1. Tell us about yourself, what you do and your work
I create and design jewellery and accessories! I originally started off making jewellery, but have recently added accessories such as altered art keepsake boxes and fabric based designs such as cushions and purses. I am also a self confessed craft addict and enjoy a range of other crafts including card making, stamping, knitting and painting. My designs include vintage inspired creations, fairytales and dark fantasy pieces, Alice In Wonderland designs and my shabby chic Paris collection!
2. What are your inspirations?
My creative brain never rests and I draw inspiration from almost everywhere. From life, love, music, books and nature e.g. even simple things such as the way rain falls on a petal or the more complex changing colours and textures of the sky inspire me.
Favourite childhood novels such as Alice In Wonderland provide great inspiration for some of my fairytale jewellery, while my love of reading thrillers is expressed through my darkly romantic jewellery. I also like to incorporate a mix of modern and vintage elements in my work. Other great loves of mine include musicals such as ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’. You will often see pieces that encompass a mix of both beauty and beast!
3. When and where did you study/learn and has your work changed since then?
I have always been very creative as a child I found great delight in drawing and painting, and making characters come to life! I did study art at school (many years ago) but I would say that I am self taught. I have recently attended a series of short courses, which include working with resin and basic sewing skills.
I started out with jewellery making and then began exploring different crafts which include art and sewing. My more recent work has developed into more complex techniques and methods when creating, but I am also developing sewing projects and altered art pieces that have jewellery components incorporated into in their design.
4. What techniques do you use in your work?
I started off using pre-made components, chains and beads and later moved on to wire wrapping, manipulating metal findings such as filigree wraps, resin and polymer clay. More recently I have added painting, blending, hand-stamping and embellishing to my non-jewellery projects i.e. keepsake boxes and mini cushions, to give them a more unique or special finish.
5. How long have you been working as an Artist?
I have always been creative for as long as I can remember but I began making and selling jewellery in 2009 and went on to open 2 shops at online handmade market places.
6. What are the best and worst things about your craft, and how easy is it to find work and make a living from it?
The best thing about crafting is being ‘creative’, coming up with different ideas and seeing them take shape and their eventual form. For me it’s about being in that place (which I call the zone) where ideas flow freely and you’re creative process is led by instinct.
It’s hard for me to find a bad thing to say about crafting because it’s something I love to do. I did experience frustration earlier on when I had an idea but was limited by my ability or materials. I’m still learning and consider crafting to be an ongoing process where as you learn more you develop more. The other thing that I didn’t realise was the business element involved in getting your work ‘out there – this concept was completely alien to me. I now spend a lot of time taking photos, writing product descriptions, promoting my designs and my website etc and am still learning.
I combine having a regular (part time) job with crafting and luckily I tend to be more creatively productive in the evening. I think it takes a lot of hard work and talent to be able to make a living from your craft, but it is something I hope to do in the future.
7. Can we visit you at your studio / shop?
My designs are currently only available online and a small selection of my designs are currently being stocked in a shop in Whitley Bay, UK at www.rosewill-cottage.co.uk.
8. What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to eventually live my dream and be able to create and craft full time. I hope to continue being creative and loving what I do and further develop and improve my skills. I would love to have my designs stocked in more shops and eventually set up a shop which would also house the work of other artisans and crafters.
9. What do you sell and how can we buy?
I have a range of jewellery, which includes unique or one-off pieces and I also have a line of different accessories. The jewellery ranges includes earrings, pendants, bracelets, brooches and rings, while the accessories include keepsake boxes, bookmarks, lavender bags, purses 67falsefalse65and cushions. These are all available from my website www.missbohemia.com and my Etsy shop www.missbohemia.etsy.com and a small selection of my designs are stocked at www.rosewill-cottage.co.uk in Whitley Bay. My blog is updated with information on new designs and projects http://bohemianbluez.blogspot.com
10. What is your most favourite piece?
I enjoy and love so many of the pieces of jewellery I make, but my favourite piece of work is my first altered art ‘Mermaid treasures’ keepsake box. I’d had the idea in my head for a while before I got to work on it. It had also been a long time since I’d painted and it was such a great feeling to be painting, mixing colours and using different textures such as blending and hand-stamping!