Artist Interview: Amy Nichols & Alison Olds

African Queen by Allison Olds and Amy Nichols

African Queen by Allison Olds and Amy Nichols

Amy & Alison have created a reputation in the Mid Coast Maine area for colorful designs that integrate texture in surprising ways.  Together they have tried most fabric arts and combine their skills to offer a Fiber College class on Felted Beads for Necklaces, Sunday afternoon.

Turquoise and Magenta Necklace by Allison Olds and Amy Nichols

Turquoise and Magenta Necklace by Allison Olds and Amy Nichols

To develop our own style we brainstorm together and on our own. We often use color and design to influence our paths. We explore many different materials and techniques. We are always looking for new ways to create something new and exciting.

If a friend were to describe our style, she /he would say that it was eclectic, colorful, intricate, precise, and eye-catching.

Our backgrounds are very diverse. Alison is originally from a small town in Scotland. She came to the United States at 18 and has lived in Maine for about 40 years. She and her husband have owned and operated a growing business. She has explored many creative outlets such as counted cross-stitch, stained glass, painting, knitting, quilting, and most recently jewelry making. Amy was born in San Francisco, but traveled extensively with her family, and spent several memorable years in Afghanistan. She met her husband while going to college in Alaska and has lived in Maine for almost 40 years. She has just retired from 34 years of teaching. Her creative pursuits have included embroidery, rug braiding, knitting, quilting, and most recently jewelry making.

Hilltop Tranquility

Hilltop Tranquility

Our early work tended to be more traditional. We have both transitioned into making art quilts with more focus on color and contemporary design. Our jewelry started with many classes in basic techniques and has also become more intuitive and exploratory.

We have gained a lot of satisfaction selling our jewelry in a local craft cooperative. We enjoy exploring and displaying many jewelry-making innovations and receiving customer feedback.

Three Vases by Allison Olds and Amy Nichols

Three Vases by Allison Olds and Amy Nichols

We have very different, but inspiringly complementary, styles of working. Alison tends to thrive in “creative chaos” in her large new studio, while Amy is more comfortable with “creative organization” in her smaller space (soon to be expanded).

Tan and purple necklace by Amy Nichols and Allison Olds

Tan and purple necklace by Amy Nichols and Allison Olds

 

At a party, in answer to the question “so what you do,” we would have very similar responses. We would say that our immediate futures will permit much more in-studio time for new and expanded creative explorations.

Our dream is to have extended periods of time to increase our creative collaborations, weaving together our individual strengths and talents.

Both of us would not like to do without the support of our husbands, our animal menageries, our neighboring homes on our beautiful rural hilltop, and our friendship.

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