BeckLee Cottage Designs

Supporting Art and the Planet

Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads

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 Wow, I am so excited this is our first time for featuring a weaver and a man! There are not that many guys on Etsy and I have only known one other male weaver from years ago.  You must read about Matt, he has overcome some unique challenges in life and turn lemon's into lemonade. Thanks to the fantastic Faith Deal for sending Matt to my attention. If you check out his Esty shop you will see that he has a wide variety or items, styles and colors. There is something very comforting about his work and I am not sure why I say that but it is. I love the purple purse it is just too cute. 
so read on 
BL
iusb 760x100.8259968 Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads
Where is your hometown? and current location?
I'm originally from Upstate New York, in the Finger Lakes region.  I've lived in a grand total of seven states thus far, up and down the east coast.  Currently, I live in Columbus, Ohio and have been here for 11 years -- the longest I've lived in a single state.
il 570xN.253518572 Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads  What do you like about where you live now?
I never thought I'd live in Ohio, but Columbus has really grown on me. It's funny -- if you listen to the news or to the weather channel you'll hear Cincinnati and Cleveland mentioned all the time, but Columbus seems to be a well-kept secret!  The cost of living is rather low and given the core industries here are banking, insurance, and government, unemployment is lower than the national average. We have a couple of weeks in the winter when it's really cold and, although this year is an exception, usually a couple of weeks which are too hot in the summer.  The rest of the year is pretty moderate. Although I think the thing I like best about Columbus is its diversity and the exposure we have to people and cultures from around the world. Given that The Ohio State University (TM) is located here, we have a very large student population from around the world.  Without that it'd be very staid and boring, I fear. However, I can take my daughter to a playground or play area and there will often be children there of many ethnicities, faiths, and other backgrounds -- the kids don't care, they just want to play.  It's really neat to see how little external differences matter to them.
Do you work outside of the home?
Yes; I work in Information Technology -- it's something I enjoy and it pays the bills.  However, I find myself being seduced more and more by fiber and weaving; I presently plan to make it my "retirement job".  I have a number of people at work, too, who are supportive of me and like it when I come in and "show and tell". il 570xN.121953074 Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads What inspires you? Wow. There's a lot here. Sometimes it's colour. Sometimes it's patterns. Sometimes textures.  Other times I want to work around and/or escape the limitations of a medium -- I may see something which is knit or crocheted and wonder how to do it in weaving - often I can come up with a solution. Sometimes I'll start out with a theme, like a season. Books and websites can provide inspiration, too -- seeing what other artists have made on Etsy can give me ideas, too!
How did you begin with your art?
When I was younger, I had the opportunity to play with a loom belonging to one of my great-aunts during a summer visit.  That planted a seed. I've been crafty for many years, although admittedly for a long time my medium of choice was metalworking.  A few years ago, I developed a neurological disorder which causes me to have an involuntary twitch/jerking of muscles -- at its worst, I've hit myself in the face.  Additionally, I lost dexterity. Trying to use a torch while twitching scares me.  Knitting is right out, too...  So, I picked up weaving and have been having a blast since!
il 570xN.121898819 Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads Are you more creative in the morning or evening?
I'd have to say generally evening. Unless a creative fit strikes and I'm up around the clock, that is.
What do you do for fun?
I read, play on the computer, programme, cook, play with my daughter, sew, and weave. I try to stay busy.
How would you describe your experience with Etsy?
Mixed.  I've found that Etsy is a fickle mistress -- as long as you pay attention to her, you'll get attention back.  However, ignore her and she will ignore you as well.  I think that in order to be successful on Etsy, you need to make a conscious choice and commitment to being successful on Etsy.  It may be that once you've established a baseline you might be able to maintain that baseline without a lot of work, but I have not reached that point as yet.
il 570xN.252558071 Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads Do you participate in any Etsy teams?
Yes -- several.  Some of them are more active than others.  I do find with my time being limited that I'm not participating in the teams as much as I might.  I'm torn between creating and marketing. Although some forms of marketing are more lucrative in terms of ROI than others.
Do you sell your products on other sites?
Not as yet, no.
il 570xN.259730042 Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads Do you sell in Etsy BNR’s? What do you like or dislike about the experience?
Yes, I do. In terms of my likes, I've found that they can be a good (and relatively low cost if your buy-in is something you need or want to give as a gift) way to get exposure.  A number of my sales have been a result of exposure I've gained in the BNR's.  Also BNR's are a good way to build relationships and to get to know other artists on Etsy.  I've been added to a number of circles and had quite a few items favorited as a result of my participation in BNR's. Drawbacks, to my mind, would be that they are somewhat incestuous -- you see the same people involved in them all the time and they often purchase from each other.  They can be almost a form of gambling -- you make a sale, then roll it into more rounds in the BNR, hoping to make more sales. It might be helpful to participate in a variety of BNR's -- there seem to be core members of each one, although there are some who participate in a number of BNR's. One other potential thing with BNR's is that they require time in order to effectively participate -- this is often time which could be spent crafting. il 570xN.259769235 Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads Also, it's been my experience that smaller items tend to do better in BNR's.  I have a mix of prices in my shop -- anywhere from $5 to $150. People seem to be looking for bargains in BNR's -- it is typical for sellers to offer discounts.  So, unless you have good margins, you might find that your BNR sales, other than being promotional in nature, may not be a good long-term strategy.
 If you have other sites, blogs, facebook etc, please list your links here.
I blog about fiber related topics at http://woven-threads.net My facebook page for my weaving is at http://www.facebook.com/WovenThreads
If you would like to please recommend another shop that you would like to see featured here.
I've pointed a couple of people your way -- I'll send some more. Thank you for this opportunity, I really appreciate it! Matt

Technorati Tags: beckleecottagedesigns, colors, columbus, feature section, handcrafted, handmade, newyork, ohio, Tuesday Feature, weaving, woventhreads

Author: admin

Blogger,writer,longtime Anglophile,social media manager,crafter,art lover,mother,geek, nerd, organic gardener, political activist,history fan and any science fiction. I think for myself did not drink the kool-aid. And now publishing books on Amazon Kindle

2 Comments

  1. Wow! Looks like you've found an IT co-hort to 'talk techie' with, BeckLee! I had no idea!

    Loved this interview... makes me feel as if I actually know Matt now! I just knew you and your readers would find his creations appealing. I'm itching to get my fingers on one of his gorgeous woven & felted hair accessories! (But guess I 'd have to comb the clay dust out of my mop, then, eh?)

    A delightful addition, and informative, as always!

    My best to you Matt,
    Faith Ann

  2. thanks for the comments Faith and thanks for send Matt my way.

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