Meet Emily Wohlscheid of Battle Creek, Michigan. Emily is the artist behind Bricolage Studios, fused fibers and metals together to create unique handcrafted jewelry and art. Bricolage is defined as something that is made from materials that are readily available. All of her work, whether it's her jewelry, fiber batts and goods, or her handspun yarns, are created with items found, thrifted, fabricated, or from the earth. When she is not spinning or carding, you can find Emily often hammering at her workbench on her unique jewelry lines that incorporate metal, fiber, found, and natural objects.How long have you been creating your artwork?
I have been creating for as long as I can remember but my current body of work and jewlery lines have been my focus since graduating from Adrian College seven years ago with my BFA.
Do you have any notable awards or accomplishments?
I have received scholarships to study jewelry making techniques at both Penland School of Craft and Arrowmont School of Craft in 2007 and 2011 respectively. I've had the priveledge of designing and assisting middle school students in creating a kinetic metal sculpture at a local Battle Creek middle school. In 2011, a piece of my felt work was published in "500 Felted Objects: Creative Explorations of a Remarkable Material".What makes your art work unique or distinctive?
My focus for my undergrad was a dual one in both metal and fiber. When I graduated I began exploring these materials further and trying to figure out how I could combine them. When I learned how to spin yarn, it was with the intent of incorporating it into my jewelry somehow. I create all of my “production” work in small batches for a true one of a kind quality to stay intact. Between the hand dyed nature of the wool that I use for my felted and spun supplies in jewelry, there is already a unique, difficult to repeat aspect of my work. I treat the fiber as most jeweler's would treat a precious stone and place it as the focal point of my work. Hand stamped textures, warm patinas, and coordinating clasps really enhance the fibers. I design everything from start to finish and fabricate everything but the fine chains that I use in some works so each piece is a tiny work of art that I have put a lot of thought into.
What do you remember wanting to be when you grew up?
The first thing I recall wanting to be when I was young was a dentist. This obsession lasted quite some time until the craze of lawyer shows like Ally McBeal and The Practice were popular on television. I was convinced that I would be a lawyer throughout most of high school despite the fact that I was already spending most of my paychecks from slinging pizzas on jewelry making supplies. I truly think had my older sister not gone to college for Art, it never would have occurred to me as a possibility.
What inspired you to start creating your art work & how did you turn it into a business?
Doing anything other than continuing to create after graduating was not an option to me. Creating has always been an important part of my life and I knew it was what I wanted to do. Even though I was working a convenience store job, I knew that I wanted to find a way to streamline my working practices to turn creating into a business until I was/am able to go to graduate school. I'm still trying to figure things out, but after many art fairs, fiber festivals, reading several books on the subject, and selling online I finally feel like I can truly call Bricolage Studios a business.What do you most love about the creative process?
I really love seeing a design come to life. Typically I do not sketch my ideas and just like to dive in and allow the piece to evolve as it's own sketch. Despite an art degree, my drawing skills have never been my strong suit so figuring something out three dimensionally feels like home to me. My favorite thing once I have worked out any kinks in a design is to see a whole pile of components completed.What do you enjoy doing besides making art?
My husband and I really enjoy disc golfing although we have been unable to do so since the birth of my son. Spending time with the kiddos is a pretty great alternative though.
I like digging in my flowers and cooking/baking also.
Even though spinning is a big part of creating my work, when I want to unwind and do something non work related, I really enjoy spinning for personal/gifted knitting projects also.
Quotes you love or live by:
“Nothing will stop you from being creating so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.” - John Cleese
“If you're not getting happier as you get older, then you're f*ckin' up.” - Ani DiFranco
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy WarholYou can find lots of Emily's lovely jewelry at Yellow Door and online. Stay tuned for more fun and interesting info about Emily all this week!
Like learning about creative people in your community? Be sure to stay in the loop by signing up for our emails in the upper right hand corner of this site.