Read our interview with Patricia C. Verner:
When and how did you first become interested in crafting?
For me, it's less about crafting than about being an artist. I think fine craft work is art as much as painting or sculpting. I was drawn to art as a small child and considered myself an artist long before I finished growing up.
How long have you been creating your chosen craft?
I've been painting and drawing since I could hold the tools in my hands. Bead weaving, my other art form, is a more recent passion. I only started this after finding the Baltimore Bead Society when I was living in Maryland. So, I guess I have been making glass fabric since about the year 2000.
What are your crafting influences?
I'm not sure what you are asking here, but I'd have to say that my being a painter first is probably one of the biggest influences on my bead weaving. Thus, everything that influences me as a painter in turn influences my work as a bead weaver.
Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?
What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?
Two years a go I organized a small three woman craft exhibition (my work, an artisan soup chef, and a woman who upcycles woolen peices) at a local tea shop. My painting have hung in a couple local restaurants and one was published in an astronomy textbook accompanying an essay I wrote.
What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?
I am the full time (36 hours a day!) primary family caregiver for my ailing mother. I also am an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of Maryland University College for whom I occasionally teach astronomy and natural science online and an occasional adjunct for Quinnipiac University. I also know how to make several kinds of laces, embroideries, and I used to design and sew my own clothing (back when time was more available).
What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
That might be Tao, a bead woven piece I sold in, I believe, 2004. It is an amazing work of art having layers of a variety of weaves and sadly, I don't have a good picture of it. But it might also be a large floral still life I painted in oils for my parents which still hangs in the living room. On the other hand, Night Music always makes my heart speed up. On the third hand, I have a tendency to adore the piece I've most recently finished.
Why did you make that piece?
In all three cases, I had a vision.
What does it take to create pieces like that?
To create the very best works of art, works that are meant to last, as mine are, takes time, care, and patience. They also require a willingness to experiment and try new techniques or to push the envelope of one's artistic comfort zone.
What is special about your pieces?
They are fantastic works of art with their own depth of interest that make life more beautiful. Every piece is unique and made to last using the best and most appropriate materials by an artist who values quality over speed and quantity. Profound thought and heart infuse each work which all represent my artistic expression and thus my name and reputation are associated with them. More importantly, I want every owner and collector to adore the pieces they purchase and derive joy from their use.
What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?
Both bead weaving and painting (and drawing) are expressive, intricate, forms requiring skill and vision. I find myself envisioning things I am viewing in painting form so that's easily a natural voice of expression for me. Bead weaving is a bit different but no less stirring when I find myself creating a massive work of art in my mind. My most recent masterwork, Lace Me Up, was built mentally before I even poured out the first dish of seed beads and while it did undergo some changes after I started it, every change was envisioned such that this massive work is exactly what I envisioned.