Posts Tagged ‘mixed media’

Wired for silver: the Canterbury crafter who discovered a new passion

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Debbie of Wiredlove is a full time office worker, busy Mum to two teenage daughters (and one chocolate furbaby) and wife to Chris. Debbie creates her individual wearable art works in her spare time and dreams that one day her creations will adorn the necks and fingers of the rich and famous…

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wiredlove
wiredlove

What do you make?
I make handcrafted jewellery items using Sterling silver, copper, brass and mixed media.

How did you get into your craft?
I have always done crafty things, be it clothes, or toys for my children or family or friends’ kids. But in the last four years I have gotten into jewellery – this started with a friend giving me some artistic wire and some beads and it went from there.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
In 2014 I attended a level 1 and 2 silver course with The Silversmiths’ Guild of Canterbury, who run courses at The Tannery in Woolston, Christchurch. From my very first lesson you could say I was hooked – I enjoyed it so much I became a Committee member on the Guild! The SSG run monthly workshops for members – so I’m always learning new techniques.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I love mixing silver and copper in my creations. Both metals react differently once heated – over-heat silver and it will melt!

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wiredlove

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Tell us about the techniques involved in producing one of your jewellery pieces:
Where do I start? Designing, handsawing a piece of silver plate, heating, forming, soldering, filing… not my most favourite job, but must be done!

What inspires you?
Everything inspires me. I love everything to do with nature, shapes… the list could go on. I also love looking at fashions overseas to see which way the trends are going.

Describe your creative process:
Sometimes I will wake up with ideas and sometimes just looking at something will give me an idea. I can’t say I have certain look to my jewellery (i.e. a range) – I’m forever trying new ideas out.

Describe your workspace:
Cluttered, disorganised and a work in progress. I currently have my work station set up in our office and my soldering station set up in our garage. My dream would be to have a bright airy studio in my backyard or at least a jeweller’s bench, which I’ve been waiting a couple of years for my brother-in-law to make, LOL!

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wiredlove
wiredlove
wiredlove

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Your favourite feedback from a customer:
Just seeing the customer’s face on seeing an item is feedback enough.

What are you currently listening to?
Imagine Dragons – Thunder.

Recommend an album:
Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors – they are my favourites at the moment.

What are you reading right now?
Nora Roberts – Whiskey Beach.

A favourite quote:
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

Tell us about your pets:
An eight year old chocolate lab named Rusty – he’s finally starting to get out of the puppy stage! :-)

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Never give up on your dreams.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
Some beautiful body butter by Inga Ford Soapmaker, in Peachy – smells divine and leaves my skin feeling beautiful.

What’s in store for the rest of 2017?
I’m currently working on some commission work which I love doing. Perhaps some markets once the weather warms up, and The Silversmiths’ Guild have an exhibition later in the year – so I’ll be working towards this.

wiredlove
wiredlove

wiredlove bracelet blog

Debbie has generously offered a sweet prize of a stamped Sterling silver adjustable bracelet with either ‘Aroha’ ‘Love’ or ‘Kia Kaha’ stamped on it, valued at $45.00 (see above) for one lucky Felt reader. To be in to win this beautiful bracelet, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Debbie’s story and her creations. The draw will be made on Friday 30 June and is open to New Zealand residents only.

 

Purchase from Wiredlove here »

 

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A glimpse into The Felted Room: the tactile, textile imaginarium of Sandra Grieve

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room is a mixed media artist who designs and creates eco friendly artworks: unique textile creations, needle felted sculptures, designer cat and dog beds, wedding boutonnieres, and much more – all from her cosy workroom in Wanganui.

Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room in her studio

What do you make?
Original mushroom, butterfly and dragonfly textile art, designer cat and dog beds, wedding boutonnieres, fibre sculptures made with New Zealand wools, fabrics and recycled treasures.

How did you get into your craft?
Ever since I was a little girl I would paint, draw and sew. My Mum was a florist and I used to go into her work and watch her create for many years.

After being a graphic designer for 15 years, I took a break from that to homeschool my son, and while doing that I came across a tiny little needle felted dog sitting on a staircase in an interior design magazine. I thought he was just gorgeous and so realistic, like a tiny dog that had shrunk. I literally went out straight away brought felting needles and wool, sat down and had a go at making one. That was the start of it all.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No, I’m completely self taught.

