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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Featured Artisan of Handmade Treasures: Cathy of TolenTreasures

In order for you to get to know our artisans of handmade goods, I'll post an interview from time to time. Today's interview is of Cathy from TolenTreasures! I've featured many of her handmade tole painting products throughout various posts here.
Question: Do you have a favorite medium? Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?

Answer: Acrylics for right now. I recently joined the local art association in an effort to explore some new mediums. Watercolor has always fascinated me, but I have never been happy with my experimentations in it.

Question: What kinds of artistic projects do you like to work on?

Answer: Big projects with lots of detail in my painting. I love to "futz" around with blending, color and detail. So much of my painting is fast and for profit, that I don't take the time to just paint for enjoyment.

Question: What do you like to do in your spare time when you're not creating art?

Answer: Grandchildren. Working at my real job. Sometimes the two simultaneously, which accounts for why I need to sit and paint. Cheap Therapy.

Question: How long have you been crafting?

Answer: All my life. My Mom would make sure that we got a craft every year for Christmas. It was a tradition that I carried on with my own girls.

Question: When did you first start selling your handmade items? What inspired you to do so?

Answer: When my girls were little and I was a stay at home Mom, I started doing some local shows and selling sewn items. Really, before that and this sounds crazy, but I made gowns for an entire wedding party when I was in 10th grade.

Question: What style do you decorate your home in?

Answer: Rural Country Thrift Shop with some Flea Market Accents.

Question: Were you artistic as a child?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Did anyone inspire you as a child or when you were starting to become artistic?

Answer: My Mom and Dad were and still always are making something. I remember my Mom getting the Fad of the Month club and making things from it and of course the sewing machine was a permanent fixture in the dining room. Dad has always been a whittler and wood carver. My maternal grandmother knitted and crocheted and passed that on to me. My paternal grandmother was a beautiful quilter, but passed away while I was young. I would have loved to have learned more from her.

Question: Was there a point when you realized "Wow, I'm an artist/artisan!"

Answer: Still waiting for that AHA moment. [Trust me, Cathy; you are!!]

Question: Confession time: What does your craft room/studio really look like? Is it organized?

Answer: I have a painting room, a sewing room, basecoat/varnish in the basement and hand sew and knit in the living room. Everything is a disaster and I have a very patient, saintly husband.

Question: Where can people find out more about you and your handmade tole painting and treasures for sale?

Answer: TolenTreasures Blog; TolenTreasures Depot, and Tolentreasures on Facebook.


  1. Wonderful interview, it's so nice to be able to get to know the person behind the wonderful paintings! Thanks for sharing Cathy and thanks for a great interview Tracy! Deb

  2. Thanks for posting this, Tracy, I didn't even see it until this morning. I need more time to catch up on all these blogs that I am missing. If only I could hit the lottery and quit my day job! Just dreamin'