Tuft Love: Felt(ing) Emotions with Tobiah Mundt

Connect with Tobiah

At her website

On Instagram

At the Hive (mail-order projects also available)

In this article by New City Arts

 

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[00:15] Lisa: Hello Stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa Woolfork, I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So, sit back, relax and get ready to get your stitch together.

[00:50] Hello friends. A quick note before we get started for today, I am recording this episode with Tobiah partly from my house on Zoom and from her location which is at a gallery, she has a fantastic exhibit up called Blue Black, Black Blue. And that is currently up on display for exhibition in a gallery and she is there at the gallery talking about her work. This explains why there is an echo, because you know galleries are very large and they in sound echo and so this is why you will hear an echo or a bit of a hollow sound as we have our conversation. I just wanted to offer that as by way of information because this episode will sound a bit different. So, I thank you as always for listening. And here we go.

[01:41] Hello everybody and good morning. Welcome to the Stitch Please Podcast. We are the sewing podcast, we are the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I am Lisa Woolfork your host and again I am happy thrilled and delighted to be here with you today and to welcome a very special guest, Tobiah Mundt of Charlottesville, Virginia, an artist, a teacher, a creative, an all-around Renaissance woman and a friend. And she has a fantastic exhibit right now at work and I thought it would be a really wonderful opportunity to talk to her about this work, as well as about her background in needle felting. I have never known someone who makes yoyos, no not yoyos, one of those little balls. What do you call a little ball that you make?

[02:36] Tobiah: Pom poms.

[02:39] Lisa: Yes. With such ferocity. And so, for me I consider like those are like the extras, the not frills because frills make it seem frivolous, but those are the bonus, you know the bonus things. It's also the fact that I can't do what that I find them deeply, deeply impressive, but Tobiah is an amazing fiber artist and I'm so glad that she's able to be with us today. And for those who are Patreon supporters, you will get a video of this conversation, which is amazing because you get to see some things that you can't see with your ears. So, welcome Tobiah, thank you so much for being here today.

[03:24] Tobiah: Thank you for having me. I'm so excited.

[03:27] Lisa: So, we're going to, as we were going through today, can you tell us a little bit about how you got started? I usually ask people about their sewing story, but you don't, you do so, but you don't really have a sewing story as much as you have a story of beginning the process of your architectural sculptural fiber arm pieces. So, can you talk a bit about how you got started with that?

[03:52] Tobiah: Yes. So, in 2006 I was an architect in Northern Virginia practicing in law claim when my mom got sick, and I'm originally from Houston, Texas. So, when I found out she was sick, I just quit my job like no thought and quit my job and moved to Ohio to take care of her. And admit going from working as an architect in a design build firm, which is, you know, you don't sit in the office all day long, you're half of the office, half on site. And I did mostly residential homes. So, that went from that to just sitting in the hospital all day. And so, it was very hard for me to just sit there, so I'm very fidgety naturally, so I needed something to do with my hands. And I've always been an artist, but I never considered myself a good artist. So, I would always sketch but I never found my medium. And so, that time sitting in the hospital room, I took up embroidery that didn't take, not at all. So, I wanted to do some hand sewing.

[05:13] Lisa: Did you try knitting?

[05:14] Tobiah: No, I've never tried knitting. It just seems like it's not my thing. My sister crochets, but I was just never interested in knitting. So, I wanted to sew a fox for my boyfriend now husband, so I was looking online for fox patterns when I found a needle felted fox, and I never heard of needle felting, never heard of felting but it looks so cool. I knew it was some way with a needle that you sculpt this 3d thing. So, I ordered some wool and some needles, and I gave it a try. I made a fox a little tiny fox, it took me about two weeks. And then I loved it so much. I ordered 20 pounds of wool.

[05:57] Lisa: Oh my god. How many boxes can you make with 20 pounds? I think you can make a real actual Fox out of that.

