Michelle somehow manages to be an art professor, a serious artist/crafter, and full-time wife and mom (soon to be of three). Through all of this she still creates fresh, new works that have a flavor uniquely hers. And her fiber goods, such as her reworked fabric jewelry and pillows, are stunning. If jurors were allowed to have booths at Indie Craft Parade in September, she'd sell out quickly.
Indie Craft Parade: In your art as well as crafts, you have a tendency to turn trash in to treasures. What's the oddest thing you've incorporated into one of your pieces?
Michelle: I don't know if these would seem particularly odd to people who practice mixed media: a little dutch boy had to give up his head to a brooch, and a little angel had to lose her wings...all for a good cause. I've stitched bones into a piece. The finished products look must less sinister than they sound. My work is anything but Halloween-ish, however.
Indie Craft Parade: The gap between art and craft is continually growing smaller. Is this a trend that you embrace in your own work, or do you think of your fine art work as a separate endeavor from your crafts?
Michelle: My paintings tend to look very different from my "crafts". I could see them merging more eventually, though. I don't think it is very useful or interesting to try to keep the arts and crafts apart if they want to intersect or blend. The most rewarding handmade objects to me--whether "arts" or "crafts"--are thought provoking, meaningful, well-executed, and have a little bit of wow-factor.
Indie Craft Parade: Who is an artist that you currently find inspiring?
Michelle: As far as no-longer-living artists, I always really enjoy looking at the work of Rothko and Rauschenberg. I really like the way they used paint, and how their work makes you think of space, format, and materials. As far as living artists who make objects for everyday use, I'm always really captivated by the things the artists at ShopSCAD make. It's really fresh and fun.