A few months ago, I started thinking about how talented some people are. It’s crazy the ability that people must have to create things. Sometimes literally out of nothing. I have always been intrigued by artisans and how they learned and mastered their craft.

I hear a lot of chatter online of people seeking services or artistic type work and using the terms “something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg” or “reasonably priced.” While I understand the need to have a budget for items I also think it devalues the product that someone is producing. The end product is just a fraction of what goes into something that a person creates. Whether it be photography or a painted canvas there are hours of work that goes on behind the scenes. Most artists are making just a few dollars an hour in the end.

Overall it seems like a lot of people don’t value the work that people do with their hands. I think that a lot of this is because we don’t as regular people understand the challenging work and thought that goes into creating something as an artisan. I am hoping that this series will shed some light on the amazing art that is being created in our community.

Meet Maggie Schneider of Harper + Noelle Interiors! Maggie is a local Mandeville mom who makes beautiful woven pieces that you can hang on your walls in your office or home. Maggie’s work has been featured in the stores of West Elm and each one of her pieces is truly one of a kind. Maggie learned how to weave when she was in art school but said it was a skill that she hadn’t used in a long time. During a time of healing she revived her love for weaving and started making art again.

Maggie’s art is unique in the fact that she uses a variety of textiles to create her weaving. Anything from yarn that you will find at your local craft store to wool that she sources online. She told me that once she even used some gold gift wrapping twine to add some sparkle. She also uses driftwood and copper piping to create the base for her pieces.

I spent the afternoon with Maggie a few weeks ago so she could teach me how to weave. The first thing that struck me is that Maggie builds all her own looms. This means that she can create her weaving in whatever size and length she wants to. She built me a small loom because–let’s be hones–this was way harder than it looked.

I got it wrong a lot in the beginning, but Maggie was a patient and kind teacher and happily undid the work I messed up multiple times. By the end of our time together, I really had a good feel for how to use my loom although I won’t be mastering this art anytime soon so don’t look for my work in West Elm!

Maggie handed me a variety of yarns and wool and even some twine and wrapping paper string. She let me choose anything I wanted to use and then we started weaving. Weaving in and out was harder than I thought it was going to be and actually took a good bit of strength. It’s not only a mental and creative process but it is also physical. I was working on a tiny loom in comparison to what Maggie normally works on so I can imagine that she is tired and sore after working on some of her bigger installations.

Maggie estimated that it takes her anywhere from 10 to 14 hours to completely finish one of her pieces.
These are truly one of a kind and would make an excellent gift. You can contact Maggie at Maggie.delasierra@yahoo.com. You can follow her on Facebook as well.