We’re crazy excited to introduce the first in a series of interviews with some of our craft crushes here at Renegade Handmade. Nicole Licht of Astulabee is a fiber artist who makes some of the most beautiful and awesomely detailed creatures we’ve seen. We’ve all been going bonkers for the brand-new batch of her pieces at the shop, and she was kind enough to give us a glimpse into her crafting world.
When did you first start crafting?
I suppose I was always pretty artsy crafty. I started making my own clothes in high school, went to an art school for college but really I only started making crafty things to sell about three years ago.
What is the story behind your business name?
Astulabee = astula (the Latin root for atelier) + bee, like sewing bee. It is kind of a silly name but I was really unclear about what I wanted to make when I first started and liked the idea of referencing an open studio.
What is your creative process?
Obsessive and slow, detail-oriented.
Do you have a best seller?
Im not sure that I have made enough of any one thing to make it a best seller; I tend to retire or redesign things after a while. I guess my woodland creatures have been around the longest and I have had a very lucky and sweet response to them.
Are you working on anything new that you’re particularly excited about?
Im always trying to figure out a way to incorporate some of the methods and materials Ive been using for my astulabee endeavors into a different context, scale or elevated form. Grrr … not so exciting, yet!
Who are your favorite artists or crafters?
I really like so much! A couple of my favorite artists/crafters this second include: Jimmy McBride, who makes insanely beautiful quilts. Im really taken with the paintings of Justin Mortimer. Looking at blogs like we make money not art and my love for you is a stampede of horses always provide a new and never ending supply of inspiration. Over the last three years, I have bumped shoulders with so many admirable crafty people out there doing their thing (I cant really list them all here,there are too many!). They are mentioned all over my blog.
What’s a typical working day for you?
Wake up 6:40 am, make my daughters breakfast and lunch, take out the dog, make coffee for my guy and myself, work 15 hrs pretty much straight (save for dog walks, grocery shopping and food prep) fall asleep around 1 am. No, Im joking um kinda.
Can you tell us something silly about yourself?
I recently discovered that the old TV show Freaks and Geeks is chock full of Cancerian actors save for Seth Rogan and James Franco, who are both Aries. This makes me weirdly satisfied since my household loved watching the full season on dvd and is full of Cancers (my daughter and me) and Aries (my boyfriend). I have a super thing for super basic astrology!
P.S. Nicole has the cutest dog ever. Adorable!