I have always had a love for art and anything creative...even as a young child. I attended private art classes in my village during my childhood learning about design and composition in different mediums, working with stone, clay, paint, pencil and ink and thoroughly enjoying every minute!
After taking my O'level and A'level art I wanted to go to Art college but my parents didn't think is was a good idea! Now, thirty years on after working in London, having children and acquiring several pets over the years, I live with my musician partner and three children in my Grandparents house overlooking the North Cornwall coast. I am now back at college studying A'level Textiles and loving it!! It means my work is always evolving.
I have always been interested in textiles and stitch, although I hated needlework at school! But through hours of stitching and unpicking, hours of thinking about design ideas, I have learnt how to sew!
My work is inspired by found fragments of vintage lace, material and old books that I source from jumble sales, vintage fairs and that I am also given to me by kind friends. By putting these elements together, I create compositions of work that result in an interesting mixed media piece where no two pieces are the same.
Working as an artist I have the freedom to do what I like! To be creative every day and to do a job I really love! To work when I want and to enjoy the flexibility that working at home brings.
I spend most weekends at Vintage or Craft fairs selling my work and promoting my business which also keeps me connected with the public. And I think it's always good to let people see the artist behind the work. It makes the work more personal.
I have several exhibitions lined up for the next year which is really exciting! Watch this space!!
I discovered a passion for mosaics after digging up shards of china on my allotment; I used them to decorate pots because I felt that each piece held a secret history that shouldn’t be lost. I now search out broken china and delight in recycling it into new objects for the home and garden.
Working from my studio at Krowji, a creative community in Redruth, I make individually designed and handmade mosaics using recycled china, stained and tempered glass, millefiori and beads as well as conventional tesserae.
There are several stages to a mosaic and I find the process engrossing and satisfying. Putting together a design is a bit like solving a puzzle!
Inspiration for my work comes from everywhere - even a small shard of patterned china - and I particularly love creating personalised commissions and exhibition pieces.
The view from the studio at the end of opening day one year ago.
Friday April 20th 2012 saw the opening of a new visitor attraction and World Heritage Site Gateway at Pool, Cornwall.
It was also the first day for our gallery and shop, after weeks of hard work to prepare both the space and the work to be displayed.
We are 15 artists and crafters including printmakers, painters, ceramicists, jewellery and lampshade makers, textile artists, stained glass creators and so much more ...
Humble Cottage, literally is just that - me working from my small cottage in cornwall, designed, upcycling and making vintage inspired tiles, upcycled china plates, photographic prints and collaged prints and cards. After years of working as a Community & Youth worker in Bristol, I decided to make a move, both geographically and with work - and here I am.
My work is inspired by my love of china, interesting finds from flea markets, old story books and my love of cornwall.
Cornwall is part of my childhood and there is a sense of nostalgia informing my work, this is then given a quirky twist by mixing images found and designed with quotes that make me smile.
A lot of my work includes words and quote's that make you smile,think or reflect. I like to share these thoughts with other's and enjoy seeing people's response to the things I make.
This is one of my first photograph's and though not one of my most accomplished, it still holds a strong resonance and intention. It's a photo of an older lady, heading out to the sea with a homemade wooden surf board. Its later in the day and quite cold, but the woman is striding forward with intention and a strength that I admire and hope to replicate maybe a small amount in my work and life.
My work originally began with just my photographs, and has since evolved to be about found things and the stories they conjure up. My recent work has been quite colourful and led by words and quotes, but I am currently experimenting with mixed media techniques and more subtle colours that are more related to the colours I absorb within the
landscape / seascape of Cornwall.
I love being self employed and am grateful to be able to do so. You learn a lot about yourself working alone but also seeing people's response to what you have been making. I have learnt to be more self disciplined, resiliant and to trust my instincts more - all good lessons in life!
At present I work mainly in glass, but it's nice to have a total change of materials and doodle on my sewing machine with thread.