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feltedroom
feltedroom
feltedroom

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Anything old, whether it’s fabric, thread or jewellery to embellish. My sewing machine is special as it reminds me of my Grandma every time I use it. She left me her sewing box and scissors which I use daily, and dearly treasure.

New Zealand wools are gorgeous to work with. I get huge enjoyment from using them for needle felting. Just the fact that it’s such an ancient art – using various very sharp specialised barbed needles which you work into raw wool, causing the fibres to bind and compress together to form your desired shape – this can take anything from hours, days or weeks to complete.

I love the fact that the materials I use are vintage, natural, recycled, upcycled, eco friendly or New Zealand made wherever possible.

What inspires you?
A beautiful blue sky sunshiny day right through to a overcast rain filled day. Nature is all inspiring to me, boundless colours found everywhere. Gorgeous pieces of fabric. My big brother and my son who always has a smile on his face and un-dwindling encouragement and support for his Mama. I’m also inspired by my Grandma who was a professional seamstress and loved to create many things.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I enjoy designing and creating original pieces. When you’re buying from The Felted Room you can know that everything is made with love and attention to detail. I love the fact that the materials I use are vintage, natural, recycled, upcycled, eco friendly or New Zealand made wherever possible. If it puts a smile on someone’s face, then that’s even better.

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feltedroom

Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room in her studio

The Felted Room

Describe your creative process:
Usually ideas just pop into my head! Usually after a lovely long sleep, although sometimes waking early to sketch out a thought on paper before going back to sleep. I create what feels right, especially when working with wool. My sculptures usually just evolve themselves into being as if they take on a life of their own.

Describe your workspace:
My workspace is a small but cute room under my house, built for me by my Dad. It still has the original stairs in the corner that make great storage. The room is filled top to bottom with all sorts of treasures. I’m surrounded by some of my work, my favourites being a large needle felted white rabbit and a giant moth that I adorned with a small antique silver ornate belt clip and mirror, that my Grandma rescued from the fire when she was a little girl.

All the furniture is recycled or upcycled: wardrobes with shelves added to store my wool, an old dining table cut to make shelves, and the drawers from my workbench were the town clerk’s in the 50s! Dad added a rimu top. Even my sewing table was made for me by Dad when I was in my 20s. You can shut yourself away in this space and totally lose yourself to the outside world, it’s lovely.

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Five words that describe your mind:
Imaginative, calm, grateful, flexible, creative.

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. I loved how she was different to everyone else, Amelia thought and did things differently… a little like me only I wouldn’t go so far as to peg my lightbulbs out on the clothesline!

Who is your hero/heroine? Why?
Lesley Eru is a truly inspiring person to me. She started her own business, Iron Alley, here in Wanganui. She always uplifts, encourages and empowers you. Lesley is living proof that with hard work, focus and determination you can succeed in what you set out to do with amazing results. Stay on track, start strong and finish stronger.

A favourite quote:
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein.

Tell us about your pets:
Sherbert and Luna are my British Shorthair cats and I just adore them. They were the inspiration behind my cat beds’ design and production, as they never wanted to go into cat beds I’d brought for them. So, I designed these and they absolutely love them – in fact its hard to get them out sometimes! From that I designed the small dog bed for my Italian Greyhound Chakotay so he wouldn’t feel left out either.

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What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Have diversity with your products. Good photos are essential, and using social media like Facebook. Designing and creating things you love, and having a passion for your craft is a must.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A small cat, it was so sweet I bought it and now use it for a pin cushion, it’s super cute and different.

What’s in store for the rest of 2016?
Exciting things are ahead, with so many new ideas waiting to come to life and be made for my shop The Felted Room, I can’t wait!

Sandra has very kindly offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of this stunning moth textile art wall hanging (below). This beautiful creature has wings fashioned out of gorgeous vintage floral and magenta velvet fabrics, and her body is a vintage brown faux fur with glass eyes and wire antennae. Measuring 34cm x 19cm, she’ll look stunning hung on the wall or simply placed around your home as if ready to take flight.

To be in to win, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Sandra’s story and creations. The draw will be made on Friday 1 July and is open to New Zealand residents only.

 

See more from The Felted Room on Felt »

 

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