Thank you all so much for your thoughtful questions and generous comments. And here are your answers:
why owls? do they hold a special meaning for you?
The owls evolved out of the birds. When I was working out the bird pattern I tried to make one from wool that was much to heavy and the shape got wonky. It turned into a little owl. That made me think of a lot of other heavy wools and tweeds I had and how owly they were and I started making larger owls. For a long time I just made the same owl over and over again – ian – the first full size owl made in 2006 I think ( named for ian mcshane whom I love).
I am a huge fan of your work. And I would love to know if you take custom orders. For instance, I have my great-grandmother’s wedding dress, and I’m wondering if this would be something you could transform into an owl or other creature/creation.
Thanks so much!
Hi Shirley – Right now I’m not able to take custom orders. It just isn’t possible time – wise at the moment but I hope I can soon. I’d love to see your great grandmother’s dress.
Thank you so much for this opportunity! Your work is so inspiring and I am always amazed by the materials you use. How do you source them, do you have any headhunters for such fabrics?
Hey Ann, you are truly an inspiration to me, thank you. I have a question about your finds- WHERE ON EARTH DO YOU FIND SOME OF THESE PIECES?! They are absolutely breath taking. Could you by any chance give specifics on any of the stores (online, shops, etc.) where you hunt?
I’d like to know how you source your vintage materials, and could you explain your thought process? Thank you for doing this! (:
I find things all over and sometimes they find me. Looking for things is a huge part of the fun for me. I go to lots of flea markets locally and sometimes antique clothing shows. I have a couple dealers I work with and ebay is a great source too – I check daily. And people give me things – my friend Stephen Szczepanek sends me incredible packages.
Thought process : that’s a big question but part of the answer is : I love fabric. I always have. Even during periods of my life when I didn’t sew I collected it. And before that my mother collected it for me. I still have a stash of fabric she saved or collected for me – picked up at flea markets etc. Things full of memories and possibilities.
i have a couple questions:
1) you have a beautiful studio in new york city. i found the city to be so expensive! is this the sole source of income for you? (your work is amazing) if not, what do you do for a living?
This is my only source of income and it is hard. If I didn’t enjoy making these things so much it would be impossible. It would be much more reasonable to do this somewhere other than NY city and that may happen someday.
the drape next to your bed looks like it has been a work in progress over time, did you find scrap lace and hand sew them all together at once or did you just keep adding until you were satisfied (if you are satisfied yet!)? how long did it take to complete this? absolutely beautiful, ann.
thank you for taking the time to answer all of our questions!
The drapes and curtains here are a functional thing but I do love the way they look. A couple years ago I started pinning bits of lace and dissected garments to them – as a way of keeping track of little bits – keeping them in front of me for inspiration. It has worked well and grown into something I really love.
I wanted to let you know that your work is so inspiring. More of a technical question: It looks like you do so much by hand. Is all of your stitching by hand or do you sometimes use a machine?
I use both hand stitching and a machine – a vintage white – it belonged to my mother and I learned to sew on it. I sew simple seams on the machine and more complicated curvy tiny things by hand. A lot of what I make is very small or has very small details. I also like to sew things inside out ( on the machine or by hand) and then turn them right side out, stuff them and sculpt the shape from the outside with hand stitching.
Wow thanks x
Have you produced a book and if not might you in the future.
I have not produce a book but I would very much like to in the near future.
Do you do workshops or tutorials.
I’ve been publishing tutorials on my blog for a while and will continue to. I’ll be teaching workshops for the first time in 2012 ( and also possibly something later this year too) and will share details on that soon. Send an email to info at ann wood handmade with workshop as the subject if you’d like to be updated on that.