While art and creation has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, I did not start out imagining that I would become an artist. My official degree is environmental science and education, and while I love to teach, I have found that art is where my passion currently lives. I grew up surrounded by art – my mother paints, my father is a woodworker. My grandparents were furniture builders, sculptures, and stained glass artists. One of my great grandfathers was a tailor (one of my prized tools is one of his pairs of scissors). So, I guess you could say it runs in the family.
I have dabbled in many art forms, but I first taught myself to knit in college. I went to school in Northern Wisconsin and it gets cold! A snuggly blanket seemed perfect. I loved how the creation of it kept my hands busy. When I discovered felting 10 years later, I was hooked. My first creation was a pair of slippers. They didn’t fit and were misshapen, but I loved it. The scientist loved the complete change of fiber quality during the felting process; the artist in me loved the free form and adaptable nature of the material. While I can make a good guess as to what the final result is going to be, no piece is exactly the same. I love the tactile nature of working with the wool, alpaca, cashmere, etc.
Since that first project, my skills have grown. I now incorporate needle felting into my knit and felted pieces, as well as vintage and interesting jacquard ribbons. I love natural fibers and love to combine materials to see what happens. Sometimes the fiber itself inspires a piece. Sometimes it’s the ribbon or lining materials. Sometimes it’s a pattern in nature. While I do plan out certain pieces, that planning is often a simple guide and will change or evolve during the creation process.
Long term, I’d love to see my pieces in specialty boutiques both nationally and internationally. I have been working at creating a line that spans multiple price points while retaining the originality and unique nature of the art form. While I would love to be able to spend all my time creating, I know that in order to have a successful business with my art, the marketing aspect is just as important.
At Rosy Toes Designs, Lucy Chapman creates eco friendly functional fiber art bags and accessories from luxury natural fibers and repurposed materials. She takes pride in creating pieces that will be loved and enjoyed for a lifetime. Ms. Chapman’s work has been seen in Vogue UK, InStyle UK and Urban Farm Magazine. In addition, it has been gifted to members of the press and celebrities through her involvement with The Artisan Group – an elite group of artisans that collectively gifts handcrafted products at top celebrity gifting suites.