[06:04] Tobiah: You could make several life sized foxes with that much wool. But it took over my life. I started sculpting all sorts of things, mostly creatures, other worldly looking things. I just didn't know I could sculpt. And it came sort of naturally. So, I never went back to architecture. I started a business called Licorice Tree creating kits, needle felting kits for people to learn to sculpt their own things. And I started teaching classes and it just took off from there.

[06:41] Lisa: That's fantastic. And one of the things I was thinking about and looking at your bio, is that you graduated in 2000, from Howard University with a BA in architecture. And so, two things that I find amazing about that. One is that you graduated graduate school the same year, oh wait, undergrad, the same year, I graduated graduate school. And I'm very impressed with myself for having so many fabulous young friends. Then I'm so curious about what you see as the relationship, if any, between art and architecture, because I'm glad that you explain what a design and build firm is, because I would not know what that is. And I tend to think about architecture as like blueprints and really neat cool little like, setting up little rooms and setting up how buildings you can build them, and they don't fall down. And I mean, I have a obviously like, second grade understanding of what architecture is as a discipline. But can you talk a bit about some of your training at Howard and how that shaped your approach to art today? Was there anything there? And the reason I mentioned it is because Bisa Butler, who is an amazing quilter, she went to art school at Howard. And one of the things I remember her saying was, you know how when you paint a canvas, it usually starts off as what we consider Canvas colored, which is like ivory or cream. He took a class where they were instructed to paint the canvases start black.

[08:14] Tobiah: Oh, wow.

[08:14] Lisa: They started black and then built everything else around that. And I just thought that was such a radical shift in thinking to start and have your blank canvas be a blank canvas, and I was one of those anything in your training as an undergraduate that made you think differently about the relationship of art, or maybe your own approach to art that you can use moving forward.

[08:39] Tobiah: I mean, when I look back at it now, I was really attracted to the modelmaking aspect of architecture. So, I--

[08:49] Lisa: What do you mean by modelmaking, because I mean tiny furniture. What do you mean by modelmaking?

[08:54] Tobiah: Tiny houses except for tiny buildings. So, whenever we have a project you start with a sketch. But for me, I can't see anything unless it's three dimensional. So, I draw now, but it's very frustrating. So, I might sketch out my idea of what I want to do. But I feel like I can't really see it until I start to build it. So, I still make tiny models, especially with tufting, which is behind me here. So, I make tiny models of the work that I'm going to either needlefelt or tuft, just so I can see it. I feel like I'm a little bit like 2d blind, automating being able to see something three dimensional, has really stuck with me until now.

[09:49] Lisa: Now, that's amazing. And the thing I love about that is the transition of taking it from a flat to something that's like, that you can hold, that you can walk into, that you can walk around. Like that's really, it's really amazing. You know, it reminds me of this one movie review that I read once for that film avatar. Remember the film avatar, the blue people that could not see. I was reading it, I was reading a review of the movie and someone was like, “I saw the 3d version of the movie Avatar, and it was so amazing. And the 3d version was so good. And it made me wish that real life was 3d too.” I was like, “oh my, what a life. Do you live in a flat world? It's like, are you Flat Stanley? Like, what, where do you--?”

Tobiah:  I learn that people do see things differently. I've started to ask the questions, like two different artists because I'm fascinated with painters. Because for me, that seems like a really frustrating thing because I've tried painting and it does not, everything seems skewed when I paint. But there are some people that I've spoken to where they feel the same thing about three dimensions now, three dimensions, they can't see that. So, I think we do see different on different things depending on.

[11:23] Lisa: Yeah, no, that makes sense. That makes sense. I can imagine a painter feels like you know that they are in a world that is just bright and colorful and makes sense and the way, I love the quote that you just said that you can't really see it until you start to build it.

[11:39] Tobiah: Right?

[11:42] Lisa: Imagine a painter thinking “this will make sense to me once I have it laid down flat.” And that's kind of me and I can then really lean into this process, I can totally understand that. I can understand that intellectually, I cannot understand that artistically. And that's a case of my most recent dealer failures at trying to decorate cookies of my children silhouettes. I was so proud of myself, not only that, but I purchased silhouettes outlines of the boys three years ago, and I laminated them, and I hand trimmed, I hand cut these cookies. So, they looked wonderful, and they tasted good. And then I started to decorate them.

