Blythe brings humor and talent to the table when she creates. She’s definitely a designer to watch!
Whatʼs the name of your business/ company?
I sell my work under my own name Blythe Church
Do you have a website? Blog?
What kind of art/craft do you make?
I have 2 different lines of work. I recreate vintage electronics, cameras, typewriters and other interesting objects that people have discarded in felt. I also make monsters out of recycled wool fabrics.
How would you describe your work?
My felt sculptures are made of embroidered hand dyed felt. They usually take between a week and a month to make so I’d describe them as meticulous! I love seeing people do a double take when they look at them, wondering if they’re real or not so I try my hardest to get down every detail in thread. I also try and make some part of them interactive for instance the Nintendo system has interchangeable screens and game cartridges so you can choose to either play Mario or Duckhunt and the controller and the zapper gun can be plugged into and unplugged from the Nintendo. I want my pieces to be touched and played with.
Where do you sell your work?
I sell my work at Argyle Fine Art Gallery here in Halifax and at Distill Gallery in Toronto. I also have an etsy site www.sewnbyblythe.etsy.com
Where do you make stuff?
Im lucky enough to have a studio and a sewing room in my apartment but I’m often sewing in the living room with my boyfriend on one side, my cat on the other and a good movie on the TV.
What is happening in the next six months for you? Shows? Stores? Craft fairs?
I’ll be taking part in a show called “Remember Love” opening February 11th at Gallery LELE in Tokyo and on March 13th I’ll be taking part in a show at Argyle Fine Art here in Halifax.
Does anyone help you make your stuff?
I prefer to do all my work myself as I make a lot of the creative decisions while I’m working but my mom has been known to stuff monster legs and sew pins on brooches when I’ve been in a bind! My boyfriend also helps out a lot with all my photography and he’s been awesome at taking care of my share of the household chores when I’ve been busy with deadlines.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have made?
My favorite pieces have definitely been the boom box and the Underwood typewriter. They’ve also been the most time consuming and difficult pieces that I’ve done and I’m really proud of them. I had the idea while making the boom box that I wanted it to actually play music so I made it with a hollow interior so that I could put computer speakers inside and hook it up to an ipod. I was so excited to hear it play music!
Is there something you are not proud of or regret doing in your career?
I really regret that it took me so long to start making art again after I graduated from art school. I started a full time job immediately and got wrapped up in work and didn’t have any time to be creative. I was pretty unhappy but now I’ve got a great part time job and a studio in my apartment.
What is the most enjoyable part of your ʻprocessʼ?
The most enjoyable part for me is the final step in creating a piece, when everything comes together and the piece comes alive. When I’m making the sculptures I work on one panel at a time so It’s impossible to tell what it’s going to be like until I sew all the panels together into the final shape.
What is essential for you to make great work?
It’s important for me to be really inspired by the object I’m working from. If I’m going to be working on a piece for several weeks I have to be excited about it. I’m always scouring thrift stores and flea markets for my next piece. I also think good quality materials are really crucial. I use 100% wool felt that I hand dye and I feel that it gives my work a richness that I couldn’t achieve with commercially dyed synthetic felt.
What keeps you from making great work?
Time is definitely an issue. I have hundreds of ideas floating around in my head but unfortunately everything I do is pretty time consuming. If only I didn’t need to sleep!
Have you had your ﬁrst ʻbig breakʼ?
I don’t know if I’d call it a “big break” but I got quite a bit of online recognition for my Nintendo system and for my Underwood Typewriter online. It was so great to see my work featured on blogs. My Nintendo system was published in a couple of gaming magazines and my Rolleiflex camera was featured in Craft Magazine..
If you could make anything what would you make?
I’d really love to recreate an entire room. I imagine it would be something like your grandparent’s attic, so many intriguing forgotten objects. I’d have it so that you could open closet doors and drawers and inside would be all kinds of felt treasures.