Artist Spotlight Reine Hewitt, Fiber Artist of Reine

Reine Hewitt is a fiber artist based out of Tarrytown, NY who creates an eclectic mix of designs such as women’s necklaces, stuffed animals and baby bibs. She utilizes natural fibers such as cotton and soy silk in her creations whenever possible, making her pieces truly unique. As a mom she is always looking for alternative solutions to items for her own family; creating eco friendly art and accessories is something she was born to do.

Describe a day in your personal or professional life.

My days are ruled by a 2 year old. I work when she sleeps.

Who or what influences your work and why?

Everything I see and my daughter. I am always looking for patterns, colors, and practical ways to make my life better. My daughter is my muse so much of what I do is for her.

Is it your personal belief that creativity and the ability to create art, is innate?

I don’t know about other people but if I didn’t create I would implode.

Explain your art- what exactly is it you do? How do you describe it?

I see myself as existing somewhere between the world of art and the world of craft. William Morris was also obsessed with the blending of the beautiful and the practical. Textile, paper and the home all begin to blend in how I see things. What I am doing is trying to make life more beautiful in even the most mundane moments.

On a more technical note: these days I am mostly knitting, though I am sewing as well. I go through phases with other pointy crafts such as needlepoint and bookbinding, but knitting seems to work best with my need to be able to drop it all at a moment’s notice for my daughter.

When did you first become interested in creating fiber art?

My mom says I was 2 or 3.

What was the inspiration behind your closure-less baby bibs?

My daughter kept pulling her bibs off. It seemed like a simple problem easily solved by a colorful slip-on bib. Now she doesn’t need them, but she likes them and can put them on herself.


How do children respond to your snake plushies made out of organic cotton?

Kids seem to like them a lot. They sort of work as magnets for the 10 and under scene at craft fairs.

Where did you first discover soy silk? What made you decide to try it in your jewelry items?

I think it was an accident, but it’s been a busy few years so I can’t say for sure. I bought some Alchemy Bamboo silk on sale and made myself a lace top. It was delicious to work with. I put it in my jewelry because I decided that having a green store was the way to go. Now I’m really into it and have discovered such a wide variety to texture and color in bamboo.

Do you plan to move completely toward natural fibers like organic cotton, bamboo or soy silk?

Yes, and I’m also interested in recycled fibers and anything else sustainable, but so far finding the “right” yarn to get the desired affect has proved harder than I would have thought. It’s a great excuse to constantly be testing out new yarn!

When did you first discover your talent and artistic ability?

I don’t have any recollection of a moment of self discovery. My parents are artists so perhaps if there had been a moment I discovered I was an investment banker at heart, then it would have been momentous!

Where did your first inspiration come from?

I couldn’t even begin to imagine. Inspiration comes from all over all the time.

Can you tell me about your creative process?

It’s ineffable.

Were you influenced by the Green Movement?

I barely know what the Green Movement is, but I’m pretty sure it’s what we should all be doing for ourselves and our children. I have a lot of very serious environmentalists in my family and I am often surprised by how much information I have absorbed over the years when I thought I was day dreaming.

What have you incorporated into your lifestyle to facilitate going green and conserving energy?

I try to walk walk walk walk.

Are there any historical or contemporary artists that you specifically admire?

My great grand mother Germaine Lehner, the rug makers of Oaxaca, Mexico, William Morris, the Werkstatt Movement artists — I guess I’m interested in whole groups and schools of thought. If I wrote a list of artists it would become a book.

What is important to you about conservation and preserving our environment?

It’s a gut feeling I have. I don’t have a theory, just a sense that if I don’t make an effort then I’m giving up.


What is your favorite project or work you’ve completed thus far?

That’s a hard one but let’s say the Moby Dick sweater I made for my daughter. It isn’t the most complicated thing, but it gave me a great deal of pleasure coming up with the whale and making it. Sadly I don’t have a picture of this one and now my daughter is way too big for it. It is a simple raglan sweater with layers of waves in different blues and a little white whale on the sleeve.

What challenges have you had in your work?

Time, money, locating materials

Do you feel that the Internet has a positive or negative influence on art? How does the Internet affect your work?

The internet has been great for the technical side of the arts and crafts movement. Ravelry.com is an amazing site designed to be both a resource and a community. I am impressed by how much people share on the web and am happy to learn from people all over the world.

As for influencing art, it’s a vague world, but I know I get to see much more of my friends work thanks to their websites.

What is your greatest ambition as an artist?

To make a living

What are your long term career goals?

To have a studio/store and become a Reverend of the Church of Craft.

What are you currently working on?

Organic snake in red, monogrammed wedding towels, bright balls, big blanket, a whole bunch of jewelry, a lace cable tank, Christmas ornament socks, and so so so much more. I keep a ridiculous amount of stuff on the needles and in limbo all the time.

What advice would you give a young artist just getting started?

Be practical and remember to sleep.


What “Green” Product would you recommend to our readers?

Local honey.

What is your best “going green tip”- for example turning off lights, or eating one meatless meal a week?

Avoid paper towels.

How would your friends describe you?

Eccentric, eclectic and hyper.

Reine’s work can be seen in her online storefront

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com
This entry was posted in Art, Green Materials on by .

About Jenn Flynn-Shon

Jenn Flynn-Shon is a freelance writer and Author of two fiction books. She's been published on several Green blogs, on Yahoo! Voices, and she runs four blogs. When she's not watching an NHL game, the DIY Network, or tackling her own home improvement projects, Jenn loves to travel around the southwest United States. View her website at http://copywritethat.com

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