Welcome to Inspire • Design • Make, The Journal! 


Inspire • Design • Make has been a long time in the making, and I am super excited to begin this journey with each of you! For this first entry, I thought it would be right to start at the beginning. Metal + Wool is the brand; Inspire • Design • Make, is the work behind the brand.

In the not so long ago past, I was fortunate enough to make a professional transition from being the General Manager of a natural foods store, a position that I held for over 13 years, to return to college to pursue an MA in Visual Arts. Though my career didn’t include my art training directly while working in the business world, I continued explore all areas of fiber; occasionally, through workshops, classes, and my own studio experimentation. This transition made way for possibilities, and in a rather short amount of time, I have found myself instructing at the university level, developing more workshops, teaching local classes, and finally, continuing to make my own designs.

I love design! I live for the process, appreciate the foundations of design, and enjoy making pieces from beginning to end. It occurred to me while taking a foundations class in college that, although the class was intended to be applied to graphic designers, this method could lead to something special in any discipline, including fiber work. The class included ‘steps to creativity’, and it opened my eyes to a more structured way to developing ideas, and a process of bringing an idea through to the final product. This was a key missing from my work that opened the door to a process that works for me. It was just what I needed! My name is Denise; I am a design junkie and couldn’t be happier!

So, what is this process that I speak of? How can it fit into your current design plan? For some of you, the idea may seem daunting, and indeed, this may not be for you. But, as I wrote in the preceding paragraph, this was a great discovery for me. The idea is quite simple, find and inspiration, take thoughtful steps to find ways to bring this inspiration to paper, discover ways to bring this idea from paper to sample, and finally, design the piece.

It is certainly something that has been described and done before, but it’s not something that I have seen used with fibers. Now, I use this method with knit and woven pieces – along with metalwork and all other forms of fiber that I love to explore. I have a lot of inspirations, so it’s rewarding for me to thoughtfully turn these into wearable pieces. 

As this Journal develops over the coming months, I hope to share not only my finished work, but how everything comes together. An entry may simply be about creativity, but it may also include more concrete detail such as steps in the design process, the practice of natural dyeing, a workshop or event, or it could specifically be about inspiration. I plan to include a lot about inspiration!

Thank you for reading,

Denise DeGidio