Thursday, 5 December 2013

MaatSilk. Shop of the Week no. 8

Every Saturday, a new Shop of the Week is chosed by the previous shop of the week, from the numbers of treasuries made from them. This week that honour belongs to Maisie from MaatSilk. This is the winning treasury.

I fell in love with all the scarves and cushions when I first saw this shop. The colours are superb, and clearly so carefully thought out, the patterns are exquisite and remind me so much of a little kaleidoscope I had when I was little. Let's find out a little more about the artist behind MaatSilk, Maisie. 

Tell us a little about yourself and your work
My shop sells mostly hand painted silk scarves and cushions. At the moment my design style is the realm of patterns, swirls, lines, circles, and various shapes of all kinds. It all started when I was bought a set of silk paints for a birthday and, well, the rest just happened. It took many experiments and horrid looking scarves before I came up with one I was happy with. Now I have a system worked out. When I design a pattern for a scarf I usually plan a set of three colourways. I don’t know why but I like working in odd numbers. Then with each scarf I write a narrative piece of writing. Trying to explain this is harder, but I’ll give it a shot. For me, painting on silk and for that matter all my work, is art and more. It’s a thought, an idea, a feeling, and most importantly is a story.  Words accompany me as I design and paint the patterns. They are part of it all. The colours and design blend in my mind and an idea forms: of an image, a place, a time. Why? I’m not usre but the narrative writing that accompanies each scarf is as important to me as the colours themselves. It’s the setting and completes the scene.  So each set of scarves tells a story and the narratives fit really well into three. Every story had a beginning, a middle, and an end after all. Each scarf is a limited edition and I only make five of them. It can get a little complicated and I have to keep careful track which number I’m on.  I do sign and number each scarf so that helps. At the moment I am working on completing my scarf sets, most of the ones in the shop are lacking a third and I am also beginning to use my designs on paper, for gift cards, notebooks, writing sets and e-cards.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by all forms of nature, plants, history and ancient art in particular. I only have to look at a book full of Minoan temples or Egyptian tombs and I am reaching for my sketch book. I have a set of scarfs based on Egytian designs for sale at the moment and I would like to do several more, a Celtic and Minoan are in the pipeline.

What are your favourite colours?
My favourite colour is yellow, just because it’s bright and happy, but I love to paint purple and blues. Grey is also a colour I use a lot, because it helps the darker shades stand out and helps to lighten the silk. Using just pure colours can make it very heavy, so a soft background colour makes all the difference.

What is your favourite medium/material?
Water based gutta, either white or gold. I use them on all of my scarves as an outliner. When I was first starting to paint silk, I bought so much gutta from the local shops that they all ran out and now I have to buy online!

What is your favourite holiday destination?
I’ve travelled quite a lot around Europe with my family. It would probably be Venice or Paris. I’ve been to both a couple of times, but would love to go again. Because I live in Spain, where it’s really hot in the summer, I like to go to cooler places. I am a museum person, so having lots to visit is top of my list, as well as going to see a ballet or show.

What other artists work to you admire and aspire to?

I admire artists from all sorts of different mediums. I particularly marvel at illustrators and painters, probably because I am hopeless at drawing people, animals or anything from real life. This is why I stick to patterns. That’s one of the things I enjoy about Etsy, I get to see and discover so many new artists.
As for someone I aspire to be like, well that’s easy and for me there is only one answer: my mother.

What are you most proud of?

This is a really hard question. I am proud of my shop and all my work, because I know that I always do my very best. 

Thank you Maisie for taking part. If you want to browse around Maisie's wonderful shop, just click here.

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