Artist Interview – Sally Stokes of Sarahracha

October 2011 Show Interview:

Looking for the perfect gift for that super Eco-concious family member you are visiting over the Holidays? Well, look no further than Marin Handmade…

We are so excited to feature Sally Stokes of Sarahracha today (www.sarahracha.etsy.com) whose amazing woven baskets and reused cork pieces bring a whole new meaning to the term “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!”

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have lived in Marin since I was 4 years old. My husband and I raised our two children here in Marin. I have been an organic gardener for the last 30 years.  I worked in education while my children were in school. Now I devote my time to the pursuit of creativity.

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What kind of artist are you? And what first drew you to that particular medium?
I love every medium.  These days I would describe myself as a frugal textile artist. I don’t like spending money on artist supplies so rely on what I can find. I am most proud of my baskets woven in the coil method out of 100% recycled plastic bags. Each one uses up to 100 plastic bags keeping them from clogging up our landfill and our oceans.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Living here, I like to hike with my two dogs.  My husband and I love to go wine tasting, where I will ask for corks that I make into doormats and trivets and wreaths. We are theater lovers, music lovers and we travel as much as possible.

Who is your greatest creative influence?
My mother told me to never waste paper, to fill each page with as many drawings. We were taught how to make do with what we had. I think this has carried through into my recycling art.

Please describe your creative process.
So many times when seeing something get thrown away I think there has to be something useful I can make from this. I have more ideas than time to execute them.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A jewelry box my husband made for me

What is it about living in the North Bay that most inspires your creativity?
I love the open spaces and coastal lands in Marin County. I hike all the trails I can bring my dogs on. The environmental movement has been a huge part of my life. As a kid I remember helping my dad fill up the station wagon with recyclable materials we would take to Drake High where we recycled can’s bottles, and newspapers.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
We plan on splitting our time between Marin and our second home in La Quinta. As much as I love Marin, the winters are not sunny enough.

Thank you Sally!

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