Put your hats on this New Year with Denise Young. She is a self-taught artist and owner of Wolf Creek Custom Crafts, out of Virginia. She makes adorable hats, hand carved eggs (pictured below), handmade jewelry, and other custom crafts. Denise does several craft shows during the year, mostly in the Fall season, including the Arts & Crafts Fair at the WV Fairgounds every October (where we met her). She is currently working on setting up an online store on etsy to sell her eggs and crocheted items. Learn more about Denise and her artistic skills with our Q&A:
How do describe your palette?
I love making animal hats because the ears give each one a unique personality. I’ve done mostly round bear type ears and a few with pointed wolf/fox type ears. I’m still learning a few different types of hats and am currently making a couple of Dutch boy hats for a friend. I’ve just recently started so I still have lots of techniques to learn. I’m also currently working on an Irish type cabled Afghan. I love to make my hats in natural earth tones but have done a few orders that even included a neon orange hat. My mother tried to teach me crochet when I was younger but I got frustrated and decided I couldn’t do it, she always told me I could. I recently started seeing some things that I really loved and wanted to do so I watch a few YouTube videos and it came fairly quickly.
In addition to hats, I’ve been carving eggs for about 3 years. I use only local chicken eggs. I also carve goose eggs which I order online, they are hard to source locally. I’ve got some emu eggs that I have been practicing on and 1 ostrich egg that I’m still scared to touch. When it comes to eggs, I really love the natural variation of colors that come from locally sourced farm eggs. They can go from white and light tan to a dark chocolate brown and even some greens and blues. I am self-taught on both. After seeing a few online stories about egg carvers I really wanted to try it.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest feeling of accomplishment comes from hearing people tell me how talented I am and are really interested in my crafts and ask questions.
What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?
My biggest obstacle is probably time. I work 40 hours a week and it’s hard to find time to do crafting especially when there are custom orders to fill along with trying to get ready for a show. Egg supplies are very fluid as well as finding yarn when I need it. I have to be in a particular frame of mind when I carve eggs, I have discovered that I cannot do it after a particularly stressful day at work, I end up breaking them so I have to be in a relaxed state of mind to be so precise with the carving.
How do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from nature. Eggs have such a perfect and peaceful shape. I love using and making things that are locally sourced and hope to start crocheting things using local alpaca yarn. My hats I love to do in natural browns and grays, colors of the animals that they are inspired from.
What advice do you have for other artists?
My advice is to just do it. Find a way and try it. Maybe you won’t like it, maybe you’re not great at it but try it anyway because you’ll never know where you just might find your passion. I’m hoping to try some loom weaving and even thinking of taking a blacksmithing class.
Contact Denise via email or telephone and leave a message. Arielana@wildblue.net
540 726-3009. Find her online at flickr.com/photos/arielana
– LBSPY #73, January 2016