Sandy Buffie is a fiber artist living in Kiawah Island, SC. She is affectionately known as The Lint Lady and makes amazing portraits (and more–Sandy says she specializes in life-sized busts, and she also has a jewelry line called Hardwear) from (primarily) dryer lint. She’s done commissioned pieces of all kinds of people and animals and even did a portrait of Shaquille O’Neal’s dog. She is one fascinating woman creating fascinating art. Learn more: sandybuffie.com.
Q: What are you working on right now?
I’ve been spending a lot of time on the HARDWEAR jewlery line. It consists of earrings, necklaces, rings, cuffs and boot straps made from electrical wire, hardware and found objects. I am working on faux-fur cuffs and huge rings with electrical wire. I just finished a dryer lint bust of Tommy Lasorda for a client. Next, I plan to YouTube the creation of a bust and get people to follow the progress and guess who they think I am making. Then ‘d like to auction it off. I am also co-authoring three books with Jamie Birch: a children’s book which focuses on gratitude and includes a journal; a book called Studiosnacks, which is a collaborative book of artists’ studios, art and recipes for snacks; and an ice cream recipe book called The Better Scoop (offering healthier ice cream alternatives).
Q: Why do you make art?
Art-making feeds my soul, and I have a voracious appetite!
Q: What’s your current favorite, can’t-live-without-it tool, supply, material, or junkyard find?
I would have to say my fine collection of dryer lint
and my Dad’s old tools.
Q: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
Right now I am focusing on business books; Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen, How to Make Money Using Etsy byTimothy Adam, and the Complete Idiot’s guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters. For inspiration I love my enormous collection of art books on all kinds of art-making and artist’s studios. I also love Suzanne Merritt’s Flowtography book (check out her website, www.ideaswithmerritt, for details).
Q: What’s the most inspiring trip you’ve ever taken or adventure you’ve ever had?
I have to say it was when my daughter and I got our night scuba diving certification. We were in a cave, 50 feet below the surface in freezing water, and it was pitch black. I mean really black! It was such an amazing, eerie and scary experience, yet for some reason totally comforting and peaceful.
Q: What’s the last thing you cooked?
Does a pop tart count?
Q: If you could surround yourself with only one color, what would it be?
Q: Do you have a talisman/power garment/magical thing you wear?
I love to work in my P.J.s and ratty slippers. And I do have a special collection of items (a magic wand, a tiara, and an art angel) made by friends and my sister.
Q: What’s your favorite place in all the world?
In my husband Craig’s arms.
Q: What one thing do you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
Be on the Ellen Degeneres show.
Q: What’s the best day you’ve ever had?
Too many to list here. I have had an amazing life and plan to continue in the same way for many years to come.
Q: What’s today’s Words to Live By?
Reduce, reuse, recycle and renew.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
My friend Jamie’s homemade coconut milk ice cream (peanut butter chocolate chip to be exact).
Q: What do you listen to when you create?
I adora Pandora! My kids showed it to me. It is amazing. I like The Weepies, Neko Case, Tori Amos, Rosie Thomas, Po Girl, Coldplay and all ’70s music, to name just a few.
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To be able to breath under water.
Q: With whom would you love to spend one day making art?
I love to organize group art making days with friends. This guest list would also include my daughter Emily, my sister Suzanne, my mother, Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, Rodin, Johnny Depp, Ellen Degeneres, Oprah and Martha Stewart. Music would be provided by Cee Lo Green and Train. Snacks and cocktails would be prepared by Guy Fieri.
Q: What is on your workspace right now?
Right now I have three separate workspaces, one for lint, one for metal work and a desk. All are piled high with projects!
I can’t even remember what I did yesterday….
Q: What is your least favorite technique that you still use anyway?
Definitely would be the messy job of shredding the lint into tiny pieces before mixing it with glue. It is really gross and dusty but absolutely necessary.
Q: What’s your favorite tool or material?
A metal pick that is designed for pottery work.
Q: What’s your one favorite material thing?
My king-size Tempur-Pedic mattress!
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for artists?
Keep your work heart centered. Be fearless.
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