Today's Etsy Interview is from a woman who I've known for a good year via Etsy, and whom I had the pleasure meeting face to face last winter, when I was on a skiing vacation in Lillehammar. Inger Maaike works with wool. Her main pleasure is with felting wool and she creates a huge assortment of finished products: scarves, jackets, arm warmers, and even sculptures.
Inger is a very quirky sort of person. A nice and hospitable person, she has opinions on many subjects (and people) and is not scared to share them. Her heart is warm and she clearly is not concerned about outward appearances. Flashy is not not her style.
When I met her for coffee (after having received wrong GPS directions from my husband and arrived a couple of hours late), she gave me a tour of her house, which her and her husband had purchased not long before. Both of them were tired of the rat race in Holland and took advantage of her family ties to Norway to find a new place to live as well as a new lifestyle. Her house is of an older Norwegian style and feels very cozy, no matter what room one is in. From her kitchen window is a gorgeous view over the river valley where she lives.
I have maintained contact with Inger since then, and we have 'playful' games and contests as to who has more snow, better weather, etc. Both of us being immigrants to Norway means we have a lot in common, though we come to from two different countries, have different base languages and really, two different cultures.
I am proud to have Inger as my first interviewee.
Personal Information: Inger Maaike, married, 3 children, 2 dogs, 3 cats, the odd stray mouse. Is a mother, obsessed with fiber arts, says she is an eternal student and, most importantly an infernal optimist (as opposed to an eternal optimist, I think. That definitely suits her style more).
What word would you use to describe your creative talent: artist/craftsman/creator/other. Why do you chose this word? I am, I think, an artist foremost. I create not to sell per se, but out of an innate need to create. Sometimes very prolific and sometimes not so. But repetition is not something I am very good at.
Were you creative before this time? If so, what other creative arts do/did you dabble in? I began creating as soon as my motor skills would allow me to do so. It has been with me in one oway or another since before I can remember: sewing doll clothes, cooking on a tiny gourmet set, wood carving, dollhouse furniture, bootmaking, and bag making just to name a few. I worked with any material with a distinct, natural feel.
Can you remember the first felted creation you made? I most certainly do. After months of dithering I took the plunge and enrolled in a workshop feltmaking given by a famous Dutch felter LYDA RUMP. She wanted us to make a vessel around a resist. I of course said, 'Vessel? What use is there in a vessel? I want to make a bag.' 'No,' she said, 'you can't.' 'Yes,' I said, 'I can 'cause I paid you and I want to.' To cut a long story short, I walked out of the door with a bag in the shape of a poppy.
Is there something else that you have made that you are particularily proud of? After the first bag I made several more and then I discovered the sight called TREETOPS COLOUR HARMONY. There I saw the most amazing color combinations and much softer wool than I had worked with to date. So I ordered wool and silk and made this coat and scarf set. I never wear it and should sell it, but that is really such a cool coat combining my love for sewing and felting to perfection.
Is there something in particular that you find inspiring? Beauty, intense colors, nature, natural materials, happiness, originality..... to name a few.
When you have a quiet moment to indulge yourself, and there's no one to bother you, what is it you like to do best? I have a lot of this as I work from home and the boys are in school. I felt, spin, read, surf the net, walk the dogs. In short, I enjoy life.
How would you envision the perfect dinner? Who would be there? Would it be formal/informal? What would be served? I am not much of an eater. I eat 'cause otherwise I would perish. So for me the perfect dinner would probably be some sort of paste that contains everything I need which I can just schlurrp up and be done with it.
Where is the place that you have visited in the past that you have particular fond memories of? Why? I have travelled quite a bit but of all the places I have been I would think Istanbul is my very favorite. A stunning city in all senses.
Where is the one place you would really like to travel to one day? Why? I dream of travelling to New Zealand and Australia one day. I have never been there and both countries look absolutely incredible from what I have seen on tv.
Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview that you feel our readers would like to know? Every day might be the last one...... don't wait til tomorrow.
If you want to find Inger, check out these direct links to her different sites:
Daily Felt - Inger's Blog
Felt by Ingermaaike - her Etsy store