Meet the Maker - Corinne Evans

Friday, August 29, 2014
Hello! Today's Meet the Maker interview is by local jewellery maker, Corinne Evans.  Corinne's delicate pieces are inspired by nature, we caught up with her last year to find out more about her inspirations....

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
Hello! I'm Corinne Evans, a Bristol based jewellery artist who works primarily with precious metals. My designs are subtle, elegant, and inspired by natural intricate patterns and earthy colours.
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
I have always wanted my art to be a means which I indirectly bring happiness to others. I feel that jewellery is the perfect medium to achieve this, as it is often given as a meaningful and cherished gift by a loved one. I feel overwhelmed with warmth and happiness at the thought of someone somewhere waking up on Christmas morning to a piece of my jewellery.  Additionally, I find the physical processes involved in making my pieces is very enjoyable, exciting and therapeutic. I love turning the raw materials into something I find beautiful. 
Describe your studio or workspace?
Small, messy and full of machines!

Which fellow Paper Scissors Stone artist would you collaborate with and why? 
Oooh it's a toss up between Jessica Quinn and Romina Berenice Canet. They are two of the mostly wonderfully bizarre, surreal and characterful artists I've ever had the pleasure to meet. I would like to make some surreal and quirky metal characters with them.

Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
Without a doubt, Cafe Maitreya in Easton. My mouth is salivating just thinking about that place. It's vegetarian heaven!
Thanks Corinne - we love Cafe Maitreya too! YUM! You can find Corinne's beautiful pieces in or Paper Scissors Stone shop.


Paper Scissors Stone
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm
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Meet the Maker - Lauren Rowden

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Hello! Today's Meet the Maker is by Lauren Rowden.  Lauren makes intricate contemporary jewellery under the brand name Ellie Air.  We had a chat recently about her inspiration and the creative process behind her pieces...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I'm Lauren, the designer and maker behind the brand Ellie Air. I've been creating jewellery since school, and since studying contemporary jewellery in Florence, Italy, I've fallen in love with designing and making. My work is very minimalist, it reflects my own taste in jewellery, with a timeless quality to it. 
Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
Jewellery seems to have become my life, and not in a bad way! Since moving my studio to London I've managed to immerse myself in part time positions in the jewellery world, from gallery sales to trend analysis. The rest of the time you'll probably find me with a book and a slice of pizza/a bar of chocolate! 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I grew up in a big and creative family, and being the youngest I watched all my brothers and sisters fly the nest early on. I did very art-y subjects at school, went to university to do Fine Art, and realised it wasn't for me. I needed to be doing something, not learning it. I dropped out and got a job in a jewellers', and haven't stopped loving it; from the initial design idea to the finished product. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
Learning new things..I've done a lot of short courses over the course of time and love being able to learn something new and tricky, getting rid of old bad habits, and seeing how other people do things! 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
My brain is on over drive pretty much during all waking hours! The designs stem from the fact I have jewellery in my head all the time. I was recently talking with someone about how different people think in different ways, in pictures, words, colours, film reels, etc, and I realised I think in jewellery; things I've seen, ones I like, stones, new designs, old designs, you name it, it's in there! 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
Up until recently I worked from home, a bench tucked neatly into the apex roof, with tools spilling out everywhere, but now I work in a studio with two other creatives, so must keep my things in place! It's a big bright space and it's inspiring to be around imaginative and productive people all the time. 
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
I've always admired Philip Treacy, the milliner, and would love to see inside his workshop when he started out. But realistically, I just love peering into other jewellers' studios, noseying at all their tools and materials, it's really quite fascinating! 
How would you describe your creative process? 
I work quite compulsively and don't draw much at all; I think of a concept and work with the metal until I have a finished design that I'm happy with. With one off projects I'll sit with the stone, or a basic idea until I've thought up something more concrete, and then I make it. Sometimes this doesn't work, but I'll end up teaching myself a new method in the process. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
As you might have realised by now, I'm really into jewellery. I've always been surrounded by handmade jewellery in all my jobs, and sometimes it's just too hard to give in to temptation! My array might be pretty big but the amethyst and white gold ring that was made for me by the jeweller I first worked for when I left school is my favourite. 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
I tend not to over do it at the work bench so don't often find myself in a rut, but I have found that the best way to get me out of a funk is to find a particular stone I want to set and thinking of the best way to set it. I end up getting quite excited about it and can't wait to get back to the studio! 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
In a sustainable position to keep doing the thing I love!

