In today’s installment of Meet the Maker, we’re going to hear from fiber artist Hannah of Handmade by Hannah in Reno, NV.
Hannah Merritt Woods | Handmade by Hannah | Reno, NV
What does being a Maker mean to you?
I define a maker as someone who takes basic or raw material and turns it into something else – a fresh act of creation. I would also define a maker as an artist, as most acts of creating come from passion, vision, and inspiration.
What kind of making do you do?
Inspiration and passion take many different forms – for me that for is fiber (wool, cotton, linen, etc.) That means I take raw wool, process it (washing, carding, etc), then spin it into yarn. I also take that yarn, as well as commercial yarn, and make various items in different ways. Each item, while intended to be sold, still has meaning to me and I consider each piece a work of art. Some are more artistic than others.
What’s your favorite part about being a Maker? What’s your least favorite part about being a Maker?
Some of my favorite parts of this passion are the quiet moments thinking about a new project – what could I make, what material will I use, how will it look, who will end up using it or wearing it? My least favorite side is the business end of things – while I enjoy talking with people about my craft and passion, I still have to have an income, and being an introvert at heart makes interacting on that level pretty exhausting. Fortunately, I have time at home to renew. That time also allows plenty of time to do whatever project I want.
Where do you find inspiration as a Maker?
A lot of my inspiration come from other similar artists, but also from nature – the particular shade of purple on an iris, the gray of a quail, the many, many shades of green that abound in Reno in the spring. A soft merino yarn has been the basis for several projects based on its feel alone. And currently I’m working with a handspun Shetland lace yarn that is a wonderful light shade of gray – the lace shawl inspired itself!
Tell us about the last thing you saw/read/learned about that made you say, “Wow!”
This shawl is simply amazing! I saw it and said, “Wow!” This artist’s work is wonderful…definitely a recent inspiration to my making process.
What is your favorite material to use?
Oil paints and canvas are pretty great, but digital painting, using a tablet and pen, are much more practical and accessible.
Where are your thoughts on Reno’s burgeoning Maker community?
I’m excited to be a part of this movement – making, being a maker, talking to others about it, encouraging budding makers to go for it and just do it – it’s what Reno is all about. While yes, there are other industries that employ a lot more people, those people need hobbies. Hobbies turn into passion, inspiration, and encouragement for others. There is a real need for all different kinds of art and their artists. Buying local, buying handmade – that’s what a lot of people are looking for and I’m glad to facilitate a small part of that.