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Featured Artiste: Christine Leconte of Utopik Baz’Art

by EBlack on March 16, 2014

CL-UB SelfPublisher’s Note: For the first time, but certainly not the last, Spin Artiste turns its focus towards France to showcase the talents of the wonderful Christine Leconte of Utopik Baz’Art.  Christine has fallen in love with fiber and is creating beautiful free form pieces that dazzle the eyes! We are thankful to have Christine with us this week.  
Spin Artiste (SA): What is your “fiber” story?
Christine Leconte (CL): I always liked colors and  how to arrange them.  After a few years of patchwork, I became interested in wool. When I was a child, my grandmother had taught me cross stitching and knitting but I had forgotten how to do them. So when I rediscovered wool, I wanted the freedom to match and contrast colors. And the crochet hook is the most free, in my opinion, for that style. Thanks to Heloise Gosse, I discovered free form crochet and it was the beginning of the adventure. Then I wanted to work on spinning wool with a spinning wheel but also use soluble textile and weaving; in short, I wanted to experience all the techniques.
CL-UB Wall Hanging SA: Who or what has been your greatest fiber inspiration over the years?
CL: I find inspiration everywhere. In the street, the sky, the map-making of cities .
SA:  What impact has fiber art had on your life?
CL: It opened my mind.  I have discovered other worlds and other people.
CL-UB Multi- SweaterSA: Your work certainly shows a wide range of inspirations.  How has your upbringing influenced your fiber style?
CL: I spent my childhood in Africa and my father painted pictures for fun but I do not know if that influenced me.
SA: Would you say there is anything unique about fiber art in France, and if so, what? 
CL: I think that in France there are fewer fiber artists . I mean that it remains unconventional.
CL- UB Woven ScarfSA: Wat is it about free form crochet that intrigues you?
CL: Crochet, unlike knitting, spinning, felting, and weaving, can be done everywhere. Free form crochet allows the mixing of textures and colors, textural landscapes, contrasts.
SA: What has been your proudest piece so far in your fiber career? 
CL: I have several favorite pieces of which I am proud. A child’s jacket whose back was inspired by a painting that I had made in pastel, wall décor, and a shawl. I also love my woven pieces.
CL-UB Knitting Close UpSA: How long have you been selling your work and what prompted you to do so?

CL: I started selling in 2009 because I had custom orders.

SA: I’ve visited your etsy shop and you have a nice selection!  In what ways do you hope to improve your business and/or fiber skills in 2014?
CL-UB Bake of Vest on personCL: In 2014, I want to try more mixing techniques, using my dyed wool, and weaving clothes with my saori loom. I also want to learn more knitting skills.
SA:  What’s in your spinning wheel collection?
CL: I have three wheels:  a Suzie Majacraft and a Hopper Spinolution, both of which I love;  I have Aura Majacraft, but it is difficult for me to use.
SA: Three great wheels, for sure! Tell us about your fiber studio.
CL-UB Upclose free-formCL: I am lucky to have a room for sewing, felting, and a place to organize wool. But I work with my  hook wherever I am.
How do your husband and your two children support your artistic expression? 
CL:  They say I invaded the house completely and they are right… for me, it’s a passion!
SA: I’m certain a lot of us get that reaction at home!  If you could describe your art in one word, what would it be?
CL:  Free-feeling.
CL- UB Hanging SweaterSA: Great word! I think you proved “free-feeling” is your style. Ok, last but not least, what is your favorite traditional French food?

CL: My favorite French food is “blanquette de veau,” of course! [Blanquette de veau is an un-browned veal ragout – SA]

SA:  Yum!  Thank you so much, Christine!!  Your work is truly inspirational.  I adore your use of color and texture.  We hope to see more

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