Nutmegs is a new shop on Etsy, but has a very cohesive, elegant feel to it. I really like her Autumn Walk Cable Clutches, so I asked Megan about them first.
"My Autumn Walk Cable Clutches are new designs of an item that I created for myself during my first Fall season in New York - it marked the months when I first fell in love with the city for all its sights, sounds and aromas.
The clutches are each original designs, and have not been duplicated. This type of design requires some math and geometry (yikes!), pattern-making, a lot of sewing, some basic woodworking and staining, and of course quite a bit of complicated knitting. The unique shape and style of the clutch is created by making several fabric and knit pieces which are later worked together with knitting, crocheting and sewing. The cable designs are worked on each side of the clutch; a relatively thin yarn and small knitting needles are used in order to create a tightly woven knitted fabric - this means lots of stitches! These clutches require the most adept skill of all Nutmegs Fall 2007 items, and are certainly the most time consuming - clocking in at an estimated 20 hours! They are intended, however, to present as simple yet elegant, unique and striking. My personal favorite aspect of the clutches are the contrast between the earthy knitted outer pieces and the elaborately patterned fabric linings."
I think everyone has a unique story about how and why they started knitting. This is hers:
"I grew up and attended high school in Chicago. As suggested by jokes and rumors, winters in Chicago are quite cold! When I was a sophomore in high school, the heat in my school building was inexplicably shut down for a short period of time. During this time, due to the silly no-coats-in-the-building policy, scarves instantly became an indoor wardrobe staple. It made me look at scarves in a whole new light, and I began scouring the city for unique pieces with a lot of personality. I was never able to find a scarf that I really loved, and immediately decided that I needed to learn to knit. I found all of the interesting independent yarn shops in the neighborhood and taught myself how to create the perfect scarf from the pages of an assortment of library books. And that was the beginning..."
What kinds of art/craft do you do?
The Fall 2007 collection currently in my shop features an eclectic assortment of knitting, embroidery, sewing, crochet, jewelry, and handmade paper. ...I’m excited to offer an ever-changing selection, full of surprises, which always represents my process, and contains lots of heart because it evolves alongside my own passions.
I’ve created art for most of my life, and obtained a minor in studio art... Some of my other favorite media are ceramics and sculptural arts, mixed media collage, and various types of fiber art. I am currently teaching myself to spin yarn and make small rugs from my painted designs!
Which is your favorite?
My current fascination is all sorts of fun fabric creations. That said, as various forms of inspiration come and go, I tend to cling to new favorites every few months, and this new fabric kick is immediately following a year-long yarn and fiber obsession. I seem to be doing at least a little bit of everything at all times!
What things are important to you as you are making an item?
Many of my ideas come from my own quests for unique, beautiful, and high quality items, and all of these features are extremely important to me. I strive to create items that, though typically made from common materials, stand out as having entirely unique design or function. ...Each item I create embodies the vision and style that defines me as a person and as a designer. My ultimate wish for Nutmegs products is that, while eclectic, all of my items will contain this common stylistic element that ties them all together. I’d be thrilled if one day I heard someone say “Hey, that looks like a Nutmegs design!”
What are your influences or inspirations?
New York City is an amazing place to create any type of art because of the incredible diverse masses of people and places. Much of my inspiration comes from color that surrounds me - I am endlessly attracted to earth tones and particularly the rich tones found in nature and during cool Autumn months. I also find inspiration in my favorite environments...cobble stone streets on rainy days, rows of brownstones with lampposts and front stoops, crowded coffee shops with people playing scrabble, momentarily serene blocks in the middle of such a busy city...this type of imagery sticks to me, swims around in my head, and eventually comes trickling out into the little somethings that I create.
How has your life experience influenced your work?
Recently, my professional mission has been the most powerful influence on my Nutmegs products. Within the mental health field, I consistently advocate for and provide creative therapeutic interventions. I passionately believe that creative expression is essential for self-care and paramount in individuals’ process toward self-fulfillment. I have worked with art therapy quite a bit... Furthermore, my work allows me to be exposed to the most inspirational and unique parts of people’s selves, which provides me with an infinite supply of creative fuel. The work I do as Nutmegs is my refuge and my happiest mode for self-fulfillment.
How did you discover Etsy?
I discovered Etsy when I began planning my move from Manhattan to Brooklyn after finishing graduate school. Thoroughly excited about living in my new neighborhood, I began researching local art shows and craft fairs that I could pursue. Somewhere in the middle of this search, I stumbled upon Etsy and was completely inspired by what I saw. After years of contemplating starting a website, but never feeling completely up to the task, I was instantly taken in by the opportunity to become part of this incredible community of artists. I’m so excited to be at the beginning of what I hope will be a long-standing involvement in the Etsy community.