Amy Finn-Scharlach is a multimedia artist located in the heart of Grey County in Flesherton. Her art ranges from metalwork to jewelry, embroidery to handmade goods and touches on motherhood, womanhood, fertility, and more.
When we first met I think you were primarily focused on jewelry but I’ve been following online and seen a shift in your work! Can you tell me a bit about how your journey started and what prompted the shift?
2022 was a hard year for my mental health. I was trying to homeschool, expand my business, and learn new techniques all at the same time and it just did not work. Jewellery making is messy, and finding the time and space at this phase of my life and parenting just wasn’t working the way I needed it to. I did a big production order in the summer and then totally burnt out and had tons of self doubt. It put in perspective for me that although I do want to make art for a living, I need to do it in a more sustainable and small-scale way. I love making things, but I also love helping people make things and create objects that are super special and meaningful. I’ve been working with natural dyes and exploring hand sewing because it’s what feels good right now. I work out of my kitchen and sew on my couch. I have a small sunroom that I occasionally open up to the public for creative events. I do have plans to start making jewellery again this summer and taking a break from metal work and exploring other forms of art making has allowed me the space to have ideas again and feel excited about the art again.
How long have you been an artist in Grey County? What’s the artist and maker community like here? How do you balance the focus on selling locally versus internationally?
I moved to Flesherton in 2019 – it is a very cute and creative small town with amazing food and art galleries that have been here for many years. You can enjoy art tours in the fall as well as different markets throughout the summer. My work up to this point has been very niche and so selling online has worked well for me. I do have some plans to get back to in person markets for the 2024 season.
How does your role as a mother and practice as a doula inform your art?
It’s really all I have ever known. Before I was pregnant and had kids, aside from college, I never had a dedicated consistent art practice. I didn’t have anything I felt motivated by or excited to really create from until I started making things inspired by birth and fertility. I am part of an online network that brings together artists who are also caregivers and would love to bring some in person meet ups to Grey County for others who are looking to create with people who are at similar stages of life.
What have been your personal favourite pieces to create?
In 2020 I was asked to create a necklace for Bridget’s Bunnies, a pregnancy and infant loss charity that serves Simcoe and our area. I designed a hand drawn “light seed” stamp that pictured a small seed design surrounded by a light burst.
I saw that you just finished a 100 days project on Instagram. Can you tell me a bit about it?
I’m actually not finished and feel like it will take me all year. I set out knowing full well I wouldn’t complete the project in 100 days straight – but the purpose behind it is to explore new techniques and just keep making things as much as I can, and not worry about the end product! It’s a low pressure and fun way to create as well as connect with other artists for support and inspiration.
Contact: 519-379-5222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 11 Elizabeth Street, Flesherton, ON