Interview with Kim Fox: Worker Bird
Local artist Kim Fox has been named a Martha Stewart American Made 2014 finalist. Focusing on painting, illustrating, and printmaking, Fox has gotten attention for many of her projects, including the biggest and most recent: Our Fair States, which led to Fox’s nomination. American Made is a nationally recognized program that seeks out crafters and makers that are passionate about their hand-crafted businesses and are proudly located in America. Fox will also be featured at the upcoming Handmade Arcade on December 6 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where she will not only be selling her work, but creating collateral materials for the event.
Kim grew up in Stahlstown, PA and credits the town as the inspiration for most of her pieces – along with her choice of materials, rustic quality, and recycling mentality. Growing up in a farm town, it’s no wonder Fox is instilled with a passion for salvaging, re-homing, and vintage shopping and crafts.
What was your inspiration for including tins/metals into your work?
I took a day-long workshop on working with tin at the Society for Contemporary Craft and I became hooked.
What elements of your past on a farm and playing in the woods do you think has the greatest influence on your creative process?
My childhood in rural Pennsylvania was idyllic. I was surrounded by people doing things by hand – farming, sewing, cooking, building, etc. As we have become more removed from those talents/abilities I strive to reincorporate them into my life. I love frugality and thrift as well. So, reclaiming wood and tins and making things by hand fits right in line with my interests.
Where’s your favorite place in Pittsburgh to get your raw/recycled materials?
A great Saturday for me is making coffee and riding around town with my husband and son and going to estate sales. Almost invariably there is a shelf of tins in the basement of these wonderful old houses we visit. I imagine people vowed to reuse the tins but then they just got stored out of the way. That’s where I come in.
What is one of your favorite pieces you’ve made that was hard to part with? Do you have a piece you’ll never part with?
The first piece I did – at the workshop with my husband – I won’t ever part with that. It was a neat way to spend a day with him and it inspired this new venture in my life and, as such, I will keep it around.
What are your future hopes for WorkerBird, now that you’re a Martha Stewart American Made finalist?
I would love to get to the place where my main “job” is being an artist. The most exciting part of being named as a finalist is the attention that my work is getting. If it helps me find more people who like what I do and I can make more of it, then I am good.
Can you give our readers the inside scoop on what surprises they can expect from you at the Handmade Arcade in December?
Inside scoop for Handmade Arcade: hmmmm. Lots more tin pieces, greeting cards, a new line of tee-shirts and hopefully something with bridges. See you all on December 6!
To check out and purchase Kim’s hand-crafted products you can visit her Etsy, or follow her on twitter to get updates on her new projects and shows. Also, make sure to vote for her on American Made here!