Joy Did It and Then Some

joy's JOY zentangleJoy Selby Cain and I met initially through Etsy Team Columbus, first when she volunteered to teach spinning as a demo at the Craftacular and then at subsequent meetings and crafting events. I did interview her previously for ETC’s blog but have wanted to feature her here for several months…I even wanted her to teach me some basic dyeing techniques but our schedules have never been in synch ( I hope that changes sometime this year!!!)  I have loved watching her art evolve from the fabulous dyed scarves and shawls and spinning that she does to her amazingly beautiful Zentangle cain pic

The name of her Etsy shop and business is Joy Did it.  Her dad came up with that name back in 1998 when she began work as a freelance graphic designer.  She added the tagline: Fiber Art and Design when she created her Etsy shop ( in 2010.  Currently her shop contains her handwovens and shibori dyed scarves but will soon begin carrying greeting cards.

Joy states that she ‘grew up’ in an arts center called Baycrafters. Her mother volunteered there when she was pregnant with Joy and continued there as she was growing up.  She realized she could learn ANYTHING there and spent hours  there learning everything from drawing and painting to clay and armor making.  Because her mother also worked at a fabric store, she got to play with all of the beautiful fabrics and, thus, started a lifelong passion for textiles.   Joy gets her talents naturally as not only was her mom a nurse but a sewer, quilter and an artist who tried her hand at just about anything and her dad worked in stained glass when she was young and moved on to watercolors when he retired. She says that his eye for detail is amazing…something I think Joy inherited!joy cain 2

Joy is a fellow alum of  Ohio University where she earned a BFA in Graphic Design and typography.  She chose OU  because they had a weaving program – which was elminated before she could even take a class so she opted for classes in drawing, painting and printmaking.  While at OU, she became a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a medieval education and recreation organization. She learned how to spin through SCA and then taught herself how to weave. Since that time, she has taken, and taught, a lot of spinning and weaving cain 3

Rather than viewing herself as an artist, she thinks of herself  as an artisan/craftswoman in the ‘old sense’.what do you mean by this…please explain:)  Explaining her work, she says:

 I see in patterns which, I think, drew me to weaving. I love creating pattern and order out of yarns and fluff and intermingling colors and patterns and textures. I think that is why I love shibori, the Japanese art of tie and dye so much. You create patterns using sewing and weaving to create resists but the result can be completely different from what you imagined.

However, she does concede that if you look  at her work on paper,  you could say she is an artist.  This came from her love of  Zentangles – a marriage of patterns, art and meditation.  She has begun doing a lot of Zentangle inspired pieces taking drawn images like insects, animals and plants and filling in the different planes of shadowing with patterning. Not only is this an art form for her but it also serves as a form of s-c zentangle

History and  Archaeology are inspirational for her. “Textiles are a way of walking in the shoes of women from the past. It is as close to time travel as I can get. I see pieces from a dig and want to figure out how it was created and try to make it myself. That may mean handspinning 17,000 yards of yarn, dyeing it with natural dyes like madder and goldenrod and weaving the original patterns.”

Her dye works have many inspirations but her biggest inspiration for  shibori-dyed silks is Hawaii. After traveling there in 2009, she felt she left a part of herself there as she felt so connected to the  bright and beautiful things in the island environment.  Currently, she is playing around with stitched shibori – drawing an image and filling the image with stitched and resists in different directions – not unlike zentangles- then dyeing using natural indigo which is her favorite dye.

Her gorgeous textiles can be purchased at the Ohio Craft Museum and at Wood Metal Art Columbus as well as through her shop.  Recently she and her scarves were photographed for the November, Made In Columbus issue of Columbus Monthly and she has 2 articles being published in the Winter issue of Spin-Off magazine. In addition, the exercise bike she turned into a spinning wheel was promoted by two blogs!  Her creativity never ceases to amaze me!joy cain 4

Joy does state that she has one problem:  “I think sometimes I am TOO creative. I have ideas of things I want to do and I need to finish what I start.”  I think all of us that are creative types have this problem but what a great one to have!!

joy cain 1

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