This month’s featured artist is Stephanie Piersol, who designs and creates high-quality handmade clothing and gift items. She sews, knits, and crochets to create a wide variety of clothing and home décor, selling them through her business, Cypress Cottage Crafts. When asked how long she has been making art, Stephanie replies, “I have been crafting since I was a child because my parents owned a successful craft business. My mother was a great crafter and my appreciation for making things by hand started as I watched her create all kinds of hand-made items to run her own business.” She continues, “I am a self-taught knitter, which I began about 15 years ago; my mother taught me how to crochet a few years after that. I continue to learn new stitches and techniques to improve my craft. Following in my parents’ footsteps, I started my own craft business, Fashioned by Stephanie, in 2005, before changing the name to Cypress Cottage Crafts in 2014, though it’s a part-time job for me.”
Stephanie says that creating handmade goods is more than just a business. “Making things with my hands has a way of calming my nerves and keeping my hands and thoughts occupied. It is a great way to begin the day and a de-stressor at night. I teach middle and high school students in Waelder ISD, so it’s nice to have something creative to do that helps me relax.” She explains that she gets ideas for projects at almost any time. “My inspiration for my creative work can really be anything that I could wear or use. I get ideas sometimes in the middle of the night or while commuting to and from work. I love it when others appreciate my skills, and I especially love it when my own designs are appreciated.”
Stephanie says that she likes being a part of a larger creative community. “I am a member of the Knitting Guild Association and the Crochet Guild of America, as well as a member of the San Marcos Art League. I do enjoy walking and being outdoors, so I am also a member of the San Marcos Riverwalkers, the local American Volksmarching Association chapter.
She believes that art has great value for all people. “It enriches the lives of not only those who make it, but those who get to view and appreciate it. It is important for our community to encourage creativity and allow for thoughtful discussion as we look at art with others. San Marcos has a rich arts culture, ranging from beautiful shows and performances at Texas State University, the music put on by the San Marcos Performing Arts Association, local schools shows, and our regular Farmer’s Market and Arts Squared, among other events. The arts are a form of entertainment that takes us away from electronics and opens up communication with others in our community.”
View some of Stephanie Piersol’s creations for Cypress Cottage Crafts at www.cypresscottagecrafts.com and on Facebook at Cypress Cottage Crafts.