Meet Angie Saylor of Allen Park, MI. Angie is the talent behind Gossamer Tangles, and she is all about creating crocheted, one-of-a-kind jewelry, scarves, and bags. Angie says she can't remember a time in her life when she wasn't making something with her hands. Her mom and grandmother instilled a love of needle arts of all kinds. She started sewing Barbie clothes and embroidering cross stitch pictures when she was in third grade. In fifth grade, Angie's grandmother taught her to crochet, and she fell in love with it.
Gossamer Tangles is an outgrowth of Angie's love of crochet and handcrafting and her deep fascination with color and texture. Gossamer Tangles focuses on using color, texture, mixed materials, and unique designs through crochet and various other techniques to create one-of-a-kind, wearable art. She finds that conceiving a design in her mind and bringing it to life between her fingers instills a unique mix of wonder, excitement and satisfaction.
What do you remember wanting to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a variety of things. The first thing I remember wanting to be was an astronomer (I loved learning about the stars and planets), then a teacher, then an ornithologist (I enjoyed raising a baby bird in middle school), then a writer (I would still like to write my novel), and, finally, a lawyer (which is what I ultimately became). But throughout my life, I have always enjoyed creating! I've done painting, sewing, all kinds of needle arts, and creative writing since I was a very young child.
What inspired you to start creating your art work & how did you turn it into a business?
I've been creating things with my hands for as long as I can remember. Crochet has always been my favorite medium. Several years ago, I started seeing what other artists were doing with wire crochet, and I began experimenting with my own designs and playing with different fibers and beads. When I turned my artwork into a business, I was inspired by two circumstances that coincided in my life: 1. My very talented, Autistic son needed more of my time than I could give while I tried to meet the time demands of a full-time law practice, and 2. People began asking me if I would make jewelry and accessories for them after they saw some of the designs that I had started creating with wire, fiber and beads.
The way I came up with the name for my business, Gossamer Tangles, is kind of interesting. Originally, I decided to name my business Kismet. I chose the name based on the old musical, Kismet, and my favorite song from that film, "Baubles, Bangles and Beads." For me, the song created an association between the word Kismet and beaded jewelry. However, when I decided to expand my business, I discovered there were already several Kismet jewelry businesses. So, I came up with the idea of Gossamer Tangles based on Oscar Wilde's poem, In the Gold Room - A Harmony, that uses the phrase "gossamer tangles." Below is an excerpt:
...Like the delicate gossamer tangles spun
On the burnished disk of the marigold,
Or the sunflower turning to meet the sun
When the gloom of the dark blue night is done...
What makes your art work unique or distinctive?
Color and texture are of primary importance in each of my creations. I want people to buy my work because they feel and affinity with it, a connection that gives them a feeling of "I really love this". One of the main reactions I get from people seeing my creations for the first time is "Wow! Your work is so unique. I've never seen anything like it!" I love that reaction! I think the way that I mix a variety of materials within the same piece (such as wire, beads, and fiber in a necklace) and the interesting color and texture combinations that result give my creations a distinctive look and feel.
What do you enjoy doing besides making art?
I absolutely love to read fiction. I read every morning while I have my coffee and every evening before I go to sleep. I also enjoy feeding and watching the birds and other wildlife in my year, taking walks, creative cooking, and growing my own vegetables. Spending time with my children is one of my greatest joys. I am especially looking forward to getting to know my first grandchild, who is expected this coming January! Cuddling with our sweet pug, Yue Ying, and my cockatiel, Gnocchi (yes, he likes to cuddle up against my cheek and loves to be petted on his head), are also high on my list of enjoyable activities.
What do you most love about the creative process?
I think one of the things I enjoy most is the sensory input I get from the creative process. I love being surrounded by the beautiful colors of my materials, and I love the feeling of the different types of fibers, beads and metals that are incorporated in my work. It's like enjoying a sensory feast! The other component that I truly love is using my imagination to come up with new designs and new ways of using materials. It is so much fun to come up with a new design in my head and then see what happens when I try to bring that idea into material being in the real world.
What do you lest love about the business side of creating and selling art?
The paperwork and all that it entails (creating and keeping business records, figuring out taxes, etc.).
You can find lots of Angie's lovely crocheted jewelry and accessories at Yellow Door and online. Stay tuned for more fun and interesting facts about Angie all this week!
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