Friday, October 17, 2008

Geek of the Week # 5 - Spamberly

Geek of the Week #5 – Spamberly

My mother taught me how to cross stitch when I was a young girl and I remember getting very bored very quickly doing samplers so I stopped doing cross stitch. Well, I found someone who makes such fun funky cross stitches that it makes me want to pick up my needles and give it another try. Let me introduce you to Spamberly!

1. Who are you, where are you from and how long have you been crafting?I’m an Upstate New York girl who moved to Boston in 1997 for college and I decided to stick around awhile. My mom was a quilter and always encouraged creativity, so I’ve been crafting since I had hand-eye coordination. Cross stitch was probably one of the first needle/thread crafts I did seriously as a youngster. I began with pre-packaged cross stitched kits but they got so boring. I wanted to make stuff for my friends that pushed the envelope a little. So I began designing my own patterns with a pencil and graph paper. I got super serious about designing work to sell when I broke my leg and had a few months to sit on my ass and think about stuff.

2. Do you craft for a specific genre of geek (ie. sci-fi, gaming, horror, math, fantasy, music, etc…)Yeah, I’ll watch Star Trek if it’s on. I don’t, like, seriously plan it out or anything. I get that Uhura is hot. I don’t dress up like her on weekends or anything. I get that Bones is always trying to get in on Kirk and Spock’s friendship. Poor Bones. He’ll never infiltrate that shit!My work probably attracts people who are a lot like me because if I don’t get some kind of personal satisfaction from a particular piece, I would never have made it in the first place. My work is a reflection of my life and interests and if another person taps into the same, that’s cool. If not, please don’t send me hate mail. It’s getting old.I managed to land a great job at the geekiest university in the Western hemisphere. It is vibrant and youthful and full of socially awkward people who get off on math equations like the one Matt Damon solved in that movie. It’s a diverse and supportive place to be and gives me a lot of ideas for new stitcheries.

3. What was the first “geekey” craft you ever made?This question is impossible for me to answer. Too many years of weirdness coupled with too many odd crafts. There’s just no way to know the true answer and I cannot consciously lie to you by giving a cutesy tale of my very first oddity.

4. What inspires you to craft?Cross stitch is a very old, traditional craft and I like the idea of giving it a new voice. Although I don’t deliberately focus on it too much, there is a political aspect to what I do. Cross stitch has been fused to femininity for a long, long time. I really enjoy putting little cracks in that traditional image. I want to stitch words or pictures that are provocative in some way. I’m looking for a reaction from the viewer – from giggles to utter disgust.But, in a more general sense, my own everyday life is what inspires me most. Conversations with friends. Rock Operas. Water. Connections. Rejection. Fear. Protest. The Golden Girls. Anger. Legislation. Gleaming the Cube. Europe. Yard sales. Love. Jim Henson. Dark alleys. Hunter S. Thompson. Guilt. The woods. Neil Young. Honesty. Bombs. Victimless crimes. Moods. Sex. Silence.

5. Where can we find your crafts (website, shows, blogs, etc.) (Please note some of Spamberly's creations do contain mature content)

6. Anything else you'd like to share?The most accomplished feeling I can think of is to begin with a small idea and make it into a tangible, physical object that expresses me in some way. The reason I am so passionate about cross stitch is because it is a marriage of my skills and my opinions. It goes from idea to pattern to finished piece to its home on a wall or tabletop or Christmas tree. An idea becomes a physical object that will most likely last several lifetimes. Whether many crafters are conscious of it or not, their work is probably going to be part of this world long after they have left it. There is something morbid, beautiful and strange about that that keeps me doing what I do.

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