Glass is such a wonderful material, that can be used in so many different ways.
I do love a challenge and like to work 'big' when I can, using the glass with lead came and cement. I use the Tiffany method (copper foiled and solder) for my smaller framed pieces. I also fuse and form glass.
I like to add decoration to the glass pieces with wire, etching and paint. I hand paint or print images with enamels, oxides and silver stain, in the traditional way and hopefully bring in a contemporary slant with my designs.
My influences are many, from the glass skills and designs of Harry Clarke, the principles of Gaudi, Huntertwasser and their use of beautiful organic shapes, to the every day walks I have with the dogs along the coastal path.
It never fails to produce a seed, the trouble is I cannot propagate them quick enough!
My work seems to evolve as I find new ways to make a mark or an impression on the glass or fabric, or when I have old and new materials to recycle. The crock jewellery range came from finding pieces of china in the garden, while digging
and not being able to throw them away - every one a jewel!
I make jewellery that is inspired by books, poetry and music, and also lampshades with old maps and music paper. I enjoy using vintage and reclaimed materials that would otherwise be discarded, finding value and beauty in rescued treasures.
My favourite book of all time is 'The Secret Garden', and I often use text from that book in my pieces. "The Magic is in me ... it's in every one of us ..." is a wonderful inspiration.
Words, written as well as spoken, are sound energy and carry meaning beyond the immediate word. For me, using text, poetry and music in my work adds to the heart and soul of each piece.
This is one of my favourite pieces, created with text from an Emily Bronte poem, a reclaimed buckle and a little gold heart.
I'm also very proud of the bracelet that I designed to raise money for my sister's charity in Canada, 'Spectrum Society Supporting Mothers'.
This 'Home Sweet Eco Home' lampshade is made with old sheet music paper. I collect falling apart music books and give the paper a new lease of life.
The first one I made was for my daughter for her Reiki practice. The music included lyrics and she says that as the light shines through, the energy of the words is carried out into the room.
The best thing about what I do is when the person who buys my work has a personal response and an emotional connection to a particular piece.
It's wonderful to hear the story behind someone's decision to buy something, or to get a special commission to create something unique and meaningful.
Hootchie Mama manufactures oilcloth & fabric lifestyle accessories for adult and children. Our range goes from dribble bibs for babies to mobile cases for adults. We are based in a workshop in Redruth and I work part-time presently as I have a 3 year old & 4 year old. I have a lady who works for me one day a week in the workshop and another who works from home making the fabric covered button products. We have about 19 stockists currently so when we’re not busy making wholesale orders, we prepare for fairs we do throughout the year such as the Royal Cornwall Show.
What influences / inspires your work?
With 2 small children I need products that are practical, durable but that look nice. My oilcloth products for adults I feel fit this profile & I often get repeat customers who want to add to their Hootchie Mama accessories with the whole range (mobile case, make-up bag & purses).
For the kids ranges, for me the dribble bibs were all about the fabrics. I steer away from the normal ginghams & baby fabrics and go for bold & retro prints from the American design houses. I then wanted to design a range of things for kids that were practical and fun such as the crayon bags and cutlery rolls.
I also quite often get suggestions from my customers or stockists of things they’d like to see. When we can, we work with them to develop new products.
Tell us about your favourite piece of work.
My favourite things to make at the moment are the Crayon Bags for kids. We recently bought 4 rolls of slicker fabric from Robert Kaufman fabrics & it’s such an interesting material to work with. It’s much thinner than our oilcloth but the principle is the same; pvc coating on cotton fabric. It’s so pliable and also washable which is a great feature when making products for kids. I’m currently making some cutlery rolls with it too & have just received the cutlery to go inside so I’m like a kid at Christmas!
How has your work evolved?
