I have another craft Interview for you today the lovely Eileen from Eileen's Craft Studio. After you read her interview why not pop over and like her page on Facebook and then have a lovely browse round her folksy shop. Links below.
What is the main, Art/Craft you are known for?
That is an interesting question and I guess it would depend on which group of people you talk to. To a great many they would know me for my embroidery and sewn pieces. While for other’s it would be my crochet and knitted items.
Is this a full time job?/Second income/ Or hobby for you?
This is now my main job. However I have made and sold part time for many years. I taught arts and crafts until ten months ago.
How long have you been doing it?
I opened my folksy shop in June 2012. I have been designing and creating a wide variety of items for over 40 years.
Could I have a little potted history of your creative life please?
I started out very young as my mother was a knitting pattern designer for a very large knitting pattern company so I learnt to knit long before I started school. I remember knitting my first item a vest for my new little brother when I was 3 years old on a pair of metal no 7 knitting needles which I still use to this day. I taught myself to crochet at the age of 7 by deconstructing a crochet granny square from a blanket my aunts had made me. I then learnt a few more crochet stitches from 2 elderly ladies but until last summer I’d never learnt to read a crochet pattern. I took up patchwork after seeing a display in my local library at the age of 10 and a year later due to the same library I taught myself to Crewel embroidery, blackwork and cross stitching from some wonderful books. I’m a qualified seamstress and about 10years ago I added fabric painting and glass painting to my crafting knowledge base.
What do you love most about what you create and the process of creating it?
I love the creative process. It could be a simple comment I might have overheard or something I’ve seen in my garden that fire’s my imagination or simply a I need to produce something to keep me warm or replace a broken item in the home. Forming an idea and then seeing the finished project is always exciting and often it means rethinking/adjusting one’s original idea. It’s exciting when an idea comes out better then I first envisaged and you think gosh did I really make that?
Is this your total creative output or do you also work in other areas and if so what are they?
I have worked in wood so I can produce a nice dovetailed joint and produce a sturdy cupboard, bookcase or occasional table. I am often found flower arranging or making preserves or producing scented candles. I enjoy enameling and glass engraving. I have also been known to turn my hand to Topiary. I am doing a lot of reading on the subject at present.
Do you think that its important to specialise in one area or to have lots of creative outlets? Can one impact on the other, in positive or negative ways?
I think it’s important to get a good grounding in a couple of disciplines and then learn the basic’s in a few other areas. This then allows you to become even more creative and combine more than one discipline/skill into a single project. I tend to become bored easily so having more than one outlet for my creativity is very important. I often find when I work in one medium it will give me idea’s in other mediums so helps to keep the creative juices flowing. A negative for myself is sometimes I might be working in one area which can push the creative process into overload where it means I want to hurry what I’m doing just so I can then move onto another areas. I have learnt to be strict with myself so I quickly write a few notes for a later date so I can concentrate on the task in hand otherwise I fear I’d never complete a single project.
What gets you out of bed in the morning and motivated to create wonderful things?
The thought of that finished item. Wanting to know if what is in my head will match what my skill set can produce. Trying to push myself into making something new it’s exciting.
Do you have the support of friends and family when crafting and do you and they value what you do?
I count myself blessed as my family is very creative we even take crafting holidays together. I also married into a very creative family. Making things with your hands is very important in our family. We all tend to be hoarders in one way or another preferring to not just through things away but to mend or remake into something different. My friends are of the same mind set. So yes we are all very supportive of each other and will encourage each other. Even without their support and encouragement the erge to create would not go away. I would still do what I do.
Gosh my perfect crafting day would begin with reading through my source books that’s where I write down all my ideas. Looking through all my wonderful stash which is vast and take’s up most of the house. Then getting down to work on one or two different projects in my half built conservatory and not having to put everything away at the end of the day. I love finishing off my day just watching TV while working on a piece of knitting or crochet work.
What are your aims and goals for the future
My aims are to keep working on my shop and start to add the fragile glass and china painted items into my shop. At the moment I’m worried about them getting broken in transit to my customers so have I tend to reserve them for craft shows. I also plan at some point to start running demonstration classes as I’m beginning to miss teaching arts and crafts. I also plan on doing a few more ‘How To’ tutorials for the craft forum I’m a member of staff for.