Thank you Lauren, it has been fun spending the day in your studio and seeing you work!  You can find Lauren's minimalist jewellery in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol

Mon - Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm
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Meet the Maker - Bethan Buss

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Today we are delighted to introduce Bethan Buss aka Boodle, one of Paper Scissor Stones firm favourites. Over to you Beth... tell us everything!
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
Hello, I am Beth from ‘Boodle’ – screen-printing and drawing are my passions, so I combine the two! Having studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent, I have been designing and screen-printing ever since.

Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I enjoy long walks, picnics and generally being outside (when the weather’s nice!) If not, a cozy night in with friends and a few gin and tonics does the trick. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
I love carrying an idea through into product form and screen-printing is a very satisfying discipline as you can transform ideas into products fairly quickly. I still get excited when washing off the screen after exposure to discover my image 'burnt' into the screen.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I have always been a keen animal lover, using various animals as inspiration for my work. I like to make people smile with humanised interpretations of animals that people can relate to. I am a bit of a crazy cat lady at heart!
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I have recently become a bit obsessed with Jane Ormes’ screen prints. She is local to Bristol but I really like the textures and layers in her work.  I would love to see the process she uses, as I think it would be very different to mine. I also love the illustrations of Julia Pott, and would love to see how she makes her animations.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My sister made me a lamp out of an old toaster for Christmas a few years ago - it’s amazing! Much better than the fake fur tea cozy she made me last year!
Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
I love wandering around independent shops run by artists such as Fig & Blaze. I find it very inspirational how so many artists are selling their work in Bristol, and always find it exciting discovering new local talent.  There are so many great local eateries such as No.1 Harbourside and The Thali Cafe and if you’re out for a special occasion, Bell’s Diner in Montpellier is amazing. I am a big foody, so I’m still trying to make my way through all that Bristol has to offer.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I guess after finishing university I didn’t want to stop designing and making, so I just carried on and I attended a short business course to try and make some money from it... I’m still working on that!
How would you describe your creative process?
I usually get an idea at random moments; while walking to the post office, or cooking dinner for example. I then try and hold onto the idea and whenever I have spare time I start doodling away, sometimes it takes a few goes and some development to get exactly what I want. I then apply this to the screen-printing process, and think of a product it would work best with.
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
Exercise and a good bit of fresh air helps to get your brain going, so I try and go for a run or a quick bike ride. But sometimes you just have days when you can’t draw, so you just have to resign yourself to an admin day, which can sometimes be just as valuable.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would like to have my own studio with printing equipment so I can potter about and experiment with ideas a bit more. I would love to do some design work for bigger companies and charities such as the RSPB or The National Trust, and being able to work on ‘Boodle’ full time with a few employees would be my dream. 

Thank you Beth for a really great interview.  You can find Bethan's wonderful work in our Paper Scissors Stone shop.
Paper Scissors Stone
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 11am - 5pm


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Made in Bristol - My Work Experience

Monday, August 18, 2014
A few weeks ago Beth Kendall, daughter of one of our team artists (Jane Kendall,) worked in our shops as part of her work experience. Beth has written a little blog post about some of the beautiful things she spotted in our two treasure troves... over to you Beth!

During my work experience at Made in Bristol I found many gorgeous items created by the makers. The first items that really caught my eye, were these adorable paper weights (above) felted into the shape of badgers, created by Mirjami Designs. I loved their aesthetic and the delicacy of the stitching needed to sew it all together. These paperweights are very skilfully made and a really great idea. 
There were two items of Ellie Air's which I really love, the first being this beautiful necklace (above) which consists of a pale blue gem stone held by two silver rings. I really love this pendant because of the cut of the gem and the fact that there have been raw edges left at the end which gives it an earthy feel, and the way that it sits around your neck. 
The other product by Ellie Air was this really gorgeous necklace consisting of a raw stone of many different colours. I love this piece of jewellery because I find the stone awe inspiring, as I cannot contemplate what happened to it to make it like that, and I think it is amazing that you could wear something as old and incredible as that around your neck. 
One other product I found was this beautiful piece of jewellery by Rhea Clements. I love this necklace because to me the entangled embroidery thread looks almost brain like, and the glass body which surrounds it looks like a light bulb, which I really like as it makes me think of the necklace as symbolising great ideas. 
Another amazing item I discovered were these incredibly intricate buttons. These were created by Gabi Reith and are beautifully made with delicate designs. I really like the way that these buttons could be put onto anything made of fabric and completely transform and personalise it.  
The final items which I really liked were these necklaces by Kay Morgan. Although liking the necklaces was a big part of why I love this product, an even bigger part was that I loved the story behind them, and the way Kay started off because there were so many wasted circles of leather that she had to think of a use for them, and then that one good idea sparked off into a successful business. 
Thank you Beth! We loved having you with us in our shops and hope you enjoyed your experience too.  Your choices of products are delightful, as is your illustration of our Made in Britain shop window, how cool!

