she did come to the meeting and met many wacky people!) I am also a part owner of a shop in Southwest Harbor, Maine- Flying Mountain Artisans. We have many fine artists and craftspeople selling in our shop. I enjoy looking at everyone's creations when I work.

What are your plans for the future?
I hope to be able to continue with my exploration of fabric art. I have a long list of new products that I am always looking for at fabric or craft stores that I am excited about incorporating into my art.




Would you like to be featured or do you have any suggestions for improvement? Email me (Jamie) at jamieribisi {at} gmail.com

1 comment:

aser said...

Danielle Miller is a true renaissance woman. Not only is she a mom to two preschool-aged boys (a full-time job in itself), she runs her own jewelry design business–sending product to galleries and boutiques across the country. .... Though all collections are stunning, I like the “randomness” of the little circles in the Bubble collection. Its great too how each piece though looking seemingly “random” is visually balanced. I love your work. Jennifer Says: ...
Interview here:jennifer miller-Interview