Patty Benson, Papaver Vert

5 questions with crocheter Patty Benson of the Papaver Vert Etsy shop

Where do you get your design inspiration? Are there any hints of the Western lifestyle in your aesthetic?
I get my design inspiration from so many places it’s hard to pin it down! Here are just a few--experimenting and playing around with my yarn and crochet hook, the color I see in Boucherouite Rug, weavings by Sheila Hicks and Anni Albers, indigo-dyed textiles and the shapes and forms I see in mid-century ceramics. Other times, it could be a friend making a comment about seeing one of my pieces in a different way that will then lead to newer designs.

Being a California girl, I do see hints of the Western Lifestyle in my work. I would say it's more of an attitude I guess. I see a creative and eclectic mash up of design and home decor with some "keeping it green" thrown in.

Where does the magic happen? Describe your work space.
I work from home out of my living room-turned-workspace. I was in the kitchen for a few years but it was too small so I convinced my husband to let me hijack our main living space. I really love my studio. It's cozy with nice light and I like being surrounded by all my work.

How did you learn your craft? Any advice for how aspiring artisans can get started?
A friend of mine taught me how to crochet several years ago and I immediately felt right at home with a crochet hook and some yarn. I've always had a love of wool and was always curious about felting, so I started to experiment with felting the designs I was crocheting and it just progressed from there. Of course, I have read tutorials, devoured books and taken some classes along the way, asking advice wherever I can from whomever. You should see my boxes filled with trials and errors! I would tell new artisans starting out to be OK with getting things wrong and making mistakes. Without these you will never come up with anything original.

Describe your favorite or best piece. Did you sell it or keep it or gift it?
My favorite piece is my Pod Vase. Sometimes I can grow tired of certain designs, but that piece always makes me smile. Another favorite are some custom podlets I made and gave to my friend for her birthday. They were much larger in size than the ones I usually offer and so much fun to make.

What’s your favorite Etsy shop, other than your own?
Those slippers in Onstail's Etsy shop are felting done right! She also has some cool handbags. If I can add one more, it would be Maranon. I've been eyeing her embroidered necklaces for quite some time.