We sat down with crochet and fiber artist Ashleigh Parks Mabe to learn more about her wearable, colorful freeform fashion pieces.
Tell us a little about what it is you create as an artist?
I focus primarily on Freeform clothing and accessories. A good portion of each piece is made from hand spun yarn, that I spin on my wheel.
What is your process like, and how did you get started with crocheting?
I’ve been crocheting for roughly 20 years. I started making freeform pieces around 6 years ago, I needed a little bit more excitement than your standard patterns. In the last few years I have started spinning my own yarn. I have been fortunate enough to meet people with similar interests who have helped me develop my own skills as well as providing local sources for wool. This includes Enno Farm, Soil Dancer Alpaca Farm, Mama Gnome, and Mitzi Britt (all in Stokes County).
“When I start a new piece, I have no idea how it will turn out, but I take a lot of inspiration from nature, Victorian clothing styles, and religious iconography. As far as being an artist goes, creation itself is part of the reward, but I do find joy in the happiness my work brings others. Seeing someone like my work enough to wear it is always an unexpected pleasure.”
What is your favorite memory from a Whimsical Women sale or event?
I’m currently looking forward to my first Whimsical Women show – so none yet!
Where can people find more of your amazing crochet fashions?
I have pieces at Wildfire Tattoo Studio in Walnut Cove and The Art’s Place of Stokes County. Also, I am a finalist in the Made in NC Awards for Our State Magazine. You can Follow me on Facebook at Madame Malena’s Market of Wonders or Madame_Malena on Instagram.
Ashleigh is just one of of many amazing women that make up the Whimsical Women family. Click here to read more Artist Spotlights.