In this interview with Carol Ann Waugh, the fiber artist/instructor shares some of what makes her tick. You can sign up for her August workshops in Fort Collins with early bird pricing by May 21. Final registration is July 15.
What’s your favorite new-to-you tool or supply from the past year? I’m starting to have a collection of colorful rotary cutters from Olfa. I have a blue one and a purple one in addition to their regular yellow. Just seeing them on my cutting mat makes me smile!
How many hours a day do you work on your art? I’m usually in my studio working from 10-3pm every day. Sometimes 7 days a week!
Tell us about your studio practice That’s a hard question to answer. The last two years, I’ve been working on two major series of work, incorporating text into my pieces. Now, I am trying to create my own fabric to stitch on and that has taken me into a more mixed media approach so I’m spending time creating patterns with watercolor. But every day I’m in my studio is a creative day so it makes me happy.
Do you make art on the go? Tell us about your “go bag”. Sometimes, I hand embroider since lugging a sewing machine makes it hard to make art on the “go”. In that case, I have a small bag of hand-dyed pearl cotton, a #22 chenille needle, and a small pair of scissors.
What’s your favorite work of your own? Will you share a photo? I don’t really have a “favorite” since each piece I make has something I like about it and something I would improve! But this is the very first piece I made in my Stupendous Stitching series and it’s still a piece I love.
What’s your favorite part about teaching workshops? I love sharing all the techniques and secrets I’ve developed and learned over my 10 years (!) of creating fiber art. My students take these techniques and create their own wonderful fiber art pieces and seeing their creativity makes me happy.
What makes for a great day in a workshop you’re teaching? Seeing the smiles on my student’s faces as they discover their inner artist.
What 5 items do you always have with you when taking or teaching a workshop? Well, it always depends on the workshop but my go-to kit contains band-aids, sewing machine tools, extra needles, sharp scissors, and my iPhone for taking photos of the works in progress.
What’s your ideal workshop student? I love teaching students who want to learn. Students who are open to new ideas and who are willing to challenge themselves without worrying about judging their work. And also, students who like to have fun creating and laughing along with everyone else.
If a student is new to the type of work you do, what would you tell him or her before registering for your workshop? Relax. This is an experience that you will never forget and one that you will treasure all your life. Discovering your creative voice is very empowering and not having to match any seams is freeing!
If you’ve taught in Northern CO before, what’s your favorite thing about teaching here? I live in Denver and have visited Ft. Collins many times. What a wonderful and friendly place! Of course, besides the fun atmosphere of a college town, the wide open spaces and mountain views are to die for.
How do you differentiate your work and your teaching style from that of other instructor artists who do similar things (i.e., other fiber art teachers, other assemblage artists)? I tell better jokes!
Do you still have the first piece of art you ever made? What do you think when you look at it? No. Most of my first attempts were relegated to the garbage. It takes time to become proficient at a technique. And, then you have to develop your artistic voice. I do have several of my early pieces but they are stored away to only be shown if I have a retrospective exhibit!
When you’re not making art or teaching, what do you do for fun? Ride my scooter around Denver.