[12:33] Tobiah: Cake decorating, yeah.

[12:36] Lisa: Cake Wrecks, Nailed It, any other like vocabulary we might have about what you would call a total fail is what these cookies were. And I know, because I couldn't see it. I just couldn't. I just yeah, it's so bad.

[12:51] Tobiah: Like it would be torture for me. Like I wouldn't even attempt to decorate a cookie, like I would abandon the project midway because I never do anything I don't want to do. So, if I start something, and I don't want to do it, it's like, I'll give it to my kids or someone to take it over. I just--

[13:08] Lisa: So, you know what I started? I tried. I didn't like, I shall move on. Life is not, you know, permanent. You got to do the things that make the most sense to you at the time. Would you torture yourself over a cookie?

[13:23] Tobiah: No.

[13:25] Lisa: So, I really appreciate this so much. And I wanted to think about some of the work that you've made of the sculptures. You've called them creatures. I think that creature appeared in the word. Also, some of them have teeth.

[13:38] Tobiah: Yes.

[13:39] Lisa: And I was like, where does this woman get all these teeth from? I'm trying to understand like, is there some kind of tooth collection? Is there some like wwwartiststeethcom that you can go to and acquire human teeth? Because this is very unsettling. So, tell us a bit more about those and about like, because it feels, it often is very organic. And so, could you talk about that, about how, when you're creating them, what your overall vision is for them because it seems like as you're describing, it's a very organic process, not just an organic result.

[14:17] Tobiah: Yes. So, for some of the earlier pieces, like the piece with the teeth, the teeth I sculpted out of clay.

[14:26] Lisa: No way, they're shiny.

[14:27] Tobiah: Yes, so that's just a gloss.

[14:32] Lisa: Wow, now I'm like, I'm going to save money at the dentist and just make my own teeth. Well, I'm going to actually ask them to make me some teeth. I certainly don't make my own teeth.

[14:42] Tobiah: No. Yeah, so those with those pieces, I never really had a plan. So, I just start with the raw wool and just start felting and I will see something in the wall and make it. And then if I like it, then I'll make several like the balls with the teeth. I just, I don't know, as I start needle felting I'll get an idea. And then I'll run with it.

[15:14] Lisa: Yeah. I love this, that you see, I think they read some things from different sculptors that say, you know, like, well, how did you make this sculpture? And it's like, well, I looked at this stone, and I took away everything that wasn't that.

[15:29] Tobiah: Yes.

[15:32] Lisa: This sounds very difficult. But no, it does let you really just sink into the vision and I do absolutely love it. Just when you think about wool as a comforting fiber. Do you have favorite fibers that you love to work with? I think that wool, is it true that felting only works with wool?

[15:52] Tobiah: No, it'll work with different fibers. so you can use… I tell some people when I first started and I had my first exhibition, people have contacted me and want to send me their cat's fur and asked me to make a replica of their cat, which I find disgusting. I've never done that. But you can use any animal fiber to needlefelt. You can also use acrylic, like acrylic roving, like acrylic yarn.

[16:24] Lisa: Yeah. Okay.

[16:26] Tobiah: I don't really do that because it's slicker. So, it doesn't felt as well. So, I just use sheep's wool.

[16:35] Lisa: Okay. I was thinking, could you explain a bit the difference, if any, between tufting and needle felting?

[16:42] Tobiah: Yes. So, tufting, which is behind me is rug making. It's the same way that you make a rug in a rug factory. So, I have--

[16:57] Lisa: I'm nodding like I know what that is. Like, “oh, yes. Rug making.”

[17:03] Tobiah: Look at any rug you have in your house. So, you have tufting guns, and it sort of just shoots the yarn into the rug backing. So, I have one that does cut pile, which is just sort of loose, and then one that does, I can't think of the word, but there's just two different techniques. So, I'll be doing a demonstration of that next week.