You can find all of the items shown above in our Paper Scissors Stone and Made in Britain shops.

Made in Bristol Shops
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
Mon-Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm


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Meet the Maker - Ali Corder

Friday, August 15, 2014
Good Morning!  Today's Meet the Maker interview comes from the lovely Ali Corder.  Ali's vintage penny jewellery are a real favorite in our shops. We caught up with her to find out more about the story behind the penny and why they are so lucky....

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
My name is Ali; my work is really about storytelling. I’m really interested in the stories people pass on, friend-to-friend or generation-to-generation. I particularly like folk stories, proverbs and old wives tales; it’s a belief system that gives people faith or hope, I love that. I love words as much as pictures, sometimes words paint a better picture than paints and sometimes a painting tells a better story than a pen. The medium and format is important and I love to try and find the best way to tell the story. 
Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I feel like we are all creating all of the time but I guess it’s just how you look at things. I took a year off after my foundation, to earn some money, which turned into over ten years before I went back and finally got a fine art degree. In that time I trained as a chef and had my son Red, so I still enjoy cooking, in fact more so, now I don’t have to do it for work. I have a good friend who is a potter and as we both work from home we both instigate meeting up a couple of times a week, either just together or with other friends, just to keep us both sane. Other people are important, we might talk about new ideas and work or just hit the charity shops but we both feel better afterwards.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I’ve always drawn and made stuff, as a kid I always wanted to draw for a living but didn’t really have the confidence to think I was good enough. My sister always wanted to be a writer, she would write plays and we would make sets and act them out to family. She still writes and I still make and draw. I feel lucky that I can spend the majority of my time doing something I love.
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
I love drawing and collage, I love the simplicity of making something with just paper and a pencil, it’s really raw, just the idea. I also love paper, old paper, old patterns, putting together different textures and patterns really can bring something to life. The jewellery I make is just an extension of this. The format is a penny or a sixpence, themselves considered lucky, then it’s about putting together the picture and colours and letting the piece tell the story. I like the fact that the penny is believed to be lucky and so might be the swallow on the penny, like double luck. Even if you don’t believe in luck its still a nice story and atheistically pleasing.  
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes, obviously from books and stories. I loved reading as a child and children’s stories are particularly good when it comes to beliefs and morals. I probably have more children’s books now than when I was young! I love them, I love the illustrations and I love the moralistic edge to a lot of them. I am a big Maurice Sendak fan and Dr Seuss  I had a Dr Seuss book that contained green eggs and ham, the star bellied sneeches and pale green pants, which was a favourite. They were all about not being afraid to try new things, meet new people and realizing we are all different. There’s a beauty in that, it would be a dull world if we were all the same. Being confident in who you are and believing in yourself is how you find your place in the world. It authenticates what you do, especially creatively.
Describe your studio or workspace?
I have a small workspace at home, I have cupboards full of supplies but where I work is all about space saving. I have a desk upstairs and tend to do most of my work there. Although when it comes to ideas, I have a pad and pen on me and tend to sketch or write wherever I am. The world and the people in it is where you find inspirations so it’s good to work out and about. My desk is always pretty cluttered, but its good to have a central point for work otherwise I tend to lose things. I have a couple of drawers that I use just for drying, I have very nosy cats so it’s good to shut them away while they set or dry!
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
If I had to pick one person I think it would have to be Joseph Cornell. His studio was his cellar, or, as he called it, his ‘spare parts department’. I love his work and his love of just about everything. People say it was stuffed full of labelled boxes, themselves stuffed full of, well, who knows really. His glass jars contained 'the speed of light’ and 'A thousand and one nights’, so I would love to have had a rummage.
How would you describe your creative process?
I get ideas from all over the place, books, people, then I write down a few notes, the ones that are legible and I can remember what I was thinking get made into sketches and then I decide how I’m going to present them, whether it be a painting, drawing, collage or something wearable. All the while I am collecting paper, patterns, stuff and things, generally these get hoarded away and sometimes they get together with the ideas and make something lovely.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have a few, my friend and fellow maker, Eunice Wilson (little sewing society) made me a vintage leather hand bound book filled with fabriano, so at the moment I’m a little bit in love with that. Another favourite is a smoke fired clay heart that I made with my friend and potter, Kath Cooper. We were having an open studio and she was holding a few smoke firing workshops and helped me make it. It just reminds me what a lovely week we had, sitting in the garden eating hummus and smoking clay.
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
If I’m stuck I generally have to keep busy. I usually do something a bit boring so I can file things in my brain and see where to go next. Walking is good, that definitely makes me feel better, but I’m a bit of a gamer so I do tend to log on and play some pretty easy online games. I call it procrastinating; my son calls it skiving. Nothing too complicated or long winded, something simple so I can think at the same time. Pressure helps, if I don’t have a deadline I tend to not focus well, and I tend to get in the zone and do lots of work and then have a few days where I just mess about with ideas.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Not too far from here really, for me it’s not really about money, I have a need to get all these ideas out of me, it’s great to be able just to get them out of my head, it’ a bonus that other people like or want them. Other than that it’s about the people you meet, I love getting involved in communities of creative’s, there is always a connection, like you understand. A fellow artist at paper.scissors.stone said to me last year, “ Artists are just kids that never grew up.” It feels a bit like that, you meet other people that just like playing and it makes you want to join the game. So I want to carry on making, meeting people, getting excited about ideas and being part of the game.

