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Katherine Guttman (The Stitchy Crow, Fiber Artist in Vermont)

Katherine Guttman in her woods wearing a brainy hat. Happier Place

Katherine Guttman is the clever, funny and imaginative maker, writer, mom, gardener, reader, outdoors-lover, and coffee-drinker behind the charming, inventive and smile-inducing Stitchy Crow fiber creations.

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Katherine graduated from the Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts. For the next 15 years, she lived in New York City, where she worked for Sesame Street and met her husband, the visual artist Daniel Mather.

Together, they created The Odd Luminary – their first collaboration before their child. The website offered the odd, the curious, and the macabre – in stories, images and for-sale art and practical products. Check out The Odd Luminary Blog to enjoy Katherine’s magical writing!

In 2013, Katherine and Daniel “escaped the city” and moved to their very own Happier Place: ten wooded acres in the foothills of the Green Mountains in Vermont. Today, they still live in their woods in Huntingon – now with their four-year-old son. 

Via Katherine’s Instagram photo stream you get a lovely look behind-the-scenes of life and creative work in New England. Following her hilarious son “O” along paths in nature or sporting yet another amazing costume, watching her garden grow and the seasons change, and seeing her fiber creations come together are a powerful inspiration to contemplate and live a happier life.

The Stitchy Crow

The Stitchy Crow - Fiber art by Katherine Guttman

Combining her passion to create, love for the outdoors, experience as a mother, and lively imagination, Katherine Guttman makes an array of hand-crafted items, from small felt creatures to large-scale pieces of various fabrics. Her Stitchy Crow creations are either directly practical (e.g., baby blankets, quilts, costumes) or “just” decorative (e.g., embroidery art pieces, sculptures). All of them have a whimsical charm and beauty that make people happier.

Her work has been featured in art shows at The Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington, Vermont and is sold at The Hive in Middlesex, Vermont and Boho Baby in Essex Junction, Vermont.

Katherine also does commissioned work. For inquiries and orders, please contact Katherine via The Stitchy Crow website.

Why do you do what you do?

I have always identified as a storyteller. My dream was to be able to tell stories every day. And while I originally assumed it would be through writing, it appears now I’m telling stories through fiber – fabric, felt, thread. My mother is a fiber artist and started quilting when I was young. Sewing and creating has always been a hobby, and after becoming a mom, I realized that creating physical objects was making me happier than writing. For now. An important lesson I’ve learned is that our lives are never set. Our journeys are winding paths; rarely are they set straight lines.

In the middle of creation: The Stitchy Crow studio
In the middle of creation: The Stitchy Crow studio.

 

General Happier Place category?

The water. The smell of water, the sound of water, the horizon and the water meeting. These are my happiest happier places. My parents live on the coast of Maine and when we visit I spend a lot of time just staring at the ocean. It makes sense, this human obsession with water. Our earliest memories are of the womb, surrounded by water and the safety of that space.

Recently, I’ve discovered a love of mountains. We live in a rural area surrounded by mountains and I find that I feel a grounding of the soul being near them. My ideal location would probably be the side of a mountain at the ocean’s edge. And, naturally, wherever I am, having my husband and my son with me elevates that experience. My son loves the water and loves hiking. We took a hike through a riverbed this summer and he would be happier if we hiked that every single day.

Lobster trap on Bailey Island in Maine.
Lobster trap on Bailey Island in Maine.

 

Specific Happier Place locations?

When I was 8 years old, my dad bought an RV and we drove from Miami to Denali National Park in Alaska. It was the most amazing experience and I feel so fortunate to have this lexicon of inspiring places in my history.

Happier Places for me means: inspiring, quiet, magical, immersive. I remember sitting next to a river while my father fished for salmon. Seeing a grizzly bear scratch its back on a dead tree. My mother teaching me how to collect plants for natural fabric dyes. Watching mountain goats in Glacier National Park. Making up elaborate quest tales with my brother as we hiked through forests in Maine.

Physical Happier Places would be:
Lake Crescent in Olympia National Park in Washington State.
Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine.
Our property in Huntington, Vermont. We live on 10 acres up the side of a mountain and hiking our woods calms me in a way previously only achieved with Xanax.

What do you always bring out into nature with you?

I always bring a notebook and pen, my phone for pictures, sunscreen (pale Floridians unite!), water, hand sanitizer, bug spray, a towel, snacks, bandaids, garbage bag. (Can you tell I’m a mom? I have been known to bring crayons and extra socks for my four-year-old hiking companion).

Katherine Guttman and her son at the Giant's Stairs on Bailey Island, Maine.
Katherine Guttman and her son at the Giant’s Stairs on Bailey Island, Maine.

 

Happier Place tips or hacks?

Take only pictures, leave only footprints. Pack it out. Be prepared. There is no shame in bringing a backpack with water, snacks, and a towel. And bring a little garbage bag to pack out your trash. We are merely visitors on this earth. We aren’t the first to walk this world and we won’t (hopefully) be the last.

A dream destination (in space or time)?

I would love to go to New Zealand, the Hebrides, Iceland, Scandinavia. I would love to take my son to Scotland and the Pacific Northwest. I must admit, though, visiting relatives in Florida with a four-year-old sometimes feels like a massive accomplishment, so I have put large scale international travel on the back burner.

Words of inspiration?

Our family mantras seem to be:

The work is hard, do the work.

Stay Weird.

When I am low, I sing “Rainbow Connection” to myself.

Find Katherine Guttman and her fiber art online:

The Stitchy Crow websiteThe Stitchy Crow on Instagram

Lose yourself in some of Katherine Guttman’s magical writing:

The Odd Luminary Blog

 

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