Meet the Makers is a series of posts dedicated to featuring local artists in Davidson, NC and the surrounding area. We will also feature Regional and unique fiber artist.
We have a soft place in our hearts for indie dyers because we know what it takes to dye yarn. We know the process is time-intensive, frustrating, and yet so very satisfying.
When starting out, I was dyeing in the kitchen with vinegar until my husband said it smells too bad, stop that. So I got a electric stove top, and some citric acid and moved to the laundry room. After I messed up the folding table which was white, I moved everything to the 3rd floor.
All this is to say, we know it’s a process. Meghan’s hand dyed yarn is beautiful. She answered some questions for us below.
Go see her at Cheers To Ewe and celebrate LYS Day!
Who are you as a craftsperson?
I am a student with an intense desire to learn. I love new techniques, new crafts, basically anything that can be done with my hands. My family has a long line of artists and craftspeople. My Grandmothers and their sisters, my Aunts, and my Mother have all been very “crafty” and I didn’t want to be left out of the fun. By age nine I was learning different fiber crafts and jewelry making skills from them. My Mother’s Mother is a fine artist in Charleston, SC and I learned at an early age about color theory and how to frame a subject. All of their support gave me the confidence to try anything.
Tell us about your business/craft.
I’ve been crocheting and knitting since I was nine. I never wanted to be left out by the adults. But in 2017 when my father had several strokes, I quit my job to stay home and take care of him while my Mother works. In between therapy and doctor’s appointments, I really began picking up my needles again. Seeing all these beautiful yarn colors from other dyers I knew I wanted to learn to do that and from there Native Fibers was born. The name Native Fibers comes from my family heritage. We are of Native American descent. I am a tribal descendant of the Karuk Tribe of Northern California. Yes, way out here on the East Coast. However, I am very proud of this connection and to pay homage to my father and his family I chose the name Native Fibers.
How are you motivated, what inspires you?
My love for my family inspires me every day. Art. Nature. Emotion. I look at the color of everything. The light and the dark. Some color makes you happy, some melancholy, some sad. Color is a visual gateway to emotion and shapes your vision of the world. Capturing those feelings, in whatever medium I happen to be working, is what motivates and inspires me. Also, I love a challenge. If you tell me I can’t do something then I will figure out a way to do it.
What are your passions? (Does not have to be related to your craft or art)
Oh, there are so many. I am a photographer and jewelry maker, but I also love to sketch and paint. (Not painting enough if you ask my Grandmother.) All of it?
What do you find the most frustrating or difficult in your creative process?
When I see an image in my mind of what I want and can’t make it.The dyes have a mind of their own and it makes me crazy. I lose sleep over this, but I’m not afraid of failure. Some of my favorite pieces have come through failure.
How do you overcome that challenge?
Try, try, try until you get it right. My Mother and Father always taught me that if it was easy everyone would do it and that you just keep trying. A favorite saying from an Uncle was “Can’t never could.” So I try to remember that. If you think you can you will. If you think you can’t you won’t.
What is your favorite tool, or the one crafter tool you couldn’t live without?
Oh, this one is so easy. Without a doubt my spin dryer! I dye so many skeins of yarn by hand and when I was finally able to afford my spin dryer, the process was cut in half.
Is there a piece you’re most proud of? Why?
I have a couple. My latest yarn called Heritage, it’s red and black speckled yarn which is in the color of the Karuk tribe. It is the meaning and love behind that yarn. The other is a photo I took a year or so ago. I had a girl and her horse in for a session and trying to get the horse to do what I wanted was a challege. But when I finally got it right, I just fell in love with it.