Hope you're all busy crafting, or daydremaing about crafting, or reading crafty blogs ... (so at least we have one right eh?!)
This week the Craft Pimp Team on Etsy got a new member! Laney is a UK lampworker who specialises in handmade beads of many kinds, from sculptural flowers, to beady critters and we wnat to know a few more things about her ... so it would be rude not to tell you about it here on the blog with a mini interview.
You are a self confessed bead addict, before you started lampworking did you play with other beads?
Self confessed bead addict...I confess to nuffin' !!
Before lampwork, I had never given beads another thought. I rarely wear fancy jewellery, just your basic wedding band, silver wedding band (long story gold allergy, hubby wouldn't get me a platinum...gold allergy came with babies and left about 4 yrs ago....) I used to wear a simple chain hubby brought me, but that was it. So no beads.
At what point in life did you decide to start to make your own out of glass, was there a defining moment or calling?
My defining moment was an accident. My now ex-sister in law used to fuse glass as a hobby, and wanted to make glass beads, she found a course near me in Leominster for the weekend. Since her and BIL lived in Sheffield they came to us for free bed and board. It was around my birthday, and hubby said why didn't I just tag along? Being a small class of only 3, with both BIL and SIL in the class, they didn't want anyone else not related or friend, so I umm'ed and ahh'ed, not really sure whether to go because since I was not really into beads or jewellery... but I went, thinking "ah well, gets me out of tidying up after visitors"
SIL was a little diva-ish and whilst I drove the 12 miles to Leominster from Hereford, she told me so much about glass and how brilliant she was, I couldn't help it later in the day, when she hated it and couldn't make a round bead! I switched on the torch and fell in love with the whole process, glass in particular. I was hooked. But... I never wanted to make a round bead, I only wanted to do the fancy stuff, was a big learning curve to slow down.....That was the only course I took. One weekend in how to make a round bead. The rest is trial and error, I like to learn that way.
How would you describe your creative style?
My creative style is definately eclectic. I love the fine fine detail of something and then the opposite end of the spectrum, the really way out, over the top, in ya face stuff. I don't like art that doesn't look like what its supposed to though. If you are going to have a tree, make it look like a tree, but make it bright and beautiful and huge, not abstract. I am a true swinger for style... They say opposites attract!
If you could be one of your beads ... which one would you be and why?
If I could be one of my beads, it would have to be, the next one. So no picture. I am always wanting it to be bigger, better, bolder...
Have you ever taken up any other crafting apart from lampworking?
Before glass I drew. I love to draw, but the fine detail stuff that just takes ages and ages... and I get bored before I finish, which is a real shame. I use pencil, artist coloured pencil, pen and ink and very occasionally paint, not watercolour, too tricky for me, I am an acrylic girlie. My paintings are usually huge, big bold impressionistic paintings, not abstract, can't do abstract, it has to have a point for me. My drawings are usually pets/animals, my favourite being dogs. I draw people but usually get side tracked and draw detailed eyes, the windows to the souls. I still draw, but not for sale, no one wants to spend hundreds of pounds on an original, detailed drawing. Some of my drawings take in excess of 60 hours for something no bigger than A4. These days I tend to doodle more than draw, my dogs, cats, kids and my flowers which become beads....
What is your main source of inspiration?
My main sources of inspiration come from everywhere. I can listen to the radio, hear a song, be reminded of a memory (I have had a very odd upbringing) ... see a picture in a book, watch the dogs in the river and see the sparkle on the water and want to recreate that, my garden, flowers in magazines and brochures, a pattern in the pavement...
I can be inspired by anything, my mind is completely unique, of this I am convinced!! Colour plays a huge part in my life. I wear blue jeans and scruffy t'shirts, but for me the world is rich in colour, I love them all. I have always loved stained glass windows, my foster family was devout catholic and rather than do the ironing I used to go and sit in the pew and study the windows, we had a magnificent one in our church. I meet up with a friend every school holiday, she lives in Essex me in Hereford so we meet up at some castle or stately home for a lovely day out, these days are brilliant for inspiration in glass and art, because of this I have had a burning passion for learning how to fuse glass, I want to make pendants, cabs, bowls, sun catchers and fused beads... all that glass.............
Now for just a few silly questions ...
If you could watch only ONE tv channel for a whole year, what channel would it be and why?
TV. I don't watch much. I fidget too much. I will have the telly on and be doing something else, drawing, crocheting in the winter, seedy beadies just lately, even making my own jump rings, but the programmes I do watch are comedy or ghosty sit coms like Charmed. I like fantasy, takes me out of the real world. So I would have to have the comedy channel, just plain good fun.
... and what's your favourite Ice-Cream flavour?
My favourite ice cream, sadly you can't get it in the UK. I was lucky enough to travel in my childhood, a mix of forces kid and foster kid ensured I got out and about a fair bit and lived in different places. One of my trips was to Italy, I have been a couple of times now, the stained glass in the churches in Venice and the little curiousity shops...that cost a fortune, the ceramic masks...I digress...Italy sells Coconut Ice Cream - it deserves capitals - it is delicious and worth the trip!!