Greetings! My name is Erin Dobell, I'm an artist, pastry chef, & nature lover originally from northern New Jersey, now nestled in the beautiful Finger Lakes of upstate New York. My entire life I've been known as a very creative person, mostly due to my mother who kept us supplied with what we called the "Craft Closet" while growing up. It was always overfilled with everything for making anything! It was an "enter at your own risk" kind of closet. When you opened it you'd be dodging falling objects and when closing it often pinching fingers while trying to hold stuff in. Needless to say I loved that closet and I love my artistic mom for always encouraging us to express ourselves. Throughout high school I took every kind of art class I could fit into my schedule, a favorite being Ceramics Sculpture. One of my works was a tea set that went on to be featured in the Morris Museum; an institution known for celebrating art, science, history, and performing arts in Morristown New Jersey. Another creative love was sewing. I began making clothing patterns in the 8th grade and stitched many of my own outfits. The first purchased pattern I ever used was to make a dress for my Junior Prom and though it was frustrating learning to use professionally made patterns, my creation came out great and was a big hit! My high school sewing career also began to produce an income when I started charging $5 to make purses for my friends. Those closest to me received a new purse at the change of seasons, at holidays or whenever I was inspired to try a new design. The purses I made for myself are still in a huge collection here in my studio. My dream was to become either a ceramics teacher or a fashion designer, or so I had thought. Life took me on a winding path! After studying pastry arts at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, I was a baker & cake decorator for the following decade. During my baking career I always continued my artistic endeavors and was a participant at craft shows & festivals, often sharing a booth with my mother. A year ago I embarked on a new adventure and started my own business including opening a small home-based gift shop, taking the love of my hobby to the next level. The name Earthy Imaginations seemed most fitting to me as it best represents my passion for nature & creativity which I incorporate into my work for aesthetics and environmental awareness. I enjoy repurposing natural elements, giving them new life and offering others an opportunity to appreciate nature in a pleasing way. My mind is constantly rampant with ideas for new projects and "creating" marinates my soul in happiness. Although my interests and works cover a wide range including making woodland wreaths & arrangements; pouring resin settings of natural things such as mushrooms & flowers; building terrariums; pressing flowers; sculpture; designing mosaics from my overflowing collection of broken glass; mushroom photography; sewing; painting; jewelry creation and soy candle making; but I especially LOVE working with beads. Over the years my driftwood beaded sun catchers have become my signature creation. Many will feature leaf shaped glass beads, giving the weathered wood the look of a living branch. While a majority of my beads are purchased, I am always collecting things from nature to blend into my work. My homemade beads are fashioned from stones, nuts, seeds, pits, curls of bark, and tiny bits of driftwood. Wire wrapped lake glass and wild feathers collected from my property are also some of the treasures that are incorporated into my work. I love everything about making my sun catchers from searching the local lakeshores for driftwood, to stringing the glass and crystal beads, to adding the gemstones and other natural details, to finally making sure they are balanced just right. I connect with each piece in a way I cannot describe. Foraging for natural components and creating works of art gives me joy, peace and tranquility and it is my sincere hope that when you wear clothing or jewelry I have crafted or hold a piece of my artwork in your home, that it brings you joy, peace and tranquility too.
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