On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast my guest is the artist Ann Wood.
Ann works with found and salvaged materials, many of them vintage or antique garments. She’s interested in transformation, turning cardboard boxes from the fancy grocery store on her block into turreted castles, and ruined old petticoats and gowns into seas for paper mache boats. She loves to give the most common materials and tired, dispirited, faded things new importance and meaning.
Throughout her life Ann’s been infatuated with smallness, intricacies, miniaturization, collections, repetition; lost or abandoned things discovered and rescued; the idea of haunted and enchanted places, and the setting of a tiny stage. Ann lives Brooklyn, New York.
A sampling of Ann’s work. All photos courtesy Ann Wood.
Ann and I have an in-depth conversation about creativity and process and publishing. Hear her journey from doing client work for companies like Snickers and Toyota to delving into the personal work she’s now so well-known for.
Ann is getting ready to release her first patterns, beginning with her signature bird. We talk about her decision to begin selling PDF patterns, her experience teaching at Squam, and her collaborations with Fortuny and Sri Textiles.
An episode of the While She Naps podcast wouldn’t be complete without recommendations of things my guest is loving right now. Ann recommends:
- Sport Hoop
- Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch
- Lascaux paint
- glass headed applique pins
We also talk about this film of The Royal Ballet doing The Tales of Beatrix Potter and Ann’s cardboard horse stampede.
Find Ann Wood online at annwoodhandmade.com and sign up for her mailing list so that you’re the first to know when her new work and her patterns are released.
Talking with Ann was a real treat for me and I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Loved the interview and that I have found your blog, too, Abby…I own both of the books you wrote on fiber birds and animals.
Thank you for listening and for buying my books, Kristin!
I’m really enjoying this interview! I actually haven’t finished listening yet, but I wanted to leave a comment so I don’t forget to — the clothing label quilt was done by Terese Agnew. She was featured in episode 2 of Craft in America: http://www.pbs.org/craftinamerica/threads.php which can be watched online free at video.pbs.org (at least in the US — not sure if it works from other countries). I just watched this recently, which is why I remembered who it was. It’s a terrific series, and this episode in particular is really interesting. I watched about half the episodes over the course of a few days when I first found it — now I’m trying to ration out the ones that are left so it lasts longer.
Thanks so much for this link. I’m looking forward to watching it!
Great interview; I have been following Ann a long time, and appreciate you getting into her creative journey. I look forward to delving into your website, too!
Thanks, Karen. I really enjoyed talking with Ann.
“Catching the Big Fish” by David Lynch was a life-changing book for me. He is a strong advocate of transcendental meditation. Because Lynch is such a productive person, his words give credibility to the power of setting aside some time each day to “go deep.” His is a very different kind of discipline from that described in Twyla Tharp’s book — but the two approaches complement each other.
Thanks for a consistently intelligent podcast.
Thank you for listening, Susan!
Finally was able to listen to a podcast of yours. Fun! The mention of clothing tags brought to mind Lea Redmond and a couple of her projects.
I love their wool/sheep craft tag. Really strikes a chord with me – found recently that I couldn’t read it out loud to a class of spinners without getting teary.
What an amazing conversation to be privy to…I felt like I was eavesdropping on the bus or in a cafe or something. Just so fascinating/inspiring/and educational. Thank you Abby and Ann. Such a treat and so timely for me as I’m lying awake at night considering whether or not to go down the pattern selling and teaching road. I’ve been making soft sculptures and soft toys for years which is rewarding in so many ways but not the most lucrative occupation on it’s own. I have so much to learn and even though I’m on the other side of the world to you and I’ve never met you, I feel really connected to both of you now 🙂 I knew of Ann previously but am so much more in love with her and her work after listening to this conversation…
I love your work, Margeaux. Thank you so much for listening to the show and for your lovely and sincere comment. That really means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to Ann, too.
This interview was delightful — I’ve admired Ann’s work for a long time and it was such a treat to hear her story. I just stumbled onto your website, and as an artist find it a wealth of great resources. Thank you!
Thank you so much and welcome, Lisa.
I have no idea how I got to your site but I think I have found my creative sisters. After being laid off a few years ago I too am back to doing what I did as a child; selling my creations.
It was wonderful to hear about selling patterns, last year at a show someone asked if I sold my patterns, it might be time to take the leap.
I live in the Netherlands and the US and I always carry my ever growing thick book of patterns in my hand luggage. The NSA probably wonder what in the world are all these pieces of graph paper all taped together.
Thank you for a wonderful podcast. My tip, if you are ever in the Netherlands, is the Saturday fabric market in Utrecht. The market has existed for over 400 year and is held every Saturday morning from 08.00 – 13.00 hrs in de Breedstraat. It is unbelievable.
That sounds like an incredible market! Thank you for listening.
Best show ever, I just listened and got so inspired. I hope you will talk to more artists in the future!
I really enjoyed talking with Ann! Thanks so much, Hanna. There will definitely be more to come.
I just listened to this podcast (a year after it was recorded) and I really enjoyed it! I felt like I was in Ann’s cosy NYC apartment having a great conversation with two wonderfully generous and creative ladies! Thank you, Abby, and Ann for sharing. It was especially enlightening to hear Ann talk about her process and the many prototypes she works through to get the result she wants.
Thank you for listening, Laurie. This is one of my favorite episodes!
I’m so glad I’ve discovered your site! This is the first podcast of yours I’ve listened to and loved it. I’ve been a fan of Ann’s work for years (I’m one of the ‘old timers’ too [started my now defunct blog in 2005]) and I found listening to her words inspiring. I also really appreciate you as a host, asking great questions and letting Ann talk through her thoughts and ideas; it felt really natural.
Hi Jen, Thank you for listening. Interviewing Ann was so wonderful! I loved talking with her and I’m so glad you enjoyed the podcast interview, too. Thank you!
Wonderful interview! I’ve Ann’s work for years and it was fascinating to learn more about her. Thank you!