Fernworks is a first-timer at The Handmade Market this Saturday, and we’re happy to have her! She’s traveled all over the world studying her craft and has recently moved back home to Asheville with her husband, son, and two big kitties. Show her a warm Raleigh welcome, please and thank you!
How did you pick your shop/business name? “Fern” was my nickname growing up in the NC mountains, a sort of abbreviated, southern version of “Faryn.” When I was studying art in college, a friend jokingly suggested that if I ever started a business, I should call it “Fernworks.” It was kind of my silly, “make believe” business name for awhile, but as I started making jewelry and painting full time while living in Seattle nine years ago, it seemed to be the obvious choice and has stuck ever since!
Did you have another career or vocation before art+design? I was a gallery attendant at the Henry Gallery in Seattle for several years. In other words, I was the one who would yell at you if you touched the artwork. Before that: prep cook, barista, real estate appraisal assistant, figure model for life drawing classes, hostess at a restaurant in Glacier National Park in Montana, housecleaner at a rest home, ice cream scooper, etc. I also own a mobile espresso caravan with my husband in Asheville called “Ursa Minor Coffee.”
What’s the best unedited advice you could give to an artist just getting started? Firstly, create work that is uniquely yours and create / craft it really, really well! Have realistic but specific goals and go after them — whether it be showing in galleries, craft shows, or doing wholesale. Network with other artists/crafters who are doing what you’d like to do, and know your market.
If you were going to start all over, what would you do differently? Probably not much. Every little mistake and weird experience has led me down the path I’m on now, and I’m pretty psyched to be able to do what I love all the the time!
Tell us about your favorite hometown place(s). I live in Asheville, so definitely The Bywater. It’s this really great bar down by the river with a huge open yard, lawn games, food trucks, grills, swings, and live music. On warm evenings, it’s like being at someone’s amazing backyard party. You can even kayak or tube on the river and get out there. I also love all the amazing food in Asheville and the River Arts District with all its hidden studios, cafes, and microbreweries by the train tracks.
What three words best describe your style? Delicate. Dreamy. Earthy.
What are your three most prized possessions? Hmmm, This is silly, but probably my stepdad’s weird antler collection (he’s a deer hunter), my random art collection, and maybe this old quilt-y looking upholstered chair I once found.
If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and what would you serve? That’s hard. Probably author Annie Dillard. Maybe I’d cook up some Greek spanakopita or something.