[17:31] Lisa: Oh, excellent. Okay. And so, and I didn't say this earlier, but Tobiah is joining us today from a gallery here in Charlottesville, Virginia, and this is a new city Art Gallery, right. The New City arts gallery,  Welcome Gallery?

[17:48] Tobiah: Yes, it's the Welcome Gallery.

[17:51] Lisa: the Welcome Gallery, and she has an exhibition here until the end of the month. Is it the end of August?

[17:55] Tobiah: Yes.

[17:56] Lisa: So, if you are in town, if you are here in Charlottesville, if you are nearby, if you want to get out of the house and see people who are not your relatives or your own image in the mirror, I'm sure there are safe social distance ways that you can come down and see this fantastic work. I would love to hear more about. So, what's needle felting? Needle felting is the hand doing, right?

[18:19] Tobiah: Yes. Needle felting you take that barbed needle and you poke the wall. So, the more you poke the wall, the more condensed the fibers get. So, it's a totally different beast from tufting and tufting, rug making, and needle felting is using raw wall to sculpt.

[18:38] Lisa: Actually, I got a kit from The Hive to make a little baby cutie thing, see glasses. It's so lovely people only again sorry, you should be on my Patreon so you can see these videos. $2 a month you get to see this fantastic thing I made. But here is the cover and I'll show you mine.

[19:01] Tobiah: Ah yeah.

[19:08] Lisa: My poor little baby Yoda just looks like two lumps. Because I've done nothing. I'm like, I didn't want to take out of the box and break it. I'm going to wait until the outside is open and me and Tobiah can go, I can go over to the habit and have some tea, and she can show it show me how to do it. And how not to stab yourself in the leg? That's something I was also interested in.

[19:28] Tobiah: So, you see the foam, the little black foam in your kit. That's should work, sure.

[19:35] Lisa: Oh, thank you.

[19:36] Tobiah: Okay, it is down there.

[19:37] Lisa: Yes, it is. Because I mean, of course, I saw that hooked needle and I was like, Leg Stab. I mean, that was like the first thing I thought. Lisa, you're going to stab yourself in the leg. It is like, Yes, Yes, I will.

[19:48] Lisa: Break: You're listening to the Stitch Please Podcast, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch. The sewing group where Black lives matter. We're talking with Tobiah Mundt, who has a new exhibit, a fantastic tufted and needle felted projects called Blue Black, Black Blue, opening, and currently open in Charlottesville, Virginia. And when we come back, we'll talk more about it. Stay tuned. The Stitch Please Podcast is really growing. I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and ask a favor, if you are listening to this podcast on a medium that allows you to rate it or review it, for example, Apple podcasts or iTunes, please do so if you're enjoying the podcast, if you could drop me a five star rating, if you have something to say about the podcast and you wanted to include that, a couple sentences in the review box of Apple makes a really big difference in how the podcast is evaluated by Apple, how it becomes more visible, it really is a way to kind of lean into the algorithm that helps to rank podcasts. So, if you had time to do that, to drop a little line in the review feature of the podcast, that would be really appreciated, and it would help us to grow even further and faster.

[21:24] Lisa: Welcome back to the Tuft Love episode of The Stitch Please Podcast, a conversation with Tobiah Mundt, a fiber artist with an exhibit currently available here in Charlottesville, Virginia. Continue to enjoy our conversation here. I did. Thanks.

[21:40] Lisa: So, can you-- you've exhibited your work elsewhere in previous galleries in previous years, can you talk about what those shows were like or if you have a highlight from those past exhibits? And then, I want to transition to talk about this one because it is stunning.

[21:58] Tobiah: So, for me, needle felting has always been a way to deal with whatever is going on with me. So, I hold a lot of pain in me, I also like hold other people's pain. So, for me, sculpting is healing and so, every show, every piece I've done has been very personal. This show is also very personal but in a very different way, it sort of reaches outside my body, Blue, Black, Black Blue. It begins the conversation about the pain of Black people, and how we turn our pain into joy. So, there's so many pieces that I wanted to do for this body of work, I just think that I can sculpt this forever and never be done. But it's all about how we turn pain to joy.

