An Interview with Peyton Curry, Richmond-based photographer and fiber artist
Get to know Peyton Curry, founder of Peyton Made. Peyton is a photographer, knitter, painter, and fiber artist and maker based in Richmond, Virginia. We have had the pleasure of working with Peyton before as a photographer for past collections, and we are thrilled to host her and her work in November.
Peyton will be joining us at Phosphene on Friday November 5th from 5-8PM for First Fridays and Saturday November 6th from 10am - 5pm for a pop up shopping opportunity. We hope you can join us!
Do you practice anything to keep yourself grounded and at peace? (Morning/evening journaling/walks, meditation, time outside, etc)?
I have many creative practices that I enjoy & use as a sort of meditation. I’ve been painting & drawing for as long as I can remember, & learned how to knit when I was eight. I started to weave as a teenager, & just recently learned how to sew on a machine! I bounce around between them all, but most often go back to knitting. I also love exercising outdoors & go for walks in the morning & evening every day with my husband & pup. Baking, cooking, & running are also very grounding for me.
If so, which one speaks to you the most? The one you always go back to, to slow down and live intentionally?
I feel most connected to & gravitate more towards knitting -- I think it’s the meditative & repetitive movement of the needles & yarn. It’s amazing how you work stitch after stitch & it eventually turns into a beautiful, wearable, sturdy, complex garment that is totally unique. I create each piece with the intention of wearing it forever using natural, naturally dyed, high quality fibers that will withstand the elements, keep their shape, but also be a timeless universal piece in any wardrobe.
Where are you from? Does your background inspire the work you create today?
I was born in North Carolina, but grew up in northern Virginia. My mom has had a big influence on my creative endeavors -- from photography, to all of my fiber & art ventures. She is very artful & has always encouraged me in my passions. She began doing crafts with my sisters & I from a very young age, & that’s definitely where my creativity & inspiration originated. My great grandma was a knitter -- she passed when I was very young so I was never able to learn from her, but I’ve been able to see a lot of her work & she was incredible! My grammy was an amazing seamstress and baker, and my mom a painter and photographer. I feel very fortunate to have so many influential creative women in my life & family. It seems I am a collection of all three of them.
You work in a variety of mediums — what connects you to each of these?
I have always felt a draw towards each of the mediums. The desire to work with them comes like the seasons, though. I often find I enjoy knitting most in the colder months, & weaving & painting in the warmer months. I think my families involvement in each of the mediums also brings me a connection while working with them.
How has your work and practice evolved over the years?
I feel like my work has gotten a bit more refined. I’ve discovered a more simple process, & learned my boundaries. It is good to experiment & gain experience, but I know what I like most now. I used to only want to work with neutral colors, but this year in particular (maybe due to the pandemic?) I’ve found myself more attracted to working with bolder colors.
Was there a passion project during the pandemic that brought you happiness and peace during that season?
I started creating my own original sweater patterns, which was a goal of mine for a really long time. I would love to compose instructions to share patterns with others in the near future! I’m excited to be doing more of this during the winter season, & diving into more complex clothing pieces.
Is there a philosophy that you follow and incorporate into each of your crafts and passions?
I prefer to begin without too much planning to allow for more creativity. I find I enjoy the process more when there isn’t too much of a pattern or direction.
Is there anything you do to keep yourself inspired to create?
Traveling has been a major source of inspiration for my work. Whenever I visit a new state, country, or city, I make an effort to seek out and support the local fiber artisans. I have an utmost fascination for the local fiber shops, driftwood & birch and collect them whenever I can. Sprinkled into all my weaves & knits are bits and pieces of those yarns & woods -- spanning from the Aran Islands of Ireland, through Nashville, to the Washington coast, and many more places in-between. I think it is important to support & respect local artisans & their work.
What is the most fulfilling part of your process/your work?
Seeing the end result has to be my favorite, as well as giving the piece(s) to clients & seeing how they wear them, or decorate their spaces. Sewing up a sweater after knitting all of the pieces is also one of the most satisfying parts of the process!
What is a dream project or passion of yours?
I would love to create a local knitting club, or put on an introductory weaving class. I also would be thrilled to learn how to spin wool into yarn, & start naturally dying my own yarn & fabrics. Being more involved in the making process from start to finish.
What craft do you see yourself experimenting with next?
Exploring the world of sewing & natural dye! I would love to create some simple staple pieces for my wardrobe, as well as for others.