Our artist for this month is Samantha Gale. Sam is a local fiber artist, who enjoys working in other media, too. I met Sam at the Lander Art Center, and got to know her a little better at an oil painting class. I love her work, and I know you will, too!
Here is what Sam had to say:
“My grandma taught me to knit when I was eight. Nowadays, I wonder what possessed her to teach an 8-year-old to knit, but it worked. I kept it up intermittently, but never tried anything too challenging. I wanted to learn to crochet, but I could never quite understand it. Eventually, a friend in college taught me, and it finally clicked. Pretty soon I started experimenting with making my own patterns. I really liked the flexibility I had with crochet to make 3D objects. I've been crocheting for about five years and there are still many techniques I have left to explore. My next goal within fiber arts is learning to weave.”
2. Are there other media that you enjoy?
“I enjoy taking classes in other media. It's always fun to learn something new, and sometimes I get ideas of ways I can incorporate other media in my fiber art projects. For example, I make crochet mandalas that I display inside of embroidery hoops. I'm currently experimenting with wood burning designs on the embroidery hoops. I also enjoy watercolor painting as a way to give my hands a rest from crochet while still being creative.”
“I think one of the challenges of fiber arts is how slowly you make progress. My experience with other media is that you can see results more immediately. I've worked on some projects for upwards of 10 hours before there's enough progress to tell that the colors aren't working together. Then you have to rip it out and start over or perhaps just start something new. Fiber artists also have to be sure to take days off. It's not uncommon to get repetitive strain injuries in your hands or wrists.”
“Currently my favorite piece is the "yarn painting" I created this summer. It uses freeform crochet techniques to create a larger picture out of many small motifs. I do take commissioned work, but my ability to do so changes with my schedule. At the moment, I am preparing work to sell at Art In The Afternoon, so I likely won't be able to take commissions until after that. The best way to reach me for inquiries is at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
So you want a new look for your kitchen, but your existing cabinets are structurally great. Maybe they have sentimental value, or you just see tearing them out as wasteful. (Though, often, repurposing them is a better choice.)
We have "re-made" a couple of kitchens recently. Scott doesn't do a lot of refacing, because most of his clients just want to start fresh. But, occasionally, we have someone who really just wants new doors and drawers fronts, as well as a few upgrades to hardware, pull-outs, etc, and they have structurally sound cabinet boxes.
If your existing boxes are well made, and have the integrity to put new hardware in (and probably support more weight, since the doors and drawer fronts will be solid wood), it may be possible to get a whole new look without completely demolishing your old one.
Here are a couple of illustrations. In the first kitchen, the cabinets were craftsman-made of Pine. The home was an original cabin in the town of Jackson Hole, WY. The owner really wanted Scott to build custom Rustic Hickory cabinets with antler pulls, but they had these great pine cabinets in a pine kitchen.
The answer was to replace the doors and drawer fronts, and add a few pullouts and other cabinets. Later, the owners had Scott come back and replace some of the Pine trim with Rustic Hickory, too, and cover the new refrigerator in Hickory. Scott stained the Hickory to coordinate nicely with the original Pine and Logs. Check out the results.
.The second kitchen was Pine, too, but the Customer really liked Wormy Maple. The Wormy Maple actually matched the existing stain perfectly. The original cabinet boxes weren't top of the line, but they were still in really good shape. They were strong enough to support the new wood, hardware, and other accessories.
Scott added a few more custom cabinets, new crown, and new end panels, and the finished kitchen was amazing. Take a look!
If you are looking to spruce up your kitchen, keep in mind that a completely custom refacing job isn't necessarily going to save a lot of money in cabinets (Though it saves it in the other areas of remodeling.) Most of the labor in hand made cabinets is in building the doors, drawer fronts, drawer boxes and pull-outs, as well as end panels and tongue and groove. There are distinct advantages though.
First, it is possible to have gorgeous, one of a kind, top of the line quality, without tearing your entire kitchen apart. That means, less time waiting to use your kitchen. Installation is much quicker, and there is much less labor in tear outs for you or your contractor.
Second, there is less waste, so you aren't putting cabinet boxes in the landfill when it isn't necessary.
Third, it is possible to change species of wood, without changing everything.
Is this for everyone? No, but what is? If you are in a hurry, don't want to tear out your whole kitchen or put it in the landfill, or have cabinets that are of sentimental value to you, this could be a consideration for you. Most of our customers are building completely custom kitchens, so we don't do a lot of refacing. But, those cabinets that we have redone are spectacular!