Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Malaysia to London, an unique journey

Let's meet a jewelry artist called Yue, she comes from Malyasia and moved to England 8 years ago. She is also a scientist.

- How did you get started ?
I has always been creative and enjoy crafting since I was a child. I love making jewellery for my friends and family, and they always said I should try to sell these. That's why I started my business online.

- Where are you from?
I was born and grown up in Malaysia, then I moved to England 8 years ago where I started my inspiring journey in jewellery making. I now settle in London for my study, nothing artistic but science.
- Are your creations limited editions or unique?
All my creations are unique, it's still different even with the same design and I intend to design my works to last for a lifetime.

- what is your brand about?
Yue means 'moon' in English, it always represents mystery, beauty, romance and love. I hope that my design reflects the meaning of moon and it can last a lifetime so I love working with gemstones, pearls and sterling silver.

- What inspires you?
Many things, like walking down a path and see lovely flowers hanging in the sky, reading through some inspiring jewellery making magazines and looking at websites from other talented makers.

- How do you promote your work?
Business cards, Facebook and twitter.

- Where are you showing your work?
My online shop.

- any special promos?
Everything from my shop are beautifully gift-wrapped and shipped free of charge in UK mainland.

- favorite websites?
A picture gallery and search engine for all handmade jewellery in Japan: www.bijouxsearch.com

Yue's site http://www.yuethejewelry.com

- Anything else you'd like to add?
My blog  http://yuehandicrafts.blogspot.com is a journal of all my life so it reflects my recent interest in baking and you will find lovely and delicious recipes for cakes from my blog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little Wren Pottery by Victoria

Come and meet Victoria, owner of Little Wren Pottery

- How did you get started? - My Dad was originally a potter years and years ago. I myself was keen to learn and he recommended that I attend a night class since he wasn't keen on teaching me himself. I did learn a lot at the class but I got to a point where I was wanting to do my own thing, it was then we started working at home.
- Where are you from? - I currently live in Sunderland in the North East of England. Which isn't currently renowned for its crafts but at one time was home to over 20 potteries.

- Are your creations limited editions or unique? - Each piece I make is unique in one way or another. Its unlikely you'd get two hand thrown pieces the same. I've recently started work on a couple of pottery ranges which will hopefully be introduced for Christmas.

- When did you start your practice? - I started just over a year ago, which in the grand scheme of things isn't very long at all.

- Any favourite suppliers for your materials? - In our area there's only one place to buy supplies from and thats from Bill Todd in County Durham. I usually buy potclays or potterycrafts supplies, the quality of their products are quite high even though it can be a little expensive.

- Are you a professional artist or is this a hobby? - A little bit of both, even though its something I do part time I try to be professional about it. I'd hope one day that I might be able to earn at least enough money to pay the bills.

- what is your brand about? - I tend to focus on the rustic nature of pottery, I prefer to use natural colours and imagery to bring the outdoors inside. I also like to focus on the balance between quality and affordability, I don't think people should pay over the odds for a handmade product.

- What inspires you? - I really like going to museums and looking at old ancient pottery, I often think these older forms are in some ways more attractive than our modern ones. I also get inspiration from nature, I spend a lot of time out in the garden when I'm not potting and sometimes animals make it onto mu pots.

- What is your favourite piece ? - Its tough to choose since its always changing but at the moment I really love this large ornate red bowl.

- How do you promote your work? - I spend time promoting myself on my blog, other peoples blogs, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Even though its questionable the impact Twitter has I do love it and people get to know me through it.

- Where are you showing your work? - This has been the first summer I've actually attended craft fairs. It was a huge learning curve for me, selling in person is a whole different challenge to selling online. In the run up to Christmas I'll be attending Guisborough craft fair on December 11th.

- If you look back in ten years time, what do you hope to have achieved? - I just hope to get better at throwing. Part of being in ceramics is looking at continual improvement in all areas of what you do, from shaping a lump of clay on the wheel to packing it up and shipping out the orders. My aim for the previous year was to make double the sales I had in the previous year and things seem to be going well on that front at the moment!

- What advice you wish someone had told you when you started? - That I'd actually spend proportionately more time doing administration tasks than actual making. Marketing and stocktaking take up a huge amount of time but these things just have to get done to keep the wheels turning.

- Do you have any advice for fellow artists and designers? - Its important just to keep going but look for improvement everywhere it can be made. Improvement of your skills, your materials, photos, packing orders, keeping stock of whats going on.

- Did you ever think when you were young that you would be where you are now? - No I didn't! When I was young I had other aspirations in life but I've always been a creative person and thats something which has featured continuously through my life.

- any special promos? - I quite often host giveaways on my blog usually roughly quarterly, my next one will be in January. I also occasionally have discount sales and sell pottery seconds.

- what would you like to be when you grow up? - I'd like to be a potter!

- favorite jeweller? - Lazy Giraffe http://www.lazygiraffe.etsy.com/

- favorite websites? - Mostly foodie ones! http://www.smittenkitchen.com, http://www.lottieanddoof.com, http://www.sprinklebakes.com

- Anything else you'd like to add? I'd love to get to know you on twitter you can add me at http://www.twitter.com/MoominMidge

To discover more about Victoria Baker, visit her site - http://www.littlewrenpottery.co.uk
It also features some wonderful recipes worth a try, and wonderful pictures.

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