[23:08] Lisa: And can you talk about the piece behind you? It's absolutely, I think there's so many words that if I thought of one word, I'd think of the word “arresting.” And I was thinking, arresting in all the senses of what that means, like for me when I saw, it like stopped me in my tracks, like I just froze. It kind of, it demands that you pause. And then, when you look at the figure, and it has so many hands, I don't know and then the radiant behind it, it's just-- can you talk about your process in creating this one?

[23:47] Tobiah: So, as I started working for building the pieces for this show, blue, black, black and blue, I sort of started another narrative, that's called, "An Accelerated Evolution", and this piece behind me was originally supposed to be sculpted, it was going to be needle felted. And, one day, I just decided to tuft it, but it is an image of a man that has grown all these arms, it's called, "Perpetual Hands Up", so that we can survive. So, “Accelerated Evolution” is all about how we change so that we survive, it is not based in reality, it is, you know, obviously fictional. But this piece is part of that little series that I do want to grow further outside of this exhibition.

[24:56] Lisa: It's really, what I received from the piece is, the adaptation, when you describe this as an accelerated evolution, you think about you know, some of the phrases in evolution like, you know, about like adaptation being one of them. And it just kind of speaks to me to the demands on Black life and how we are forced to, like, you know you said, evolve in an accelerated way for our own survival, and that-- is that how we change so we can survive? I mean, and how you've drawn this in such a way with these organic fibers and these organic processes, and the pieces feel very warm and maybe that's because they're made of wool and wool as a, you know, it's an organic fiber, it's a, you know, an animal fiber. It just, they just feel so substantial, you know. And I just feel like that like that is something that's just so powerful and I know sometimes for some of the needle felting work that you do, you put it on a, I don't know what those things are called where you hang it on the wall. Like, I know some of the pieces that you have in the hive, it looks like, you know when people would mount animal heads--

[26:16] Tobiah: Oh, plaques.

[26:17] Lisa: Plaques. So, tell me about like, why you put some-- because I think some of the pieces on this show are also on plaques, is that right?

[26:25] Tobiah: Ah, not really.

[26:28] Lisa: They hang from the wall, they're three dimensional and they--

[26:31] Tobiah: I'm going to move over to some of the needle felted pieces.

[26:34] Lisa: Ooh, you guys.

[26:38] Tobiah: Let's go to--

[26:39] Lisa: Isn't that a plaque with the-- is that a lady with the pink and black?

[26:46] Tobiah: It's a frame. I'm trying to get a better view.

[26:48] Lisa: Oh, okay.

[26:51] Tobiah: So, behind her is tufted but she is in a frame.

[26:58] Lisa: Oh, I see. These feel so maternal, I don't know why, maybe because it looks like breasts. But--

[27:08] Tobiah: Let's talk about this part. So, these are all drips. So, the whole show, every--

[27:14] Lisa: What does that mean? What is that?

[27:16] Tobiah: It's melanin, it's melanin dripping.

[27:19] Lisa: Oh! Like, because we have so much damn swag. Yes!

[27:24] Tobiah: All melanin, we're going to name the show "Melanin", because everything in here is dripping.

[27:31] Lisa: Yes!

[27:32] Tobiah: Because our pain, you know, it's all because we have melanin, which is a wonderful thing.

[27:40] Lisa: Yes! This is fantastic, because you know, it's liquid, but it's also very viscous, you know. And so, you really have done like such a beautiful job of basically taking something that's fibrous, and fibers kind of absorb things, right? And you've transformed into something that releases.

[28:05] Tobiah: That's right. Yeah.

[28:06] Lisa: It's just stunning. You all got to come see this show, really, truly, really, truly. And so, what are your thoughts now, I know you said you wanted to continue with An Accelerated Evolution as you're continuing to work on the pieces, do you ever feel like you're at a stopping point? When you walk into a gallery and you see your pieces displayed, do you feel like, do you feel satisfied? Do you feel like, "Okay, I'm at a good point, this is what I wanted.", or do you still feel like it's unfinished and there's more that you could do or want to do? I don't know how that process works for you.

