Meet Ontario, Canada artist Kate Lesko-Smith
Kate introduced herself to me when I was operating my first Artisan Gallery in 1999. As a result of that meeting, I then offered her Heirloom quality hand made dolls in the gallery.
We got to know each other more, and when I moved my gallery to a location in our downtown core, Kate and her dolls moved with me. She became my right hand woman and helped keep me going when the going got tough. I taught her pottery and she helped me move beyond the knit stitch. We continue to get together to knit and gab, compare notes on our latest projects and ventures and offer each other advice and commiseration.
Kate, how did you come to be an artist?
I fell in love with art in grade school and in high school, art was my favourite class. I also loved Home Economics, where I learned to sew. My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet. Creating became part of my life as I grew up.
Beaded Blue Flower
How did you learn your creative skills?
My school studies, and my grandmother’s teaching, got me started. I learned a lot on my own.
As a young mother, I became a representative of a Needle Arts company and I taught myself to embroider and cross stitch in order to pass those skills on to my clients. I then discovered Shoshiko embroidery, doll making and quilting as well. Over the years I taught myself more advanced knitting skills and began to create my own designs for everything from hats to slippers. I also enjoy creating little knitted critters of all sorts.
I learned to work with clay from you.
And what media do you work in?
I work in many mediums, but professionally I create hand made cards with stitched, painted and beaded elements.
I got started making cards after seeing a book about embroidered paper greeting cards. I loved the method and started coming up with a bunch of ideas and just started making them. As I progressed the painted and beaded accents became part of my repertoire.
I prefer classic designs with a historical or cultural theme. I’ve been designing medieval and Celtic flavoured designs and Japanese, Egyptian and Mexican are coming too.
How do you come up with your designs?
Ideas come to me in my sleep. In fact I am always making things in my sleep, lately I’ve been knitting booties. A colleague is expecting, I guess that is the reason.
Bluebird of Happiness
How has your career developed over the years?
For many, many years I created for myself or for gifts. In 1999 I approached a local Gallery, yours, with my Heirloom dolls and I worked with you for several years.
In 2007 I opened a shop on Etsy, Kate’s Kards, and it is the best thing I ever did!
For the future I am working towards creating cards full time. I look forward to seeing the evolution of my work over many years to come.
Modern Christmas Tree
What motivates you to create?
I am very passionate about what I do! As new designs come to mind and evolve to the finished product I am constantly moving towards the next design or series of designs.
Twelve Days of Christmas Sampler
Please visit Kate at her Gallerys on Etsy and Zazzle, and view her Cross Stitch designs at Artists Alley!
http://www.artists-alley.com for Cross Stitch designs.
make custom gifts at Zazzle
Watch for more artist profiles, and sneak peeks of what is coming up from me too!
Many thanks for coming by, cheers ruth ;D