My name is Annie Crane and I adore creating. My desire is to use this website to share my process, passion and the pieces I create. My business is called Coffeefish which reflects two of my favorite things, coffee and fly fishing.
I really like to include little treasures in my journals like textiles, ephemera, tags, sayings… I often include bandaids and butterflies as a way of representing the challenges of our journeys and how they shape the story of who we are and where we are going.
I had a rich imagination as a child and clearly remember the day I realized I could be and think anything I wanted inside my head. At the age of 13 we visited a craft show on the plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico and I remember seeing a hippy girl selling her pottery. I knew right then what I wanted to be when I grew up, an artist. I didn’t start creating art until leaving home to study Occupational Therapy in 1981 at Colorado State University.
Having a quirky fashion sense I began using markers to color my tennis shoes and enjoyed altering my clothes. After graduating from CSU I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, found a job and began painting anything I could get my hands on including sunflowers on the wood floors of my newly purchased home. I especially loved painting on tin. I met my husband in 1994 and it was he who drove a reluctant me to the first shop I approached to sell my art. They said no but he didn’t let me give up and I was eventually selling my work in a couple of shops on Canyon Road.
I stopped creating when I became pregnant and we moved back to Colorado to be near family. Fast forwarding to 2010, after experiencing increasingly difficult symptoms I was diagnosed with a rare inner ear syndrome and had a craniotomy to correct the problem. Surgery left me with balance difficulties and a continued aversion to certain sounds.
Needing a more quiet way to create I dove into the soft, peaceful world of textiles. In 2011 my husband suggested we move my basement studio into the guest room upstairs and Coffeefish was born. I sold my pieces in a shop downtown until last fall when I realized I had begun making only what was selling rather than creating with whimsical abandon. This period of Covid unrest has allowed me time to think about what are my priorities and how I want to spend the rest of my years.
I create by feel, so I let the process tell me. Most of what I create begins with color and texture. I’ll look through my vast supply of fabrics and textiles and play with them until it feels right. From there I add bits from my vast collection of mixed media based on what I feel the piece needs. I do most everything by eye and feel and rarely measure or pin, happy with the whimsy. A piece is done when it feels right, which can take several days as it travels from my studio to my stitching chair to being populated…and back again.
Currently I am focused on making journals where others can express their passions. I love the thought of these journals reflecting the uniqueness of their owner.
I grew up hunting for treasure and am always on the prowl for it. I don’t buy because I need it for a piece, I just buy what gives me that creative spark. I love beads, buttons, all kinds of threads, yarns and ribbon, the older the better, and of course I delight in natural fabrics, the kind that give off that wood fire smell when put to heat.
Windows are a favorite theme in my work, as I love to imagine what is happening inside. As a little girl who didn’t enjoy attending church, I had an imaginary family living behind the glass marquee in front of the sanctuary. I imagined they were all watching cartoons and having fun, while I was trying to sit up straight and behave.
Having recently experienced a milestone birthday, I have something to say and share. My work reflects loving despite our differences, and sharing our stories rather than battling them alone. I have a passion to provide a place where others can tell their stories, express their creative journey or purchase a piece that tells someone… you matter to me.