Champaign resident Anne Potter is the new featured artist at VK! Her jewelry is currently featured in the Fall issue of “Stringing Magazine” and in the “101 Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings” issue, too.
Don’t forget to stop by and check out a special display of her jewelry!
How long have you been creating?
For as long as I can remember. One of my first memories is stacking two chairs on top of each other to reach two jars of tempra paint that my mother had bought for my brother’s art project. I mixed the black and the white to paint several gray “alligators” on sheets and sheets of newspaper. My mom was less than impressed with this early endeavor, even though I still think it showed my artistic potential.
How did you get into making your creations?
While always artistic, I think my path was directed by my mom. Without her fabric scrap box and utter refusal to buy me pretty art supplies, I wouldn’t have the creative resources that I rely on in my art today. When I was decorating my dollhouse for Christmas one year, I wanted a little bottle-brush Christmas tree from the hobby store. My mom refused and said something like, “No. Make do with what you have.” So I fashioned a tree out of wire branches glued into a wooden thread spool. I crayon-colored paper for the greenery, cutting lengths of tiny paper fringe and glued it to each wire branch. I felt my tree was too Charlie Brown, (and still wanted the store-bought bottle brush tree) but this do-it-yourself attitude guides my work every day.
Describe your creative process.
I create art around my real life of raising five kids. Art is my passion, but it is very second-place. I save full-on creative time for nighttime, after the kids are in bed. All day long, I store up ideas of projects or pieces, color combinations, new materials to try, etc., and then at bedtime, they all tumble forth and I get to work. I work at my coffee table, watching travel shows on TV, with a glass of wine. After I finish a piece, I show it to my husband who politely smiles and says, “Nice.”
What drew you to your chosen medium?
While I work in a lot of different media, I mainly make jewelry now because it’s so gratifying. I love that I can pull together beautiful beads and metal and make a piece in an evening (which is about 1/100 of the time it takes me to make a quilt). I’ve also found that making jewelry suits my scatter-brained nature. In jewelry making I can quickly move on to a new piece, whereas in knitting, for example, my ADD just leaves me with an unfinished sweater.
What inspires you?
Travel mainly. I suffer from wanderlust and I have long loved the exotic styles from foreign cultures. Thai pagodas, Mexican Milagros, Norwegian stavekirkes and Viking ships, Indian block printing and mendhi designs, Hungarian embroidery, Morroccan souks, Maori tattoos, the Australian outback, and Japanese gardens.
What do you do when you’re not making art?