Floribunda Studio: Featured Artisan

2 Dec

Studio Name: Floribunda  Studios
http://www.artfire.com/users/FloribundaStudios
My Name: hallie madhoun

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?
Wow, that’s asking  me to remember a long time back. I’ve honestly been interested in crafts and  the arts since I was old enough to pick up a paintbrush. I think it runs in the  family, actually. I can still remember going to Vacation Bible School as a small  child with the ultimate goal of making something pretty to give to my mother.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?
Well, I really don’t have a  “chosen” craft. I tend to create whatever comes to mind. I may make soap for a  while, then try my hand at beaded jewelry, and later pick up my knitting needles  (I’ve been known to do all of this in the same day!). However, my mainstays  tend to be photography, landscape painting, and the fiber arts. I’ve been  working with paint and cameras since sophomore year of high school (about 1995),  crocheting for twelve years, and knitting for two.

What are your crafting  influences?
Anything and everything! Whether it’s my friends teaching me a new  stitch, trying to capture a gorgeous flower in an image, or turning something  old into something new, my creative inspiration is all around me.

Does anyone  in your family do a similar craft?
I actually come from a family of  artists/crafters. My mother also crochets (I bow down to her afghans). My  maternal grandmother embroidered beautiful pictures, and my paternal grandmother  made plastic canvas doodads that are still treasured today. I have an aunt that  is a cross-stitch fiend, an aunt who makes jewelry even though she’s blind, and  a cousin that also paints and makes gorgeous jewelry pieces.

What kinds of  places have you displayed your craft in your life?
Actually, this is really my  first venture into displaying/selling my work. I tried to sell my soaps on Etsy  for a while, but their policies really turned me off. I’m hoping someday to  perhaps be a part of a local gallery, but first I have to get up the courage to  ask.

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?
Well, my  “day job” is working at a group home for MR/DD individuals as direct support  staff. I help them with all aspects of daily living, from hygiene and self help  skills to learning how to function in the community. When I’m not at work or  making something, you can find me spending time with my husband, at my friend\’s  organic farm helping out (or hanging out, depending on the day), or about a  dozen other things.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
That’s a tough question. Almost like asking a parent to choose their favorite  child. Still, if push came to shove, I’d have to pick Seascape No. 2  as my overall favorite.

image

Why did you make that piece?
I’m constantly dreaming  of the ocean, and it’s just a little island I’ve seen in my dreams. It was so  beautiful that I just had to paint it. Unfortunately, my hands can’t always  capture the full beauty of the things in my mind, but I try.

What does it  take to create pieces like that?
A willingness to turn a screw-up into a happy  accident, and the guts to throw the “rules” of art out of the nearest window.

What is special about your pieces?
The fact that I made them! Wow, that  sounds egotistical. Haha! Seriously, though, I believe that they’re special  because I’m willing to experiment with conventional ideas, twist them, and turn  them into my own. Instead of just crocheting a bag, I’ll add a little something  extra. If I’m out with my camera, I’ll look for things that aren’t obvious to  the masses before I snap. (One example is The Mossy Grove.

image

This was taken on Grandfather Mountain, which is a popular nearby tourist  destination. Most folks only take photos of the view from the mountain and of  the animals they have in their sanctuary. I did, too, but I also looked around  me a little more, and found this beautiful little grove on the side of the road.  I just had to snap the photo!) Basically, they’re special because they have my  own personal touches.

What makes this kind of craft “good” to you?
All of  my art, whether it’s visual or creating something handmade, is a creative  outlet and a stress release for me. I get upset, I grab some yarn. Feeling blue,  grab the camera. Bored? That’s why there’s duct tape! Creating is a way for me  to unwind and take a little “me” time in this all-too-hectic world.

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