[28:50] Tobiah: For this show, I don't feel like I'm finished; I feel like I have more to say. The Accelerated Evolution part of the show, I'm working with Christy Baker who is a muralist in town. We've submitted to do a mural at IX Park with the theme of “Accelerated Evolution,” I don't know if we'll get it. And again, I'm not 2D artist, so that will challenge me in a different way.

[29:19] Lisa: That'd be great though.

[29:20] Tobiah: That would be great, and I'm excited for that if we get it.

[29:24] Lisa: Yes. Oh, that's fantastic. Can we shift to talk about building a makerspace? I first met you, I believe, I don't know how we connected, I think I saw that you had The Hive and I was like, "There's a Black lady that has a Makerspace, we've got to be friends. Let me go find this person.". So, how did that come about? And one of things I love about The Hive is like, the craft bar set up the you know, the way that you even named the rooms in the building, like, it's just beautiful. Can you talk about-- and so, what I'm explaining you all is, in The Hive, there's a bunch of different small artist studios in there, and each of them are named for, like either an African American person or an African American area locally in the community. So like, I don't know, it's just really a beautiful space and it's very deliberate and intentional. And so, I wanted to know more about how this came to be.

[30:30] Tobah: So, The Hive is really, it's just a natural extension of me really. For the longest, I would do projects with my kids after school and at some point, when they got home, I had all these projects set up on the table, every day there was a different project of the day, we're going to make something, because that's what I do. I can't-- that's just how I communicate; I communicate by making, I show love by making, either for-- something for you or teaching you how to make something. So, at one point, my kids were just, they told me point blank, "We're too old for your projects.", so, I was like, "Okay, that's fine.".

[31:12] Lisa: Just to clarify, aren't both of them still in elementary school?

[31:15] Tobiah: They are seven. No, they are eight and ten, and they told me this when they were six and eight.

[31:22] Lisa: Wow.

[31:23] Tobiah: So, I was like, "Okay, that's fine. You're too old for my project of the day. So, I'll go do the project of the day with the world.". So, I--

[31:32] Lisa: Like, "Fine! Be that way. I'm going to build a whole business, and I'll make new friends.".

[31:39] Tobiah: That's right. And then, now they like my projects again. But yeah, so I started asking around, I didn't want to do it alone, I knew that I wanted to still be able to pick them up from school and not just be at work all the time. So, I started asking around, trying to get someone to do this business with me, I don't think anyone took me serious. But when I set my mind to do a thing, I make sure, some way I'm going to do this thing. So, we started looking for space, I think it took nine months from the time I said, "I'm definitely doing this.", to opening the doors.

[32:25] Lisa: Nine months? Are you serious?

[32:27] Tobiah: Like, having a baby. It was too fast; it was definitely too fast. But I don't think that I would do it any other way. I think if I would have slowed down the whole process, fear would have set in.

[32:38] Lisa: Would have taken over. Yes, that's fantastic. Oh, my gosh. So, you said, "I have an idea.", and nine months later, you are walking into a building that is actually-- it's like the architecture, right? It's like, you can't make sense, it's like, you really can't see it until you start to build it.

[32:56] Tobiah: That's right.

[32:58] Lisa: Wow. That is amazing. So, what are some of the-- if someone and I have friends who want to do this, they want to build spaces, they want to create spaces where their creativity can live, they want to help support others in that, what were some of the big lessons that you learned in building this space? Especially, in such a small gestation period. Like, that's incredible.

[33:23] Tobiah: The lessons I've learned, I think it's just, if you want to do a thing, don't expect to sleep while you're building it, like it's really, really hard. It's not an easy thing but if you make a decision that you want to do a thing, you need to work really hard until it gets done. So, it was very hard and there were times that I wanted to give up, but I wanted an art bar. And so, I just kept going. And even, I think the hardest part actually was after we opened, the first month after we opened, I had so much regret. I was like, "Why did I do this? Because now, I've got to get customers and pay rent and keep this thing alive.". So, it was very scary after the doors opened, it wasn't so scary building the thing; that was kind of fun and exciting. But then, you know, we started building a following and then it just took off from there. So, it's been good.

