Textile Folk Artist - Michelle May
Quilting and stitching provide the keys to the magical place in my mind known as "down the rabbit hole." It is a place where simple fun and folksiness abound-the looking glass into my imagination.
A quilting class in 1989 started it all. I became infatuated with the fabrics, the colors and the textures. I gathered hundreds of books and patterns, and with a joyful heart I began my creations. Soon I was giving gifts to friends and family, and I was designing things for my home.
In 1995, a local quilt-shop owner invited me to teach in her shop. It was a dream come true. For the next ten years, I shared my passion for quilting and stitching. I inspired my students, and in return, each one of them inspired me. I will treasure forever the proud smile on their faces and the happiness in their voices after they had created something with their own hands. To this day, teaching and sharing with others still bring me the greatest happiness.
In 2006, my quilting and stitching career began to take a different path. I yearned to design my own patterns and release the ideas that had been hopping around in my head for years. I began submitting my work to books and magazines and I am thrilled to have had my work published in Sew Somerset (twice), in Haute Handbags, and in 1000 Artist Trading Cards. The next step was to build my own busines: The Raspberry Rabbits. My infatuation with rabbits is equal to my infatuation with quilting and stitching. My pet rabbits live in my studio, where they run free and enjoy a peaceful life. They are my constant companions, and thus many of my designs feature rabbits. It is an honor to support both local and nationwide rabbit rescues around the USA through my art sales.
During the last few years, I have discovered and grown very fond of the works of Hans Christian Andersen. Many know Hans Christian Andersen as the writer of stories such as The Princess on the Pea, Thumbelina and The Little Mermaid. However, he was also a prolific paper cutter. As he sat entertaining people with his wonderful tales, he would snip with very large scissors, a piece of folded paper. When the tale ended and to the amusement of his guests, he would unfold the paper to reveal a beautiful piece of art. Each piece was symmetrical, simple, and fun. These same characteristics also attracted me to the folk art of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The directness and the honesty of their designs, as well as their simplistic goodness, sent my mind whirling with ideas. I noticed that my own drawing style is indeed very similar to theirs: A style not professionally trained, but rather a style that comes from the joy of creating from the heart and from the imagination that ignites within.
In closing, I would like to share my favorite quote by Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel." This is what art means to me. You may forget what I said about a piece; you may forget how I created it; but you will never forget how the piece makes you feel when you look at it. My wish is that my art will bring you many smiles, warm hugs, and great joy.
Down the rabbit hole, I go...
Copyright 2006 The Raspberry Rabbits, Ltd.
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