Team Simple spent some time with Anna Upston, owner of Maupston Design Studio, one of the premiere design artists on the scene today in the burgeoning field of fiber art. Whether crafting her own colorful yarns or creating one-of-a-kind sculptures, Anna shows a creative depth and spirit that continues to distinguish her.
Some artists use paint or pencils, clay or canvas. I use fiber and shape it with a spinning wheel.
I started out as an opera singer, a mezzo-soprano, and then became a mom of three. While I was home, I found a way to take creative musical energy and transform it into color and shape with the yarns I make. I loved the nights when my kids were tucked in, and I would spin and create for hours. Before I knew it, I was selling the yarn I made at a local yarn store, then at local markets, and onto crafts and art shows throughout the New York Region. The art, not just the business, began to grow, and I learned the Japanese art of temari, and began to create sculpture and installations as well.
As I see it, every skein I spin is a sculpture of narrow width and enormous length. By using the spinning wheel to sculpt my lines, I have the freedom to compose with color and texture, viscerally binding, wrapping and webbing in three dimensions. Fiber art is both visual and tactile in the most satisfying way.
I still teach music, I teach art, I sing, and as Maupston Design Studio, I continue to create and sell yarn and fiber art. Whether as a mom, an artist, a musician, a teacher or a human being, each identity is important, and Simple Shoes works with each one. Everyone has a creative spirit, and deserves some comfort and respect for being an individual. Simple Shoes keep me comfortable, and still pulled together. The classic design of the Simple Sugar gives me a foundation so I can play with the color in my wardrobe as well as on my wheel!