Thank you Ali for such a lovely interview! You can find Ali's work in our Made in Britain shop and Ali currently has an exhibition with the talented Jess Quinn from Paper Scissors Stone at Tobacco Factory,


Tobacco Factory Cafe/Bar - exhibition

Two of Made in Bristol's finest artists have come together for an exhibition at the Tobacco Factory.

'Alice Corder is inspired by story telling, particularly superstitions, traditions and passed down wisdoms. Working in a mixed media of painting, drawing and vintage print she visually re-interprets these old stories and proverbs. Jess Quinn trained as a painter at Glasgow School of Art. She works in a variety of mediums combining 'high' and 'low' art, working with textiles, embroidery, knitting and colour that are historically associated with craft and women's work/ pastimes plus an interest in early cartoons, advertisement's, cheap plastic toys, movies, manga and animation. Childhood and toys are constant themes, with the darker side of fairy tales being of particular interest.'

Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
Mon-Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

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Meet the Maker - Doug Jewell

Monday, August 11, 2014
If you are a fan great photography and animals then you will love our next Meet the Maker interview. Local photographer Doug captures animals and landscapes in such a beautiful and unique way.  We discovered more about the man behind the lens recently...


Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hello. I'm Doug, a Bristol-based photographer specialising in landscape and animal shots. I like to shoot landscape images from quirky angles using existing structures as framing devices to create thought-provoking images. With animals, I try to capture them outdoors and enjoying themselves. 

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
Away from photography I’m also a writer. I studied English at university and as part of my final year project started a writing a novel which got me signed to a small literary agency. The novel ultimately didn't get published but I continue to write (largely unpublished) fiction. I'm nearing the completion of the first draft of a novel now about death, love, photography and the role of luck in life. Once I've put it away in a drawer for a month I'll take it out and edit it and send if off to my literary agent, Eve White. Eve recently asked, via Twitter, for pictures of the UK coastline as part of the launch of one of her other author’s books. I sent her a recent picture of Tenby, which won the competition. My prize was a copy of the new book. Which is lovely but wasn't the type of book deal I was expecting when I signed to the agency! 
I'm also a keen runner and have recently joined Bristol and West AC with a view to getting my 10K time down to below 35 minutes and my half marathon time below 80 minutes. My PB in the 10K is just over 36 minutes so I'm way off that one, but I ran the recent Bath Half marathon in 80 minutes and one second. Which was slightly annoying. I like the objectivity of running. With writing and photography the success of a piece can hinge on whether someone else likes it. With running there's just you and the immutable laws of time.