[34:29] Lisa: I have had a great time. I have a couple of pieces here that I made and I think I came and did a craft bar, and then a friend and I sat down and I got done that a couple times and it was really nice to just sit and have coffee and like string up beaded, I think a beaded coaster was what I made, and I have that in my kitchen, I look at it every single day. I also made some for my family and sent it to them and so like, it really is a lot of fun. And the great thing about it, so, you want to describe how the craft bar works, so people understand like, it's such a really great innovation that you-- I mean, it's really quite wonderful.

[35:12] Tobiah: So, it works just like a restaurant. So, we have a full menu of crafts, we have adult crafts and kid crafts. So, you come in, you place your order at the bar, and then we give you a tray with instructions, with everything you need to complete that craft. And our menu changes seasonally. So, right now we're in our summer menu. And so, we have summer themed things. So, then you just, yeah. And then, we have our craft tenders, instead of bartenders that can help you if you need help putting your thing together.

[35:47] Lisa: The crafttending is my favorite part. I love that. I just love that, that's why I'm excited to like, keep my kit that I got, keep it safe because again I'm worried about messing it up on my own. It's like, "I'm going to wait until I can go and have some help from a crafttender.". That would be very helpful. I'm also going to learn to make some pom poms. Because, they're cute. I mean, you all, it's like, Tobiah is an amazing artist. She is you know, she's smart, she is creative, she's clearly powerful and she also can churn out pom poms, like nobody's business. I feel like, you know, "I'm just getting my yarn out of the bag." and she's like, "I made ten.". Where did those come from? How?

[36:39] Tobiah: That looks like animals, that ten looks like animals.

[36:42] Lisa: Yes, and it has a little face and a nose and I'm like, "That's fine. Never mind, I don't have to be good at everything. It's fine. Whatever.".

[36:50] Tobiah: But that's how you know I'm stressed, when I'm making a lot of pom poms, that's like my stress relief.

[36:56] Lisa: It's a good one. It's that, hey, there's worse things that one can do under stress than make you know, fifty-leven, pompoms. This has been so wonderful Tobiah, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. Now, tell us how people can find you on social media and where we can follow you and support your work.

[37:20] Tobiah: So, my Instagram is @tobiahmundtart, and my website is tobiahmundt.com.

[37:29] Lisa: And this show is at the Welcome Gallery, sponsored by New City Arts, and it's up until August 31st?

[37:39] Tobiah: Yes, and it will be available online starting Monday.

[37:43] Lisa: Oh, and online on your page or is it the through New City Arts?

[37:49] Tobiah: New City Arts.

[37:54] Lisa: You all so lucky. Thank you Tobiah, you are great. I'm going to stop this now and then ask you a couple more just follow ups about what you think about what the title should be. Because I don't know, I had a title, I was going call it “Tuft Love,” I thought that was clever.

[38:11] Tobiah: I like it. I like that.

[38:13] Lisa: We'll use that then. Okay, what's that?

[38:18] Tobiah: Thank you.

[38:18] Lisa: Oh, you are so welcome, girl, please, anytime because you are amazing.

[38:36] Outro:You've been listening to the Stitch Please Podcast, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where black lives matter. We appreciate you supporting us by listening to the podcast. If you'd like to reach out to us with questions, you can contact us at blackwomenstitch@gmail.com. If you'd like to support us financially, you can do that by supporting us on Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N, and you can find Black Women Stitch there, in the Patreon directory, and for as little as $2 a month, you can help support the project with things like, editing, transcripts and other things to strengthen the podcast. And finally, if financial support is not something you can do right now, you can really, really help the podcast by rating it and reviewing it anywhere you listen to podcasts that allows you to review them. So, I know that not all podcast directories or services allow for reviews, but for those who do, for those that have like a star rating or just ask for a few comments, if you could share those comments and say nice things about us and the Stitch Please Podcast, that is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. Come back next week and we'll help you get your stitch together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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