Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Meet the maker: Wishing Tree
What do you make?
I make all sorts of things, including silver jewellery, copper foiled glass, and crafty jewellery out of a mixture of materials. I enjoy painting and making whimsical pictures which I plan to bring a few along to A Craft Affair.
Why would you buy something handmade?
I buy handmade because I want to have things that show something about the maker of them. It is a sort of interaction with another human being who is creative, and often an inspiration for me, or an admiration of something I cannot do myself.
Where else might we see your work?
My shop on Felt is my main outlet. I exhibit with the Silversmiths Guild of Canterbury at their annual exhibition, this year in December. A fellow silversmith and I are having an exhibition at the Cloisters at The Arts Centre, from 27 July until 2 August.
How did you get into your craft?
I can't remember a time I wasn't making something, or planning something new! I love learning new skills and taking aspects of one set of skills and applying them to another area of creativity. One of my grandmothers spun and had a love of textiles, helping at the sheltered workshops in Christchurch with the weaving. My other grandmother was a great knitter, and as I grew up my mother was always spinning, knitting, or sewing among her other domestic skills. I guess I had a sense that things are made by people with skills making choices about materials and colours and ideas that came from watching their creations grow and emerge under their hands, and being allowed to join in by helping from time to time.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
The only formal training I have is a three year Visual Communication and Design course 15 years or so ago. I loved the printmaking and illustration aspects of this and enjoyed learning some of the more formal aspects of design too.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
My philosophy.... I love colour and can't imagine a life that isn't touched by it. I love the way colours have an effect on your emotions, how a small bright spot on a gray day can lift your spirits, or being swept away by a huge expanse of intense hues, or again being soothed by something cool and gentle. And textures too. I believe that given approximately the correct materials, tools, and instructions, plus a little imagination, everybody can make something beautiful! I cannot bear a world where everything is made by faceless, factory processes!
What are your favourite materials, tools and/or processes?
It depends on the prevailing obsession! I love glass, it glows and shines and is such a big part of our daily existence. I love working with silver and copper too. There are so many possibilities to embellish their surfaces, shape them and join them together, and add other things to create something different, then wear the outcome which adds again to something else. I think I am a visual alchemist at heart!