When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
Well, there's some that would say that photography isn't really art, that it's the camera that does all the work. It's a view I’m not entirely unsympathetic with. But I guess it was when I started taking photos and getting them put on canvas to decorate my walls at home and people who visited assumed they were professionally-shot pieces. Prior to that I had always assumed they would appeal to an audience of one. And I guess the next step was when I won a photography award from the Kennel Club for a picture of my dog on a beach in Ireland. Apparently it attracts over 5,000 entries so to win their Dogs at Play category was confirmation that I wasn't an entirely useless/lucky photographer. Although clearly I’m lucky to own a very photogenic dog. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
The thrill of the chase. There's always the thought that today is going to be the day I'll take the perfect photo. I take the view that perfection only exists in the moment so if you're seeking some kind of perfection then photography is the right field to be in. I also just take great pleasure from the power of certain photos, be it a landscape captured at exactly the right moment of the day or the expression on an animal’s face. Photos can be heart-wrenchingly moving too. Such as that famous shot by Kevin Carter of a vulture stalking a child during the Sudan famine. It's a horribly compelling image. But then isn't life sometimes so? 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
I used to watch loads of sport as a kid and I think that has unwittingly informed lots of my work. It's no coincidence that the majority of my images are taken outdoors, where the majority of sport takes place. If you look at my early-morning shot of the tree stump up at Ashton Court, it's reminiscent of a golfer about to tee off. Frequently I position the foreground subject in a shot to the left or the right of the frame. I suspect this was because I used to watch and play so much cricket during my formative years. The most common view is the batsmen to the left of the frame and then the slips behind lined up to the right or left. My picture of Pele the cat, which was published recently in Bristol Listings, follows that pattern. The cat is the batsman and the balloons in the background are the slip fielders. 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
I'm very lucky to have a converted loft in my house in Hotwells which doubles as a photography studio and general man cave where I can work whilst listening to music or with sport on the TV or radio. It also has views looking out towards the Suspension Bridge, which is obviously one of the most photographed structure in Bristol, and also over to Ashton Court, which is probably my favourite place in the city. I often think the loft at home would make a good nightclub. Although I daresay my neighbours wouldn’t agree. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Vivian Maier. She was a Chicago-based street photographer who worked as a nanny and all her stuff was only discovered posthumously. A few years after her death this treasure trove of negatives was unearthed. Her stuff is brilliant; and there were loads of ancient selfies. I love that concept of the secret self. Someone working away diligently at something and not telling anyone. There's a kind of heroic quality about that to me. 
How would you describe your creative process? 
I find a lot of my best work is spontaneous. So I can just be out around Bristol or somewhere else and suddenly notice a good shot or a scene and then just snap away. I feel fortunate to live in a time when technology is such that everything is pretty instant. You can check whether the shot is any good straight away and decide whether to keep it. My grandfather was a keen photographer too and had his own dark room. I would never have the patience to go through that process. I think it's pretty safe to say that were it not for the advent of digital photography there is no way I'd have become a photographer. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
Not sure if this one applies to me but I have two beautifully handmade pots in my loft space in which I place a conker to mark the passing of each year of my two daughters' life. I've no idea who made them and I daresay the maker didn't intend then for them to be used as 'Conker Pots', but there you go... 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
Drink some more wine. Go out for a run. Stare at the internet. 

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
Still alive is I think always the minimum requirement for that question. In terms of photography, though, I'd like to have been successful enough to be able to publish a book of my images. I could then marry the two creative disciplines of photography and writing. I would also still like to have enough hair for me to be able to worry about having bad hair days. 

Thank you Doug!  As cat lovers we adore that image of Pele the cat!  Purrrrfect!
You can discover Doug's work for yourself at our Paper Scissors Stone shop.

Paper Scissors Stone
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm
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Bristol Balloon Fiesta - and our love of balloons

Friday, August 08, 2014
Print by Fiona Clabon
This weekend sees the annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta, with thousands of visitors flocking to Ashton Court Estate to see the balloons, the glow and other spectacular events.

Bristol and balloons go hand in hand, and many of our artists and makers use them as inspiration in their work. It's not surprising really as if you live in Bristol, during the Summer months, a balloon or two will always make an appearance.
Balloon brooches by Lucie Ellen
If you, like many, woke early this morning to see the mass ascent of hundreds of balloons filling the skies, you will probably have fallen for their charms.  Why not, this weekend, pop (no pun intended) into Cabots Circus and visit our pop-up shops for some balloon inspired jewellery and artwork.
Made in Bristol Mugs
For beautiful locally made homewares, jewellery and more - head down to our shops in Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus - open throughout the Balloon Fiesta weekend.

