When art has texture, pattern and color all combined it just feels so complete and attractive. The breathtaking art of Juanita Dix is just that, she is a multifaceted artists based out of Florida that has worked with everything from pine needles to paper, and jewelry to paper mâché just to name a few. Her body of work is so colorful and the attention to detail and color combination with hints of texture I feel is what makes her art so eye catching.
She sells a wide variety of her artwork in her Etsy shop linked to below, she is even a graphic designer as well, talk about a women that’s creative and talented in so many fields!
She was able to take some time and tell us more about how she got into basket and wreath making and what inspires her, check it out below.
If you’re looking for a fun, colorful unique bowl or basket breaming with texture check out her shop. She also offers gorgeous handcrafted colorful bead and shell jewelry that will allow you to wear art with you when you’re out and about.
Etsy store: www.etsy.com/shop/jdcraftsunlimited
Website: www.designjd.net (her graphic design site)
Can you tell us about your work, when did you start creating?
I have been a graphic designer for over 30 years, but just in the last 15 years I got serious about working with natural fibers and crafting. My husband and I moved to Florida from Indiana around 2003. Our yard at the time had 2 live oak trees and a huge evergreen, so we starting planting. My neighbor gave us a Jacaranda tree sapling, which are really fast growing trees with beautiful purple flowers in the spring.
I started looking around and seeing different ways to use resources and materials I had already to create with. Our evergreen would drop tons of needles every fall so I researched uses for pine needles and started making pine needle baskets. A few years later my Jacaranda started dropping it’s branches so I started collecting those and making beach wreaths. I collect 90% of my shells off local beaches.
Some of the more exotic shells I buy, and the grasses, pine needles and other things I use are from nearby fields, bushes and trees. Then I started noticing all the darn junk mail coming into our home and decided to recycle that into paper beads, paper maché bowls and paper coiled baskets.
I recently started experimenting with polymer clay and making my own beads to compliment my paper beads jewelry. So that brings me up to date of over the last 15 years, I guess I’m a natural recycler. My paper mache bowls are all handpainted.
How would you describe your home decor style?
Eclectic. We made our end tables and coffee table from wine crates, lazyboy chairs off craigslist, and some Goodwill finds for accessories. Simple and comfortable.
What inspires you when you get in a rut?
I look at what other artists are making. Their creativity inspires me to sit down and create something too. If I want to do a painting I look through books or go to a museum. Right now I have so many ideas that it almost brings me to a standstill on what direction or project to do next.
What colors do you enjoy using in your art the most and why?
Mostly red. I love all the other colors too. I like vibrant colors, but a deep red just brings a richness to whatever I make.
Where do you create most of your work, what is your space like?
I have an office/spare bedroom/craft room with a simple folding table where I make my jewelry pieces, but the bigger and messier projects are created on my living room coffee table or lanai table. They are large and give me the space to move around. I could use the garage, but there is no AC out there and in Florida, that is essential.
Name 3 crafters, artists or designers that you follow and love their work…
Right now, because I recently have started creating with clay, I would say Susan from TurtleSoupBeads is someone I admire or follow at the moment. She has had great tips and tricks as well as techniques to pass along, and that has helped me a lot. But I don’t really “follow” anybody in particular, there are so many talented people out there, so I can’t chose just 3. I admire anybody that makes art with their hands, and can make the piece near museum quality. Whether it’s a bag made from grasses, a painting or a sculpture, because I know how hard it is, and the work involved to make a crafted piece look that good.
What are your favorite items decorating your home and why?
Pictures. Paintings and ink drawings that I have done over the years that give me joy and take me back to when I created them, and pictures of my family which give me a different kind of joy and memories.