Makers Who Inspire Me: Claire Orth's Heirloom Embrodieries
I haven't actually yet had the pleasure of meeting Claire in person - I'd like to think the word yet is important here. She has been buying some of my ribbons to add to her work lately and one day I was clicking around my customers' sites and was charmed by her work.
Embroidery was the very first craft I learned - my grandmother taught me how - and as a small child I too loved to make teeny tiny things, so when I saw Claire's lovely little creations, they reminded me of learning to stitch by my grandmother's knee at home and I immediately wanted to learn more about Claire, her company Blumenstitche and her lovely, tiny creations.
S: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
C: Hello! My name is Claire Orth and I am 20 years old. I live on a little farm in the hills in Oregon with my family, a flock of chickens and geese, and my little pet mouse. I love spending my days out and about in nature, collecting inspiration for my creations or curled up with a book reading up on the many subjects I find fascinating.
S: How did you get started making tiny beautiful embroideries?
C: I've been sewing and embroidering off and on since I was little, but it wasn't until we moved to our farm in 2017 that I seriously took up embroidery.
I was so inspired by all the little things I would find while exploring our woods and creek and just had to put them down in art somehow (I first tried painting, but was unsuccessful unfortunately). I quickly discovered how much I loved to embroider mice and flowers and so my obsession began!
S: What's the thing you love most about what you do?
C: I love capturing the little moments I'm so blessed to witness on our little farm. From goslings splashing in puddles on a warm spring day, to a little mouse eating a strawberry among the bobbing flowers. I also love that because of how small my embroideries are, I can make them out of little scraps of fabrics or bits of string. I love using things that otherwise might end up in the landfill to make something that someone might enjoy and cherish.
S: What’s the biggest challenge you feel you’re up against (if there are any) with this work?
C: Hmm, I think the biggest challenge for me with what I do, is probably keeping up with social media and keeping a website. I love the creating part of my business, but there are times when I feel that social media and keeping a website can take away from my creativity and make me feel a little unmotivated to make anything new. It isn’t anything huge and I’m working at finding that balance of creative work and digital work that comes with owning your own business, but nevertheless I feel like it might be the biggest struggle for me!
S: What’s one thing you wish people understood about what you do?
C: That I dearly hope my embroidered pieces will be cherished and passed down through generations. I dream of my stuffed animals being loved and taken on adventures with so many sweet little souls and never intend to be a part of or add to the noise and clammer of modern consumerism. I hope to encourage slow and thoughtful buying and am always working on making my pieces more durable to withstand many seasons all the while being gentle on the earth.
S: That definitely resonates for me. What is your hope or plan for your work going forward?
C: I have a lot of dreams of where Blumenstitche could go in the future, but currently I am dreaming of slowly making and selling little heirloom stuffed animals alongside my embroideries. It's a slow process as I am on the hunt for high quality and durable materials, but it's a journey I'm so excited to be on!
I also hope to make Blumenstitche more eco friendly over time. I'm researching and planning better ways to make, package, and sell my pieces in a way that is gentle on the earth and am very excited to start implementing all the things that I've been learning!
S: What’s your favourite kind of cake?
C: I love my sweets, so I'm not hard to please when it comes to cakes, but I do love a good rich chocolate cake!
S: Yum! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Claire. I cant wait to see where your work goes next.
You can see more of Claire's work on her website, in her Etsy Shop, Blumenstich and on Instagram