Friday, April 19, 2013

Interview with Victoria Tierney - Cornish Dragon

Today I would like to introduce you to Victoria Tierney aka Cornish Dragon. Vic's Etsy shop is jam packed full of delights, from twinkling jewellery and hand crafted glass beads to elegant cloth art dolls and hand painted pixies.

How did you get started in jewellery design?

I have always crafted since a little girl and it influenced my first job as I'm a qualified florist. I also worked for Ratners, the jewellers in my home town, which started off my passion for making jewellery.

 

What would you like to do/learn/take up in the future to further your process?

I would like to learn how to do machine embroidery, make a cloth doll pattern from scratch. Plus also to improve my lampworking skills, I still have lots to learn and with that.

How has your crafting and inspiration evolved over time?

I suppose moving to Cornwall has influenced my inspiration and as my children have grown up that has changed some of my inspiration. I also love trying new things so that can influence my crafting.

What is your favourite ever piece of work?

That's a tough one as I make a lot of different things and have a favourite of each plus my tastes change. At the moment I suppose it would my Fairy Elves.


This set of elves were old and battered so I repainted them and added some wings. I do love making the elves, they seem to evolve and each have a different character.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I seem to say this a lot, Cornwall. The ruggedness of the landscape like the moors and coasts, its history, myths and legends are all a never ending and changing huge source of inspiration.

Do you craft for your living or is it more of a hobby/passion/obsession?

It's all of these, my living is my passion and my new obsession is usually my new hobby.

What is your greatest crafting success? And your most spectacular failure?

I don't know if I've had a greatest crafting success but the thing I do fail on is knitting I just can't knit. I have tried but it just won't go right, usually there are extra stitches, or holes. I would rather spend time on something I enjoy more.


What other crafts do you dabble in/would you like to try?

I will have a go at anything, well apart from knitting. lol.

Do you listen to music while you create? What is your favourite track?

I tend to listen to the radio during the day but in the evening I will listen to some music. I really can't pick a favourite track but at the moment my favourite artists is Seth Lakeman.

When not creating/crafting what is your favourite thing to do?

I read a lot. My favourite author is Terry Pratchett, I really enjoyed his collaboration with Stephen Baxter, "Long Earth". Favourite book at the moment is Afterlife by Stephanie Hudson, I'm totally hooked and waiting for some free time to read the next in the saga.

Who would you choose to play you in the movie of your life?
Well I would love it to be Zooey Deschanel.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Marshall Hyde Lampwork Workshop Review

The workshop was held at Diana East's studio in Leicester. The aim of the workshop was to make that bead that you have inside your head but don't exactly know how to do it.

Marshall Hyde is a lovely man. He started the workshop by telling us a little bit about himself and explained to us how he goes about designing his beads, mainly by drawing the steps on paper first.



We each then described the bead that we would like to make, most of us brought some inspiration with us in the form of pictures or in one lady's case a scarf and handbag.

Marshall suggested to each of us ways we could go about making our beads and we all chipped in with our own suggestions.

I had decided that I wanted to make some seaside themed beads as I live on an island and surrounded by the sea. So I had in my head a beach hut bead or a bead with a beach hut on it. I also made a bead with a sail boat on it a while back and wanted to have another try and that.

Marshall demonstrated and idea of how he thought I could make my beads



These are the two resulting beads that I made and I am very pleased with them.

This is Katherynne, she made some unusual beads inspired by the pattern on a handbag


I can't remember why Moira wanted to make these but they are a bit weird

Lots of different ideas from everyone.

It was a very enjoyable day which I would recommend if you have the chance.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Interview with Faith Bowman - Abygem

Today's interview is with the very talented Faith Bowman of AbyGem. Faith makes exquisite hand crafted jewellery with beautiful gemstones and has also deigned a range of beautiful clasps and findings for jewellery designers.

How did you get started as a silversmith and jewellery designer?

I've always loved jewellery, not just to wear but to look at, especially ancient Egyptian jewellery. I said for years that one day I will make some jewellery, then my mum died suddenly and it made me realise that I should get on and do the things I wanted to do and not keep putting them off. When I returned from my mum's funeral my husband had bought me a couple of books on jewellery making. I bought a few findings, beads and silver wire and started playing. That was it, I was hooked. I had all good intentions of spending about £50 and having a play, thousands of pounds and 6 years later I'm still playing!

What would you like to do/learn/take up in the future to further your process?

I would very much like to try Delft clay silver casting - it would add another dimension to my silver work which is probably my biggest passion. I also want to do more stone setting and work with gold.

How has your crafting and inspiration evolved over time?

Well having started by making a simple pair of earrings, I have gone on to stringing, precious metal clay, chain maille, wire wrapping and metal forging and smithing. I am constantly testing my limits and have dabbled in stone setting both prong style and flush settings which have been challenging - I always have loads of ideas in my head, probably too many to ever get around to making!

What is your favourite ever piece of work?

My most favourite piece of work is this Jade ring and earring set. I had to take the stones out of their original settings, and make new items from them.


The customer gave me no idea of what she wanted, other than that she wanted a ring and earrings to match. When I showed her what I had done she was absolutely delighted - she's become quite a regular customer.


Where do you find your inspiration?

sometimes I will see a piece of jewellery and it will give me an idea of my own, sometimes inspiration will come from just a texture or a natural object - sometimes they just pop into my head from nowhere.

Do you craft for your living or is it more of a hobby/passion/obsession?

for me it started as a hobby but very quickly became a passion and an obsession. I dont think I would ever really want to make it a business as such, I think if I had to get up each day and make things, it may take away some of the fun - I like to make what I want when I want, if its a business I think you are fairly committed to making stuff you know is going to sell quickly

What is your greatest crafting success? And your most spectacular failure?

There have been a few things that I've been very pleased with, one of which was a massive ring which a guy commissioned for his girlfriend. The remit was in the form of a very fuzzy photograph with a request to try and re-create a similar ring! Thankfully the customer and his girlfriend were delighted with the finished ring.

The most spectacular failure - hmm, possibly melting a filigree pendant at the final stage of soldering! My attempts at seedbeading have been pretty grim as well. I did manage to over-cook a whole batch of polymer clay which pretty much put me off it. Oh and breaking a drill bit off in a silver bracelet and having to hack it out - I tell myself that each failure is another learning curve - lol

What other crafts do you dabble in/would you like to try?

I've done loads of knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, cross-stitch, tapestry, in the past. There just aren't enough hours in a day to do everything I enjoy. I would love to have a go at lampworking, just to see how it all works - it fascinates me ! but I couldn't afford the time and investment to go down that route now so it would just be a fun day.

Do you listen to music while you create? What is your favourite track?

No, hardly ever- I've got a CD player in the craft room but it never goes on, I'm usually too engrossed in what I'm doing and tend to sing to myself or if its a nice day I open the window and listen to the birds singing.





Who is your favourite artists or designer?

I don't really favour particular artists - I see something and I either like it or I don't, whether its made or designed by someone famous or not doesn't really influence me - some of today's unknowns are tomorrows Masters.

When not creating/crafting what is your favourite thing to do?

I love bird and nature watching and astronomy - the night sky fascinates me and makes me realise how small and insignificant the human race is in relation to the Universe. Seeing the Aurora Borealis several times when we lived in Scotland was incredible.

Who would you choose to play you in the movie of your life?

Probably Dawn French - I've never taken myself too seriously.