"The process of making useful handmade items that are both pretty and practical is enjoyable and satisfying. I'm a quilter, a knitter, and a soapmaker. My handcrafted items are made with care and attention to detail."
An Interview with Debbie of Ewenique Essentials
When did you first start creating?
From childhood, I've enjoyed needlecrafts and over the years have tried my hand at just about everything involving a needle and thread or colorful yarn. I've been quilting for over 20 years, although I mostly make smaller quilted items now. My mother-in-law taught me to knit many years ago. My favorite things to knit are dishcloths and cowls. I started making cold process soap several years ago after I realized the benefits of using handmade soap instead of detergents on my skin and hair.
How did Ewenique Essentials come about?
A few years ago, a friend of mine who also knits asked me if I would like to share a booth with her at a local arts market. I decided to give selling a try, and for several years we manned our booth a couple Saturdays a month during the spring and fall. She told me about Etsy, so I opened my online shop there too.
The name is pretty cool, what made you decide on this?
I enjoy playing with words, and because my last name is Lamb, I wanted to use sheep imagery in my branding. As I was pondering what name to call my little business, I decided to call myself Ewenique, because there is one and only me, and my handmade items are one of a kind. The Essentials part describes the type of items I make - unique, handmade accessories that can be essential to daily living, things that are both pretty and practical. The name of my luxury soap is Ewes Soap, because everyone should use soap!
What drives you to create?
Everyone is gifted with creativity. Gardening, decorating a home, painting, quilting, knitting, scrapbooking, jewelry and card making are just a few examples of the myriad of outlets for personal creativity. Using fabric and yarn to create beautiful items that are useful gives me so much pleasure. Soap making is another creative process that results in a one of a kind bar of soap, which is a simple luxury for everyday use.
How do you get inspired?
Over the years I have acquired a fairly large stash of beautiful quilting fabrics. I like to play around with different color combinations and fabrics, which inspires me to make another useful item. I've recently started making quilted pot holders, which are basically little one block quilts. With my soaps, I like to formulate different types of recipes to highlight the unique properties of the various ingredients. I'll have an idea of what I'd like the finished soap to look like and will incorporate color and fragrance to the soap by using various artistic techniques. Sometimes the result is different from what I'd imagined, but I like the serendipity upon unmolding and cutting the soap.
What are your favorite items?
Every item I make is something that I would buy to use for myself or give as a gift, but I particularly love my soaps. I haven't made one that I haven't liked.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
"Fabric is very forgiving." and "You need the proper tools if you want to continue to improve your craft."
Describe your work in three words.
How about four words? Pretty, practical, useful, and unique.
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