We had the good fortune of connecting with debra weiss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi debra, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
As a young girl in the 1960’s I learned to sew, crochet, cook and bake with my mother. As I became a teenager I taught myself macrame and would go to Venice Beach and peddle my wares. In college after a couple years of science I decided to study textile design, at the time battling the internal struggle of craft vs. art and needing to make a living I ended up working in the medical field for 25 years. All the time still creating and making and raising 3 girls on my own. In 2000 I started a business designing clothes. This took many twists and turns and to this day is still evolving. I never stopped creating with my hands and fiber, embroidery, piecing, stitching, knotting, crocheting and weaving. My pieces have become more art focused and relay messages about the years of life and experiences we accumulate. I have recently over the past few years had the privilege to show my work and have a couple shows scheduled in 2021. I love to share my knowledge of craft in my very carefree approach. I work intuitively letting the materials guide me as I make. Nothing is planned but becomes a piece of interest and beauty. These days of making allow for slowing down, observing and finding inner peace. I believe we collect experiences throughout our lives. These experiences mold and change us, they sway our character. When all is said and done we remain the same person, however changed we may seem. Our integrity, our soul, our being that was birthed into this lifetime remains unchanged. Through stitching layers upon layers, I create unity and celebrate life. I make objects of color and beauty while thinking about what life means to me and what I’ve seen in the world. This journey began over 50 years ago for me and now I would love to share it with others.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It was not easy to traverse the last 20 years as a business owner. I maintained my work in the medical field for the first 7 years As a single mother I needed an income. I decided to devote my full attention to the business in 2007. The recession hit the following year and there was a lot of switching gears and changing paths. I technically closed my business as it was January of this year in order to pursue more art and collaborate with others, along with teaching. Since covid I have been able to do all but more slowly than I had hoped.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love to take people around, we would start by walking to the metro, going downtown and walking from the fashion district thru the arts district, little Tokyo, Union Station There are a multitude of food and drink places along with museums. At the Disney Hall there are amazing free tours, of course there is the MOCA and Hauser and Wirth and the Geffen. There is much too much to list here and several days would be needed to explore via metro. Sadly all this is on hold due to covid.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I raised my 3 daughters on my own and it was my desire to teach them to explore and live their passion that I chose to start my business. So i guess the credit goes to my girls, Hillery Sproatt, Dorrey Sproatt, Malaika Weiss.
David Studarus lieke romeijn Stephanie Williams