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FAST Member Interview- Leisa of Richmade

If you’re a member of FAST and would like to be featured in the weekly interview, visit this thread in the yahoo group to get the questions, then send your answers (and a picture or two if you’d like) to me at merigreenleaf[at]yahoo.com (or a convo to merigreenleaf). These will be posted in the order I receive them.


What is your name?
Leisa Rich

What is your Etsy shop? Does your shop name have a meaning
richmade- It’s pretty simple – made by leisa rich – but also “rich” as quality, abundance of valuable resources, full of good ideas and creativity!

Besides your Etsy shop, do you sell anywhere else? Do you have a website or blog?
I am a professional artist and art educator. I exhibit around the world, have been featured on a PBS t.v. special on artists and have been published in books, magazines, etc. My art website is at www.monaleisa.com.

How long have you been making art/crafting? What was the first thing you remember making?
I started sewing at age 11. I still prefer the Bernina Minimatic I still have that was the machine I learned to sew on! I don’t remember the first thing I made, but I do remember the point at which my Mom refused to teach me anymore… when I started sewing tubes onto a bat wing coat! I am 49 years old, have been a designer for an international clothing company, did hats and woven sweaters for famous t.v. shows in the 80′s and 90′s, have been teaching since I was 15 and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Education in Art and a Master of Fine Arts. I’ve raised kids and worked while getting the last two degrees!

What kind of fiber arts do you do? If different from the previous question, what was the first fiber art thing you made?
My main preference is free motion stitching, but I have done everything associated with fiber arts. I love it all!The first non-functional thing I made was a massive woven sculptural piece.

What’s your favorite thing to make?
Right now I am working with vinyls a lot in both my art and in my items I sell in my etsy shop.

(Click the below link to read the rest of the interview and see more pictures)



What do you think is the strangest or most unusual fiber arts item you have made or been asked to make?
I made an 18 inch high top hat for the lead singer of a band once, but the strangest thing I have been asked to make (but I didn’t do it!) was an S&M outfit for a man.

Where is the craziest or most interesting place you’ve ever crocheted, knitted, felted, spun yarn, etc?
IN the hospital room of my father when he was dying. I have an incredible art piece about his death, part of which was crocheted in that room.

What is your favorite place to work?
In my studio…but I dream of a bigger studio one day!




What inspires you? Where does your inspiration come from?
Nature is my biggest inspiration but I am influenced by my fear of what the future holds for humans, too.

What is your favorite color? Do you tend to work with that color, or do you find yourself working with other colors?
I love all colors!

Do you prefer a specific type of fiber?
Cloth, vinyls and thread are what I work with most, but I love mixed media!

Is there any other kind of art (fiber-related or not) that you’d like to learn?
Glass blowing would be incredible! I’d love to take a class at Pilchuk and work with the real glass blowing artists.

Tell us a bit about yourself- where do you live, what’s your job, do you have a spouse/children/pets, any other hobbies, that kind of thing.
I live in Atlanta and teach art at several arts centers, run the after school art classes at a local private school, as well as teach art in my studio to several private students. I have been married to my true soul mate for 23 years and have two daughters, one is 22 and lives in Canada, the other just turned 13! We have three cats (don’t get a third cat…it puts you over the kitty litter edge! ) My other hobby is vegetarian cooking.

Tell us one quirky thing about you (or one thing no one knows about you).
I don’t like any noise while I am working in the studio- no music, nothing. I need silence in order to create!

Do you have any advice for other fiber artists? Have any craft room, storage, or other tips?
Park one car out in your driveway if you are lucky enough to have a two car garage…’cause that’s extra storage space in there! Husbands grumble about that kind of thing, though :) Seriously, do your art or craft because you absolutely love it, strive for everything but expect nothing, be original…above all, be original! And, as I am having to learn, be patient with Etsy. I have only made one sale, and I ship stuff regularly all over the world to customers…but despite trying to do everything recommended for Etsy to “make it” I still have only had one sale!


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