Over time you become more confident in your ability to sew without a doubt! We still have some of the products we made in the very beginning such as the oilcloth purses but we add new lines to it every year and experiment with new products to see how the public react to them. Some never make it to the range but others take off in ways we never thought possible. An example would be the kids pocket money purses. I love the fabrics we use for the bibs but we get quite a bit of wastage. As the fabrics we use are top quality quilting fabrics, it’s not easy to make products such as purses with them as they’re too flimsy. So I started experimenting using pvc myself. Unable to coat the fabric to make oilcloth (that uses big expensive machines!) I sandwiched the fabric between normal pvc & sewed it into purses. It’s hard to work with but we had made our biggest selling product using up our scraps!
I am a highly dedicated professional artist, I work predominantly in ceramics using porcelain and stoneware clays. The Artworks that I have been producing recently centre around the use of organic forms as inspiration to develop pieces which are naturalistic, abstract, delicate and that which take elements of the past, using fragments of various disciplines and traditions throughout art history.
Zen has been a philosophy which has inspired me recently, particularly its involvement in the use of minimalism and classical naturalism as within the balancing of forms and space: such as the dynamic between the void: negative space, and the positive space, of the actual material form in the artwork.
Chinese and Japanese, contemporary and traditional artwork have also pushed through into the development of both the forms of my sculpture/artwork/jewellery. Particularly my interest in and the use of blue can be seen to reflect the presence of the willow pattern, itself evident throughout Western and Eastern ceramic evolution, forming a symbol of classicism against which and within which my work evolves.
Sea life has also been thrown into the mix, as it is almost impossible to escape the powerful beauty of Cornwall's direct relationship with the sea, and I have no wish to escape this inspiration.
Equally the landscape of rural Cornwall fills my conciousness with a deep need to reflect upon the spirituality of nature. My emotional responses to this experience fuel my creativity.
The work most recently developed and on show is porcelain vases and teapots with birds, which has evolved from the zen aesthetic as touched upon above.These are the artworks shown in the images included.
I have been working with glass for about 15 years, learning the art of copper foiled (Tiffany) stained glass at an Adult Education class. Since then I have attended various weekend courses to learn new and different techniques and also about glass fusing.
I generally make panels to hang in windows and smaller Christmas tree decorations but also make a range of jewellery with buttons and fused dichroic glass.
One of my favourite pieces is the Rainbow Square which is made up of 54 different pieces of glass and nuggets. I love the movement of colour in this piece, and colour and texture is generally what inspires me in my work.
It always fascinates me to see how glass can change its colour and quality depending on the intensity and type of light coming through a window at different times of the day and year.
I like to develop my work by adding different materials such as agate, fused dichroic glass, nuggets and shells.
I also enjoy acid etching and have recently developed the technique of adding images and patterns into glass.
The Cornish coastline and countryside is always inspirational as these small panels featuring a silhouette engine house show.
I love working with glass due to the fantastic range of colours and textures available and I still love the thrill of holding a finished piece of work into the window to see exactly what it looks like as the light shines through.
The third person for you to meet from Fourseven is Holly Jackson, from Kelynn Pottery. Here she tells us about her background.
My first employment from leaving school (1977/78) was as apprentice decorator at the now famous Troika Pottery in Newlyn.
I use the same H.J. monogram to mark my main pieces today that I did all those years ago.
My career was put on hold while I raised my three children and only after many years was it practical to follow the desire to learn ceramics.
I embarked on an evening class at the local Art School run by Christine Feiler and learned basic hand building and throwing techniques and then went on further to gain an AS level at Penwith College. The rest is self-taught and continually so.
I love experimenting with different techniques and styles which keeps my work varied and unique and now I create at home in The Shed, in the back garden of our little terraced house in Penzance.
Most of my inspiration comes from the beautiful and rugged local scenery and beautiful wildlife of West Cornwall, which I'm out and about in most days with my 2 dogs Marmite and Minnie, Patterdale X Mother and Daughter team.
Because I so love the area in which we live I decided to call my pottery Kelynn, which is the literal Cornish translation for Holly.