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Featured Artist: Melissa Nasby of Soulfibre Studio

by The SpinArtiste on November 17, 2011

Publisher’s Notes:  This is so exciting.  I mean it.  We not only have the exceptionally talented Melissa Nasby to feature, but this week is also the grand opening of her shiny, brand new etsy shop!!  I know you are going to delight in getting to know more about Melissa… 

Spin Artiste (SA):   Welcome, Melissa!  It’s been on my mind to do your feature since we met in California back in September.  You are truly a star on the rise.  Tell us, first, you “fiber arts” story.

Melissa Nasby (MN):  My fibre arts story is a passionate love affair!  It began when I was a child with careless creative abandon, flipping from one craft to another trying anything and everything to quench my creative thirst.  One might argue that I haven’t changed much since then, but for that I am so grateful.  I love the creative journey and how you learn something from every medium that can be carried over to the next adventure.

SA:  You are a self-described “Craftaholic” — what are your current obsessions?

MN:  Oh yes, my family will attest, I breathe; therefore, I create.  I just have to make things.  My current obsessions are spinning artyarn, creating art batts, needlefelting sculptures and freeform crochet.







SA:  And, which equipment do you favor?

MN:  I adore my Ashford Country Spinning wheel, as I am a texture fanatic.  I am also very fortunate to have a talented, supportive husband who has made me a jumbo drum carder, a jumbo ball winder,  a triangle loom, and an e-spinner.


SA:  Wow!  Kristine Haddock of Storybook Fibers coined the term “fiber hero” for her talented, supportive husband — I think we can give your husband that title as well. 

Take us into your studio — what is your work area like?

MN:  My studio is a train wreck!  I am bordering on “hoarder” status and I still feel like I never have enough.   I have removed all cupboard doors so I can see everything. I re-arrange constantly as I am very visually inspired.  I often design yarn by simply walking into my studio.

SA:  Melissa, I love the idea of removing the cupboard doors!  I never thought of that.  You may have just created a monster by giving me that idea. 

Which part of the yarn-making process do you enjoy the most?  The least?

MN:  I used to love every single process, but I must confess I am getting lazy and do not enjoy washing the fleece as much anymore.  I love dyeing the fibres, carding and spinning.  My ultimate favourite transformation is from “oh no, I’ve gone too far” to “OMG I Love it!”

SA:  I know you are juggling a lot of roles — working in the corporate world, wife, mother, fiber artist.  I’m always curious about how other people manager their time to get so much done.  What is your secret?

MN:  Insomnia.  I work full time as a marketing manager for two companies and have two active children, so I carve out time at night when normal people are sleeping.  I definitely do not recommend this approach, but I figure I might as well make the best  of the situation.


SA:  Congratulations on your new Etsy shop!  Tell us about your plans for the shop and what made you decide to go the Etsy route? 

MN:  Yes, I have finally made the commitment to get online with my products as I find it difficult to get out to a lot of markets for reasons stated above.  I am really excited about my Etsy shop, as I have had great success in the past (previous obsession)  I hope my shop will bring creative joy to others while of course supporting my addiction!

SA:  What inspires you?

MN:  Texture, colour, other fibre artists, my children and the simple thought “What if…?”



SA:  And, what is your big, audacious fiber-dream?

MN:  I dream of moving to an acreage and raising my own sheep and alpaca, complete with a stand alone studio and becoming a full time fibre artist.



SA:  I’m with you on that!  In the meantime, you are already living in a pretty wonderful place.  Tell us about Salmon Arm, BC and the fiber scene there.

MN:  Salmon Arm, BC is absolutely gorgeous with picturesque landscapes of mountains and Shuswap Lake.  We have a very active guild and I have met some very inspiring fibre friends. Our community is growing and so is the interest in supporting local independent suppliers.  This is a very exciting time to produce organic functional art.

SA:  Of the works you’ve produced to date, are there any that have been especially significant to you?

MN:  I love pieces that just evolve on their own, like my garden scarflette.  I set out to weave a long narrow scarf but in a short time I had lost interest in the repetitive, predictable outcome. I removed it from the loom and challenged myself to do something unexpected, and this was the result.  I really enjoy this mix of weaving and freeform crochet.

SA:  What is your favorite food?

MN:  Yorkshire pudding!

SA:  Great choice!!!  Is there anything else you’d like to tell us that we haven’t covered?

MN:  I would like to tell you how thankful I am for being part of this interview…I love this blog, and I am honoured to be included.

SA:  Aww…that is very kind of you — Thank you so much for coming on and letting us get to know you better.  I know everyone joins me in wishing you the best with the shop! 

Dear Readers, in honor of Melissa’s grand opening, Melissa has two special gifts for Spin Artiste readers — the first is 15% off in her Etsy shop when you use the promo code SPINARTISTE and the second is a mystery giveaway soon to come, so stay tuned!

We’ve got some pretty strong entries coming in for the Reader’s Choice Winter Carnival Contest.  See further details here.  The deadline for entries is Sunday, December 3rd — you can enter batts, yarn, felted items, knitted items — it’s an equal opportunity fiber arts contest…:-) 

Till next time — All the best, Arlene

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