We had the good fortune of connecting with Bonnie Mullins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bonnie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m originally from a small city in Wisconsin and spent a lot of time in the rural Midwest. The agricultural- based community and economy are what instilled my respect for the natural world and a sense of pride in making things by hand. I remember taking trips to the local hardware store growing up, and I still get materials for my pieces there. Even if my intention for a piece is to hang on a wall, I want to know it is durable and made from quality materials. Reimaging a practical medium and transforming it into something different than it was intended for is such a fun and explorative process.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is ever-changing in terms of medium and technique but I think a good basis for description would be material transformation. It took me a long time to realize that I wanted to be a fine artist/ entrepreneur and that it was an acceptable thing to be. I wasted a lot of time trying to convince myself that my work had to be practical and functional to have a place in the world. One of the most helpful things I’ve learned about creating is that everything I make is not going to be fantastic and that’s ok. It’s necessary to allow yourself the freedom to reevaluate without tearing yourself down. Even if a sample or piece is not successful, it can help you develop techniques that you use to land an exhibition down the line.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shoutout to the fibers program faculty and staff of SCAD and Pepe Hall. The fibers building was always full of energetic and encouraging people, making it a wonderful place to create. I feel so lucky to have been able to study at SCAD and given so many opportunities and insights into the world of fibers and where it can take me. What a nice community it was to be a part of. Thank You!!