Josette is a stunning beauty. She looks as though she walked out of a Titian painting. She laughs and nudges and she counsels with gentle humor. And she creates sparkly batts of spinning wool and texturally exquisite yarns that are so enchanting you simply want to stand in her sphere of energy. Sound over the top? Wait until you meet her and you’ll see this description is far from exaggerated.
Luckily for us, Josette is also an extremely generous artist who volunteered this winter to help bring the best spinning to this year’s Fiber College. She’ll be offering two classes (Thursday’s Totally Batty and Sunday’s Spinning Beehives and Coils) and she influenced some of our other stellar spinners to join in the fun.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of being with Josette in person, here are a few of her interview responses…and then look for her in the Vendor’s Boulevard during the weekend.
Presumably you’ve been an artist all your life; when and how did you decide to label yourself as one?
Way too far down the road. I don’t fully understand why, though I’m starting to, calling myself an artist was so difficult. It was one of those things that I felt I needed to be invited to do. So, I waited and waited and waited. And, long after many of my friends, colleagues and wonderful customers continued to call me the “A” word, I finally realized it was okay for me to do it, too. I have to admit, though, I still get nervous about it. Sometimes, I still have a nervous giggle when responding to the heavy question, “what do you do?”
(fc interviewpic2) here
If your life were a box of paints, would you be pastel colors, jewel tones, flesh tones or black, white and shades of grey?
I’d be dark, deep jewel tones. This is partly because I love color to be intense and jewel tones are the way I roll but also because with jewel tones and a bit of white you can make any other colors you want. When I started dyeing, I started with a basic set of colors. I’ve ventured some since then but I still prefer to create my own by mixing colors together.
(fc interview pic 3 here)
If you could have any mode of transportation in the world, how would you get from place to place? Definitely teleporting! I waste way too much valuable knitting time driving from place to place.
Do you make a living with your art?
Yes. It’s not an extravagant living. I work long hours and don’t get days off. BUT, I get to work around the people I love and I do something I feel passionately about and get to be creative whenever I want to which is a huge gift that I am thankful for on a daily basis.
What is your preferred environment when you’re in a creative mood?
It depends on what I’m creating. On dye days, it’s my dye studio with my favorite sneakers on, some good music that makes me feel like dancing and an old t-shirt that I don’t mind sloshing with colors. On spinning, felting, crafting days, it might include a cool room, bare feet, something entertaining or inspiring to watch or listen to, and my favorite colors spilled all over a bunch of great fiber. On batt carding days? Close the door to the studio, plug in an audio book and start wildly blending colors, sparkles, and spices.
What do you wish you could do?
Live, without being grumpy or super silly, on less than 4 hours of sleep each night. The whole sleeping issue really conflicts with my work schedule and, all too often, eats up my creative time.
(fc interviewpic 1 here)
Name five adjectives that best describe you at your best:
Honest, Tenacious, Compassionate, Resourceful, Creative
Are you currently working in “the perfect” studio? What does your perfect creative space look like? What would we find in the drawers and cabinets?
My studio is far from perfect. I like to tell myself it’s a work in progress but it really is a land of chaos most of the time. Now, if we can drift off into fantasy for a moment, my dream studio is highly organized, thus deleting the 47 times a week I spend frantically looking for (insert material of the moment here) and near panicking until I finally (and, you know, why is it always in the last drawer/box/cubby you look in?) find it and swear to myself that I’m going to get everything organized before my next big deadline. ‘Tis folly, though. I generally have a tight work schedule so I finish a project and the next big deadline is already in sight leaves little time for great big organization schemes. Still, I want wall to wall shelves, drawers, a big table to do EVERYTHING on and all of my supplies will just zoom back to their respective spots when I’m done with them.
With the tap of a magic wand, you can go anywhere and study with anyone, time is of no essence, what are you doing and with whom?
I’m standing in front of a canvas with Van Gogh. A cool breeze is drifting in and we are sharing some great wine and have all the colors we can dream up laid out before us. Then, we just start painting. I don’t know how this translates into reality because he is clearly painting on a canvas and I’m painting on a wool canvas but, somehow, we both use the same paints and our varying mediums don’t seem to have any effect on the outcome.
When was the last time you laughed at yourself?
Five minutes ago. It will happen again so, if you have a few minutes, stick around! LOL. It helps to get through the rocky spots of days, don’t you think. Well, that and a little art yarn spinning do it for me.
How many projects do you generally have going at one time?
If you don’t count, you don’t worry. I’m overly responsible in most areas of my life but in my knitting and spinning works in progress, I fully embrace the notion that, when it comes to “how many,” ignorance is most surely bliss.
Want to find more ways of connecting with Josette? She’s on Ravelry as “farm-witch”
On Facebook: Josette McWilliams
On Twitter: EnchantedKnoll