We had the good fortune of connecting with T. Autumn Mae Crocker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi T. Autumn Mae, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve always believed in Murphy’s Law: plan for the worst bust expect the best. And although I wanted to be an artist from a young age due to my enjoyment in the process, I also knew it was unlikely for me to succeed in such a difficult arena. However, I absolutely LOVE a challenge. While hoarding prerequisite courses for an Art Degree, I stumbled into an survey Art History course taught by Dr, Charlesworth at the University of Texas at Austin. It was there I was introduced to 17th, 18th and 19th century philosophers, writers and creators who were feverishly discussing exactly “what is beauty,”(G.E.Moore, Principa Ethica) and what is a “lesser art,”(William Morris, The Lesser Arts) and most importantly who deserves to see and create and decide and experience beauty. I was taken aback by the innovation, passion, and progressive thinking in a time of political and religious oppression. I mean, If William Blake can show two sides of the story in the 19th century while personally carving, printing, painting and inking his own series of books (Songs of Innocence and Experience), and William Morris can LITERALLY CREATE WALLPAPER while James Whistler is sued by Ruskin for selling impressionist art in AN ACTUAL COURT(he won a farthing), then I think i can figure out how to sell some art in the 21st century. After all, the age of information and technology is not the age of the informed, but the technological sources themselves. I want to be one of the sources for inspiration, innovation, hope, and resilience, even if it is only digital. I feel privileged to experience the 21st century, and an obligation to house the weight of our devolution and voice the opinions of the people.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Wherein some say one should spend ten thousand hours on one thing to become a master, I dont see why I cant spend 100,000 hours on my passions and be the master at 10 things, DONT BOX ME IN I WAS BORN IN THE 80s and taught to beilieve in the pseudo american dream that never existed to begin with. My path has lead me to love all things that involve creating something with my hands, voice, or mind;giving purpose to this existence for me. I began my artistic journey in Pencil and Air Brush. Soon it was long afternoons with Clay in the art room instead of lunches at Wendys or TAco shack. In high school I took on an internship where I was able to use my stained glass skills. Soon I was making lamps in leaded stained galss patterns, then Tiffany cooper foil which lead to dichroic glass and cathedral glass, Bullseye 99 and Boro-silicate and Pyrex and finally Co33. That then spilled into late night courses of Hot blown Glass and Slumped glass. It wasn’t long before I was an apprentice, working early mornings and late nights for free. As i continued my prerequisite course work i fell in love with copper-smithing, metal-smithing and welding. And the addiction continued in the same fashion. I began experimenting in Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Mig Welding, Tig Welding, Plasma Cutting, and forge welding. Nothing better than a good old Renaissance formed forge welded with a hand made cross-peen hammer. These courses soon added up to 7 certifications and an Associates. I simply couldnt stop. I have my 3G SMAW Welding Certification, I am CAWI Certified and NDT-TC-1A. I am also certified in Art Metals and Metal Sculpture and My Associates is in Welding Technology and the Applied Science of Art Metals, I learned to actually plan for your own success more than your failure. Although both are possible, both can also be likely. I tied to take some failures and rejection as a from of constructive criticism. My goal is to connect and create a dialogue in order to influence, inform, or inspire.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For Austin? In these times our little local places have had a big impact on keeping everyone sane and supplied: UCHI- TOGO Suchi and 50% bottles FIxe House Wu CHOW Dai Due- READY TO MAKE TAMALES Easy Tiger -Sourdough Culter+ how to Suerte- ZOOM cheese boards Juniper- TOGO CAcio PEPE Frecsas- TOGO Jimaica Local art Available online and for pickup- Art For The People Austin Gift Co Austin ARt Garage @autumn_in_mae direct We know that everyone is struggling and we are trying to visit those places we love to keep them open while they are open. Online sales are up just like booze.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m lucky that my BIGGEST fan is also my BEST FRIEND and my LIFE PARTNER. Im also privileged to have run the last few courses along side The Bangarang, Polis HQ, Somewhere Society, Creative Arts Society, Art of Austin, and the people from Blue Genie Big Top, Vibe Vessel, and Cherry Cola Dog. These guys help, coordinate, share, innovate, create, expand, and idealize what it means to be a community.
Other: @marchaprilmaephotography @sunnythunderdesign https://austinartgarage.com/collections/autumn-mae-crocker