Meet the Maker: Amy Dustan, from Summit Rd Fibers
We love working with artists, illustrators, knit & crochet designers, dyers...really, makers of all kinds. We bring you this “Meet the Maker” series so you can learn more about the wonderful folks we are lucky enough to collaborate with.
Recently, we worked on a custom yarn project with Amy Dustan of Summit Rd Fibers. She hand dyed some lovely merino wool to coordinate with our Indigo & Coral Collection of bags, pouches and notebooks. Read more about her, below.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and your creative life.
A: I’ve always been a crafter. I’ve been into beading, paper crafting, embroidery, sewing -- you name it, I have probably tried it. But I also have an analytical side to my thinking, and I was always told that the analytical side was more important.
In college I lost count of how many times I researched design schools, wanting to switch. But I didn’t, and I graduated in the Finance realm of business. I enjoyed working with numbers, but the actual work was so boring. I always come to creativity first.
When life happened, I quit my job. Being a stay at home mom (and highly encouraged by my husband) allowed me to explore crafts with more depth. The moment I bought my first hand dyed yarn, I was hooked. I knew that was what I wanted to do. I love that creativity is first, but the chemistry of dyeing is right there, sitting next to creativity. To be able to get the look, and color movement you envision, you need to understand (some) of the chemistry.
Q: What art / craft supplies / tools do you love the most?
A: Let’s just be honest -- I am an office supply-aholic. I loooove colored pens, yes, I color code a LOT. I love notebooks and sticky notes, cute push pins and paperclips. I really don’t have much use for them anymore, so I restrain myself.
As for fiber arts favorites -- easily the top of my list is my Gingher Embroider Scissors with gold handle. MissPurl’s tins are the best for everything. Coffee bean stitch markers by CherylMarieHandmade and geometric markers by Thistle and Hart. I love my Streamline hooks by Furls and my vintage Boye needles with all the bright colors!
Q: How do you get your creative juices flowing when you start something new?
A: First, I just dive in...even if I start with nonsense in a journal, or just putting color on a canvas. It doesn’t matter, I can edit and fine tune later. If that doesn’t work, grab a coffee, take a walk and set a timer to get started. It’s worth it to just go for it.
Q: When you’re working on a creative project, do you like to listen to things, watch things, or have radio silence?
A: I love to listen to music while I work, unless my kids are busy talking. Then that is chaos and I turn the music off to focus. Most of the time I listen to indie pop, instrumentals, or podcasts. I have a pretty wide variety podcasts, from The Bible Project and The Goal Digger, to The Moms & Murder Podcast. I’ll sometimes watch Hulu or Prime when I’m relax knitting, not for a deadline.
Q: Who are the artists/artisans that inspire your work?
A: Honestly? Children’s book illustrators. I love the vibrancy of colors, imagination, and no-wrong-combination that lures you into the story. Since I’ve started studying color theory, I have also been paying close attention to painters, and how they mix colors to create realistic images, often by mixing colors you’d never expect.
Q: Are there special places you visit that you find inspirational?
A: I used to have a spot on the side of a hill on my parents’ property where I could sit for hours, but I no longer have access to that spot. So now, when the sun is shining, I’ll sit among trees with a view of Mt. St. Helens, or Mt. Rainier (my favorite) and just watch. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but I hold onto those precious days.
See the lovely cakes she created? Check out our full collection of her yarn here.