Every Saturday a new Shop Of The Week is chosen by the previous shop of the week from the numbers of treasuries made for them. This week that honour goes to Creative Treasures...yes me! This is the winning treasury.
Yes, I was chosen as shop of the week this week, and I am amazed at how many beautiful treasuries were made featuring items from my shop, so thank you everyone.
I wasn’t going to write a piece about me, as this blog is full of me me me, but then I thought, well for the sake of continuity, and fairness, I’d answer the same questions I set everyone else. So here goes.
Tell us a little about yourself and your work
I am a self-taught jewellery-maker. I use lots of different media for making my jewellery, gemstones, glass beads,wire, seed beads, polymer clay. I love it all. It all started when my partner decided he wanted a new hobby and bought himself a kit for making bead earrings, and a set of tools. I watched as he tried looping the headpins and though, hmm, that’s the same technique I used to use when I worked in electronics to loop a copper core cable. I resisted having a try myself for…ooo...three days, then I made several pairs of earrings. Not happy with that, I wire-wrapped a few beads and made more earrings, then a bracelet or two, and I was away.
Of course, it was all rubbish, but as I got better at it, I put a few photos on facebook, and sold them! Encouraged by this I made more, and sold them. Eventually I began selling on Folksy, then Etsy, and the rest is history.
Naturally I moved on from the simple bead-on-a-headpin earrings. I learned how to bead weave with tiny seed beads, I made beautiful strung gemstone necklaces and bracelets, and the one thing I absolutely love doing, bead embroidery. My partner bought me a starter kit for polymer clay, and I started messing around with that, and had great success with it all. I love the way you can blend and mix colours to produce some amazing effects.
What inspires your work?
I’m going to say what a lot of other people say, but it’s true; nature, the environment around me, textures, colours, all the things mother nature provides for us. I use leaves a lot.
What are your favourite colours?
Purple. When I was little it was always pink, but it’s progressed to purple because it will blend with so many other colours and still look fabulous.
What is your favourite medium/material?
Without a doubt, seed beads. I just love weaving those little critters into something intricate and beautiful.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I’m not a well-travelled person, I’ve never left the UK except to go on a day trip to Dublin which I absolutely loved, and would love to go back there again some day, but one place I love to go which always feels like home is North Wales, Snowdonia in particular. There is a little town called Llanberis at the foot of Mount Snowdon, and a beautiful waterfall hidden away in a ravine. It’s a magical place, almost like a grotto, and I feel certain it would have been a sacred place in pre-Roman times.
What other artists work to you admire and aspire to?
First let me make it clear there is no way I could or would copy any of them, but I do try to make my work of the same standard. Zoya Gutina, a fantastic renowned beadworker, and all the Eastern European bead embroiderers. Their work is such a high standard of art and craftsmanship, I want to be as good as them.
What are you most proud of?
There are many things in life I could be proud of, achieving the Queen’s Guide award at 15 as a Girl Guide, having two beautiful children, surviving life, owning my own business, but if we are talking about my work, then Iceni is my pride and joy. This is my first bead embroidered necklace, and one in which I wanted to encapsulate the feel of the ancient British Iceni tribe, and their warrior queen Boudicca in particular. I think I did that, I hope so anyway.