Saturday, October 13, 2012

Local Artist Spotlight: Karen from Kreationality

I would love for you all to meet Karen Ferner, the artist behind Kreationality, she creates handcrafted knitwear from upcycled materials.

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A:  I live in Dansville in the Finger Lakes area with my husband. I work for the City of Rochester at the Hemlock Filtration Plant as an administrative assistant for 18 years. I am very grateful for my day job, but I look forward to retiring so I can create full time. I like to experience new things, and create from the ideas in my head. I enjoy quilting, knitting, crocheting, and so much more. Handcrafting the ideas I have in my head is fun, and my way of connecting with myself. I create these pieces in a little house located in the Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York where I live with my husband, two dogs, and a cat. I am a certified yoga instructor, and practice regularly. I recently gave up teaching to have more time to create. My own regular practice keeps me centered! I am Reiki certified, and work with healing energies. This training has also helped to keep me centered, and balanced.

Q: How did you get your start in designing upcycled products and what have you learned over the course of being a designer?

A:  I have always expressed my creativity in different ways, because I love new things, and experiences. I found an idea on the internet on how to create little Christmas trees with unwanted wool sweaters, and made them that year for family and friends. I continued to explore the different ways to re-purpose materials on the internet, and got hooked on creating with a serger. This machine is so cool, and I love working with it. I just purchased another serger that offers a little more in what it can do. I love having all my materials around me, and picking out the ones that will be the next piece. I can visualize it, and then I begin designing and creating. I have found it is easy for me to put together the colors, textures, and fabrics to create a one-of-a-kind piece. I enjoy the whole process of creating these designs. I think it works for me because each piece is a new idea, and is a unique way of putting it together. I love experimenting with all of it.

Q: What inspires you?

A:  The feeling I get from creating is what inspires me. There is nothing better than being in the present moment, and when I am designing and creating these pieces, that is where I am. It is similar to doing yoga, or anything else that you love to do. It's all about being happy.

Q: How did you come up with the name "Kreationality?"

A:  I was driving to work one day, and I was thinking of how fun it was to be designing and creating these pieces, and I was smiling and just being silly happy, and grateful for everything in my life, and I thought of it. I pulled my phone out to record it on my recording app (because I forget everything with so many thoughts in my head!!) and I yelled ....."the new name of my business is Kreationality, Kreationality!"

Q: If you could sum up your look and aesthetic in three words, what would they be and why?

A:  UNIQUE - because the pieces are one-of-a-kind, and no two pieces are alike.  BOLD - the style is going to be noticed. The design is different than typical clothing, and the colors put together are always pleasing.  DISTINCTIVE - people either LOVE my designs, or are indifferent. I love that!

Q: What materials do you enjoy working with most?

A:  I like working with wool blends because they can be manipulated into new pieces easier than 100% wool. The 100% wool works well for totes because it shrinks up pretty thick. Although the serger and I fight over the thick wool. I get requests for non-wool pieces, but I don't enjoy working with cotton or acrylic as much.

Q: What do you love most about living and working in Rochester?

A:  I absolutely love Rochester, because I have a great job with the city, but also, this city offers so much in the arts and entertainment. There is always something to do in Rochester and the people are amazing.

Q: What is your studio or workspace like, and how do you work in your studio? Tell me a little bit about your creative process.

A:  I have two rooms in our home that I use for right now. I am also taking over the laundry room, and, on occasion the living room. I have sweaters everywhere! I have them in piles: plain, print, button, etc. When I wash and dry the sweaters, I take note as I lay them out flat as to what I think I can put together with what. I have a treadmill in one of the rooms, and every morning I run for a half hour and come up with my best ideas as I look at my piles of sweaters. I have a pad next to the treadmill so I can stop and jot down the ideas, or pictures I am thinking.
I have my two sergers, and one regular sewing machines set up in the other room where I put the pieces together. It may look messy, but I know right where everything is. I design the piece with sweaters I pick out that I think will match, and work together. Of course, that can change drastically as I play with an idea. I have a template and rotary cutter in the living room where I will cut the rectangles I use for the arm warmers. I usually set aside material after making a sweater, and use that material to cut up for arm warmers. 

Q: How often do you release new pieces?
A:  About every two weeks.

Q: Upcoming events? Where can people find your work?
A:  Check out  - I list the festivals/events and boutiques that carry my stuff on the website. 

Q:  Anything else you'd like to share?

A:  I am soooo inspired by the people I interact with at the festivals! It's new to me to do them, and I love it !! I am so pumped to create after a festival from all the positive energy and feedback I get!!!! I really enjoy the interaction with people about what I do! 

And since Karen is so awesome, she is giving away a pair of one of her best selling items:  arm warmers!  The perfect layering piece for this time of year!  Go green and look fabulous!  So fun!

These babies could be yours:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck lovelies!


The Flower City Fashionista

1 comment:

  1. I just saw this site, and I want to say it is wonderfully done. The questions and answers give all the information and explains all about what Karen does with upscycling materials, and helping the environment as well by creating these one of a kind products.
    Thank you for this article, it is so informative.