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!
The Simple team spent an awesome afternoon recently with Timmy and the crew from Timmy Tattoo. Located in a bustling metro area on Long Island, we were interested to see these artists at work. As an artist, my life and how I interact with the world is shaped by my art. In the tattoo [...]
We spent an afternoon learning what’s current and cool in the comic book business from our new friend Menachem Luchins, owner of Escape Pod Comics in Huntington, New York. As a fan of the brand, he’s got a small but growing collection of Simple shoes and we hear he’s passing that brand interest along to his key [...]
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ursula Siker is a well known baker who has been featured on Zagat and Time Out and is currently based in Chicago. We spent a day with her at Hoosier Mama Pie Company where she serves as co-kitchen manager and doesn’t miss a beat in her Simple shoes.“I never thought I’d end up becoming a baker. Looking [...]
We headed West for our Spring 2017 campaign, setting up shop in Venice, California for a few days. The damp but inspiring dawn, while chilly, was a welcome change from the snowy East Coast that we’re used to. From the comforts of Blue Star Donuts on Abbot Kinney Boulevard to the grassy meadows of Charmlee Wilderness Park in western Malibu, [...]
As residents of San Francisco, we don’t often have to leave the city. Everything we need is at our fingertips and we don’t need to go far to find what we’re looking for. One thing we always look forward to though, is getting out of the city to breathe some fresh air and take in the scenery. Northern California [...]
As a seventeen year old living in Malibu, CA, surfing is a significant part of my daily routine. I’m always awake an hour before the sun pops up behind the beautiful mountain ridges of Southern California. Seeing the perfect waves, feeling crisp offshore winds and hearing the hoots and hollers of my closest friends motivates [...]
My boyfriend and I moved to Japan earlier this year so that Jerry could continue to chase his dreams of playing football. When I say football in Japan, most people probably think I'm talking about soccer, but no, they do actually have American football here. I would follow him anywhere but that doesn't mean that [...]
Moving from Chicago to Indiana, we can now hear crickets and see the stars at night. We’ve traded subway platforms for tree-lined streets and our two-bedroom apartment for a three-bedroom house. Space has become our most cherished possession. There was less of it in Chicago – construction crews taking up most traffic lanes, subway passengers inviting themselves to share seats [...]
On the hunt for some high test urban inspiration, we took a Summer road trip to The City of Gold, San Fransisco. Ground zero for 1968's Summer of Love, the impossibly charming City by the Bay is perhaps California's truest cultural epicenter. It is a city of world class proportions with dynamic and distinct neighborhoods, [...]