For The Love Of Craft: Carrie Goff
Carrie Goff, 3D Embroidery, Charlottesville, Virginia
Carrie has been drawn to creating since her early childhood. Working in many different mediums, she has found that embroidery gives her a balance with the freedom to explore contemporary mixed media and the structure of using very traditional types of stitches.
Have you always wanted to be an artist? What inspired you to start creating?
I’ve been drawing and oil painting since I was very young. My mother taught me a lot of the basics, as well as teaching me embroidery. I was always impressed with the ease with which she approached most anything artistic. I can still hear her voice saying in my head “you don’t stifle creativity,” and I think that over the years it’s become a sort of mantra in my life to keep trying new things thanks to her. And I love that that honors the tradition of pursuing this handmade art that’s been taught from ancestor to ancestor through so many generations.
Where do you find inspiration?
I love learning very traditional stitch techniques. As I try them out, I mull over in my head what else the texture that it creates makes me think of in modern times. My coffee bean pieces came from learning the bullion stitch, for example. Recently, I’ve studied 17th century button covering techniques and used that over wooden beads to create cacti for my succulent pieces.
How have you, as an artist, found your creative voice?
I believe very much that it’s only when we experience change that we experience growth. So I stay open to trying new things. I’ve embroidered on cottons, linens, tulle and canvas. I’ve also used pearl cottons and satin threads. I’ve incorporated beads and wooden shapes in to my pieces. I think my favorite, however, is a nod to my painterly roots in adding colors as the final touch to some of my succulent pieces.
Where do you create your artwork?
I have a recently renovated studio at home that I work in every day. One wall is all windows that looks out at trees and mountains, and my windowsill is full of my potted succulents.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?
Explore, explore, explore! I am a firm believer that when we experience change is when we experience growth. I think that you do need to try new things, read new books, try out a new class, or even just talk to other artists. You need to be open to exploring all sorts of possibilities on this journey of making your craft.
How do you build community as an artist? How has the creative community helped you grow and share your art?
You have to support your peers. I believe in celebrating their success, giving encouragement and even sharing ideas and asking questions.
What artists inspire you? Do you have any favorite blogs, artists, or social media accounts that you’d like to share?
Georgina Bellamy, of That Embroidery Girl on Instagram has probably been my biggest admiration since I’ve started embroidery. Her sculptures are incredible, as well as the colors and the texture. Georgina also really believes in sharing techniques and encouraging others to just start trying.
What are you most excited about right now?
I have some work that I’m saving for the holidays that it is so hard for me to not share now, instead of waiting closer to the actual season. It’s a new thread for me to use, and it all just came together better than I could have planned. It’s a culmination of things that I’ve learned from my succulent pieces, and my water lily pieces. I feel lie it really ties all of my work together.
What are your goals and aspirations for your business?
I’d really like to expand from Etsy to my own website, and it’s a big dream of mine to create kits for more dimensional embroidery. My big BIG dream is to have my work published, I think that there is a whole realm of possibilities that exist for this type of embroidery that is similar to stumpwork, but is very much its own style.
For more on Carrie Goff, check out her website and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. All photos provided by Carrie Goff.