Holly Palmer is a textile artist from Westminster. When she was a child, Palmer attended a children’s church group. They gave her a little plaster figure to paint and she thought it was amazing. She still has it.
When she was 10 years old, Palmer’s mother purchased ceramic items for her to paint from a local ceramics studio. The old Bobby’s Hobby Lobby in Westminster on East Main was one of her favorite stores. Palmer loved to go into the art supplies sections of stores as well.
Palmer took art classes in school and enjoyed them but she thought it was too far-fetched to be an artist as a profession. Carolyn Seabolt, her art teacher, often let her stay after school to finish her pottery projects. Palmer also took video classes at the Career and Technology Center that sparked an interest in her.
When she graduated from Westminster High School, Palmer attended the Sheffield Institute of Recording Arts (sheffieldav.com). She studied video technology in a 10-month program. Palmer attended the school because she wanted a connection for a job in the video field. At the time, she attended the Horizon Church and the Pastor David Cowan taught her lot about videography.
After she finished the program at Sheffield, Palmer she was able to get a job at Laureate International Universities (laureate.net) in Baltimore as a video assistant editor for their online programs. She digitized, organized, managed and supplied media to the editors. Palmer loved her job and worked there for four years.
When she left that position, she worked for Channel 21, the Carroll County Education channel.
In 2008, Palmer had a friend in California who lined up job interviews for her, so she moved there to work For Global Gaming League as a video editor. When the company closed, she went to work for Barrington Media (barringtonmedia.com) in Los Angeles as a video editor manager. “I loved that job,” she said, but the economy took a down turn and they had to lay her off.
Palmer came home and reconnected with her current husband. She got a job again at Channel 21, Carroll County Education channel as a video editor until she quit working to have children.
When she got pregnant she thought she should learn to knit or crochet items for her children. Palmer’s sister-in-law introduced her to amigurumi. It is a Japanese art of knitting or crocheting characters or animals such as dogs, bunnies, cats or anything. "Ami” means crochet in Japanese. “Nuigurumi” means doll in Japanese.
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Sue Thorton from Channel 21 recommended that Palmer contact the Carroll County Arts Council to display her work in their Christmas “Gallery of Gifts.”
“When I got my check I was blown away! I did not think any of it would sell,” she said. She still sells there every year. Her average price is $15-20.
Creating the amigurumi got her into fiber art. That led her into needle felting, spinning yarn and weaving. Needle felting is her favorite craft right now. It is like sculping clay but with fiber.
She takes a felting needle that has barbs on it and then she pokes the wool fiber. The barbs go in but not out. The barbs pull the wood fiber until it become felted and eventually creates a form. Palmer makes animals from the felt she created. Her favorites are bunnies, dogs, sheep and foxes. Palmer taught a felting class last year at the Frederick Fiber Fest (frederickfiberfest.com).
“It is pretty cool to see something made from nothing that you create. I love it when my creations get faces and expressions. They are so cute,” Palmer said. “I also like that it is a craft that you can take and do anywhere.”
Palmer also does the Christkindl Markt in Hagerstown (mainstreethagerstown.org), Art in the Park in Westminster (carrollcountyartscouncil.org) and sells her crafts on Etsy. Her store is called Snow Snuggle. She has also sells on Facebook and Instagram. Palmer takes commissions. Most of her sales, however, are at art shows. It takes her all year to make enough characters to sell. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column appears on the first and third Thursday of each month.