S​pencer Shook
Over the years that I've been sewing,  I've indulged in the parts of the imagination reserved for children and the crazy. I like both parts. Hopefully this is represented in what I'm trying to accomplish. And most importantly, I hope these things bring some joy to whomever may admire them.
Sewing was never something I aspired to do, but in November of 2005, I found myself with little money to buy Christmas presents for the amount of family that would visit that year. Thus began my sewing life. With some found burlap, thread and needles, I taught myself to sew the day after Thanksgiving. Somehow I had created dozens of simple pieces by Christmas. I was reminded of the marvelous handmade toys I would see strolling through the Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets) in Germany as a student. Folk art and toys made by hand evoke a comforting familiarity and a unique connection with another human being. I like the mass produced toys of my childhood too, but I'm also fond of a more personal mark.
I'm always drawn back to homespun aesthetics and nature for inspiration. I like the beauty of nature because it's asymmetrical and unpredictable. And I like things made by someone's hands. Being able to see the imperfections in the stitching or the disproportionate sizing in my work reflects that appreciation. This is the kind of tradition I try to bring to my craft. 

I was born in Modesto, California in 1973, and was raised a country boy with dairy farms, agriculture and the Stanislaus River as neighbors. Growing up in these surroundings meant that my siblings and I made our own fun away from the trappings of city life. This is represented in my work in that it comes from an old-fashioned, organic and simpler place.