Paper Scissors Stone & Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol

Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm
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Meet the Maker - Justine Nettleton

Monday, August 04, 2014
If you are a fan of nature and beautiful jewellery then you will love our next Meet the Maker interview. Justine Nettleton, creates detailed jewellery, ceramics and cards using her colourful paintings.  We just had to find out more...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I have been a fine art painter for the last 25 years. In the last two years I have started creating jewellery, ceramics and cards using my own designs. I am inspired by colour, plants, birds and animals. I use the colour and painted textures in my paintings to create my designs. 

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
I run a business called Local Magazines Ltd. I started it 7 years ago after leaving primary school teaching. I had hoped teaching would give me time to spend on my work but it didn’t so I became self-employed so I could have more control over my working hours. We produce 4 magazines every month for the local area. My husband now runs it with me. There are busy times of the month but then it is very quiet so I can crack on with my artwork and jewellery. 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
When I was around 13 (back in the early 1980s) I drew a picture of the female singer from the pop band Dollar. I think it was a photo in a magazine like Smash Hits. It was rather good and I surprised and impressed myself. I took it straight through to show my parents who were still in bed. They seemed impressed though they were very supportive of anything I did which was great. I was always making clothes, drawing and making weird things after that. One thing I made that lingered around the house for years was a skeletal hand made of sticks, mud and leaves. Quite hideous. 

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
I find colour very hypnotic. Nothing pleases me more than mixing colours and daubing them on paper and canvas. It is so relaxing and therapeutic. 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
I mainly paint expressive landscape. I love sunsets and unusual weather conditions. I love birds and plants. My garden is full of flowers but we haven’t persuaded many birds in yet (we live near a busy road and the pigeons are the only birds brave enough to enter). Me and my husband Keith, who is also an artist, travel around together collecting photographic images. I photograph plants and birds while he photographs lichens, marks, rust etc. 

Describe your studio or workspace? 
I have an art studio along with 17 other artists in an old mill in the town where I live. It is a messy space I use mainly for my painting on canvas. It doesn’t matter if paint falls on the floor. I have my tubs of paints and brushes all around me. It’s not quite as messy as Francis Bacons studio! I also have current work hanging on the walls so I can review my progress. I like to work fast so I also have a hairdryer close by to dry the paint as I go along. I produce my jewellery and design work at home. My shed is useful for spraying wood and storing all my tiles. My utility room has been taken over by my jewellery making. Pretty much every room downstairs has something of mine in it ready to complete. I call it creative clutter but my husband calls it mess! I like to be able to wander into each room and pick something up and work on it. My favourite time to produce my jewellery is very early morning or evening. I prefer to go out during the day. I don’t work any set hours and love the flexibility to do a bit here and there. If it ever feels like a job I’m not happy. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman who would it be? 
I’d like to go back in time and visit an artist called Artemisia Gentileschi in the 1600s and talk to her about her experiences of being a woman artist working at a time when there were so few women artists working. 
How would you describe your creative process? 
My work is a mix of photography and painting. As I’m painting I keep a camera close by and photograph any little splodges of colour that interest me. They may get painted over but I keep the photographic record. I then use the photographs of the colours and textures to colour my designs. I also use a camera to photograph plants and birds that catch my eye. I incorporate these photographs into my designs. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
I have a small plastic horse on a shelf in my bedroom. It has been daubed by lots of different colour paints by my daughter when she was in nursery. She’s 17 now. 

What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
I go for a walk in the countryside with my husband. We like visiting remote places as well as National Trust properties. I particularly love gardens full of different flowers. I will just take lots of photos and review them later. 

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
I thankfully don’t feel I have anything left to prove to myself or the world. I had an ambition to make a living from my creativity and I have now done that. I want to continue trying out new ideas and exploring my own creativity. I don’t want to get in a rut or get bogged down with ‘work’. As soon as art feels like work I won’t want to do it anymore. So I call it play. Long may it be ‘play’!

Thank you Justine! We like the idea of 'play' instead of 'work'!  You can find Justine's beautiful pieces for sale in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
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Cabot Circus
Bristol

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