Friday Interview: Alison Tauber! August 26, 2011 12:35

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you're all having an awesome August.This Friday I want to introduce you to the talented Alison Tauber. Read on to hear what inspires Alison, and what handmade means to her. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business?
My name is Alison Tauber. I'm a textile & surface designer living in the Catskill Mountains of NY. Originally my business started with screenprinted t-shirts and housewares. Printmaking was my area of concentration when I was in school, I just fell in love with the process immediately. Since it's start my business has now grown to include fabric (in fat quarters and yardage) so that my customers can make their own creations using my patterns!

Describe your studio for us.
Right now my studio is an extra bedroom in our house. It's got two big windows that look out on the mountains behind us. I mostly do all of my designing at my desk. And then to do the printing I go down into the basement where I can make as much of a mess as I want and not have to worry about getting ink everywhere! The long-term plan is to build a barn behind the house that I can move my studio to. I'd like to be able to print and design in the same space.

What's your process like for developing new patterns for your fabric collection?
I usually start with a pencil or watercolor sketch. I work on tracing paper a lot so I can layer things to see how they work together. Once I hit on something I like, I scan it into the computer and use Photoshop or Illustrator to develop it further and then finally to put it into repeat.

What do you do when you need some inspiration?
Living in the mountains, the easy answer is to just take a walk! It's so green and beautiful where I am. Outside of that I love to scour thrift stores, they're always filled with treasures like old books, vintage linens and jewelry.

What advice would you offer to someone hoping to take their craft from hobby to business?
Think long and hard before you do it. It's a different way of living and not always easy to "turn off" at the end of the day the way you can do with a 9-5 type job. Make sure you have a good sense of your financials, it's the least fun part of working for yourself but incredibly necessary.

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade, to me, is the opposite of what so much of our culture has become. It's slow, deliberate, thoughtful and has a real value to it. You don't buy something handmade with the idea that you are going to replace it when the next best thing comes along.

How did you first become involved in Craftland?
I met Kristin Crane at a craft show we were both selling at, our tables were right across from each other. She thought my work would be a good fit for the shop and the rest is history.

Guilty pleasure?
A good glass of red wine and some dark chocolate.