Thursday, April 08, 2010

Twenty Questions with Loran Scruggs

Today I'm chatting with Loran of Loran Scruggs where she sells her elaborate and ingenious recycled tin art, whistles and toys. I first discovered her work three years ago while researching the tin art I saw in Africa. Her creations are whimsical, inventive and full of wry humor. Today she tells us about acupuncture, the connection between joy and color and why she loves to make art out of refuse.

The Fab Miss B: First off, tell us a little about you! Family, pets, other hobbies/ jobs?

Loran: I'm female and 43, living with my sweetie, who pulls my chain about all the cans and bottle caps I own. My first degree was in sculpture, my second in Classical Five Element Acupuncture. Art/toy making is my form of meditation. In my practice as an acupuncturist I’m constantly counseling others to slow down and observe their body, to be more in the moment and listen to what their body is saying. I feel every act can be a meditation.

The Fab Miss B: What is the best thing about life in Port Townsend?

Loran: It's two hours north of Seattle, it's small, has a great arts community, Centrum arts organization and food co-op. I never want for activity, there is always something to peak my interest and keep me from work in the studio.

The Fab Miss B: What inspired you to start your business?

Loran: The need to create and yet it would just pile up if I did not give it away. So why not convert it into dollars which I can then use to keep creating.

The Fab Miss B:Is your Etsy shop a hobby, a profession or a happy marriage of both?

Loran: Still yet to be seen, it does not support me. But my expenses are less then my income from it. So Uncle Sam sees the income.

The Fab Miss B: When did you first learn to work with tin?

Loran: 1991. Just started cutting on Hunt’s tomato cans with tin shears.

The Fab Miss B: What inspires you most?

Loran: Proportion, scale, ie bottle caps come in one size…what can I make that puts that size to use? (whistles and animals on wheels) Pondering, an idea or material; for example I ponder Hunt’s tomato cans...tin cans are sharp…I cut myself... Hunt’… hunt cut sharp.. Oee- I know! I’ll make a Hunting Knife out of Hunt’s tomato cans. Usually with a lot more threads that don’t finish into anything.

The Fab Miss B: As a member of the Crafting in Color team, I'm sure that color holds a special magic for you. What appeals to you about color?

Loran: I am interested in joy. Color is joyous for me so I use painted tin cans for their color and glint. A lot of my work references childhood and play, for myself play is a time of being in the moment, no past or future worries, a time of joy. I hope that my work puts an amused smile on peoples faces, for when we smile we are in the moment, engaged, attentive and happy.

The Fab Miss B: I like how your work makes something playful, vibrant and new out of something that has been abandoned or discarded. That seems to really resonate with people now. Why do you think that is?

Loran: Our culture indentifies with the underdog, the poor youth rising to become president of the United States. Also I think it is a very human trait to make things out of what is at hand, this being a throw away culture. There are a lot of resources being wasted and people appreciate seeing things get reused because it connects them to their own creative energy.

The Fab Miss B: What is a great piece of advice you could share with other Etsy sellers?

Loran: Make what you love and renew!

The Fab Miss B: Which Etsians do you admire? I'll interview them next!

The Fab Miss B: Links you'd like to share? Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

The Fab Miss B: Thanks so much Loran. It's brought me joy to learn more about your process and what motivates you to make such happy things.

1 comment:

ArtSnark said...

Wonderful pieces & fantastic interview!

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