I was recently asked some interesting questions so I thought that id share my answers.
What advice do you have for any graduates/up & coming makers/designers who would like to have a career in craft?
Keep on experimenting, never stop learning, and always be open to different possibilities/ perspectives.
Working in the arts/ craft environment can mean that sometimes times life can be tough especially if the cash flow dwindles. It is useful to have several different ways of earning a living. Try not to be disheartened, it is ok to earn some of your income from something unrelated to your craft to pay the bills and keep you going. The advantage that you have over other people is your ingenuity, and your ability to step back and consider different possibilities. Go with what feels right.
Do you have any dream jobs/people you would like to work with?
I would love to spend some time with willow sculptures Tom Hare, Michelle Cain and Laura Ellen Bacon. I love being in inspirational environments such as Les Machines de l’île in Nantes which is a great place to visit , I’d love the to be invited to work on a collaborative project there.
What do you love about what you do, and what do you hate? OR What’s the best bit and what’s the worst bit of what you do?
Lack of time can be frustrating, I often think that it might be useful to have one of the time turner gadgets from the Harry Potter stories, mind you then I’d probably just exhaust myself trying to fit everything in that I want to do.
If your interested in finding out more about what I get up to and to see pics of recent activities etc then come and say hello at my Faceboook page JaxsArtsandDesignsWillowsculpture/
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I’m really l0oking forward to this weekends Art of Heritage event at St Church Southampton the 9th 10th 11th September Art-of-heritage-st-denys-urban-art-festival-12598
As well as exhibiting some of my artwork,I am going to be providing willow making activities for people to have a go as well as selling a small selection of work ,
You will also find me at this years Pumpkin Festival at Netley Country Park on the edge of Southampton on the 10th of October Pumpkin-festival-and-scarecrow-avenue-at-royal-victoria-country-park-in-southampton-p692751
Come along and help me to create the ephemeral artwork, which will gradually revert back to being part of the environment. Where we will making a ephemeral art piece inspired by the surroundings.
Taking place at Blackwater Arboritum in The New Forest today 11th June 16 for further details visit my families and childrens activities page
Great news I am going to be providing a introduction to peg loom weaving workshop at the textiles celebration day happening at the Ashcroft Centre in Fareham,
A fantastic whole day of textiles crafts happening on Sunday 10 APRIL, from 9.30AM – 5.00PM
For more details visit http://hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/fabric-%E2%80%93-celebration-textiles
When ever I am out giving demonstrations at different events I am often asked where to buy the equipment that I am using , sometimes the answer is simple however when it comes to traditional crafts its not so easy .
Well I have finally taken the step and booked a table at a craft fair my first being Bishops Waltham Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday the 12th December .
All of the equipment and items will be made by my own fare hands . So I am starting with peg looms with fabric kits and instructions, rag rug making kits and some of the items that I teach in my workshops including willow stars, Christmas trees and some of my prints.
Alongside this I am introducing my own workshop gift vouchers.
Taking on new challenges . I know that it can be scary but its always worth doing .
A while ago I was asked to run several 6 week courses for a local art center, this would involved lots pf paperwork , student assessing etc. not really my way of working as I like to adapt as I go along but I decided that it was worth the challenge to see if i could work this way, after all I did get the teaching adult certificates a few years ago so I might as well have a go.
Anyway the first week or two definitely challenged me , the classes were aimed at beginners so I had planned accordingly, where as the reality was that several of the students were quite experienced but didnt know how to read patterns and wanted to check that what they were doing was the right way.
I also discovered that I was dyslexic an odd thing to discover and strange that It hasnt been identified before now, but anyway it made sense of why so many things were tricky for me and why I approach things in unconventional all be it creative ways
Remembering names has always been a tricky one and the need to write up detailed notes straight after the session just wasnt going to work for me. Its very odd how you find so many of the things that you take for granted because there normal to you but are deemed as being different rather than just an alternative approach.
Anyway after some more thoughts and more adapting ive now just completed including finding different ways to help me to deal with the course paperwork Ive now just completed the fourth week.
I can happily say that everyone has achieved what they set out to do, and have gained lots of new skills and confidence , two more weeks to go now.
I am going to miss the class , mind you Im already planning for the next 6 week crafts course starting at the beginning of November , another new challenge.
Its national play day tomorrow I am making willow dragonflys with children and familys at Holly Hill Countryside Park as part of the fun countryside day that Fareham Borough Council is running, there is also going to be making dens and camp fires definitely my kind of thing to be involved in makes me wish I was a kid again :-)
I am really looking forward to tomorrow. As part of the Care Homes National open day where care homes accross the country will be inviting visitors through there doors. I have been invited to create a large rag rug picture to go on the wall at the Fair Haven Care Home in Southampton.
Residents, staff and visitors on the day will be contributing to the art work which once completed will be hung in the reception as a reminder and a welcome to visitors as they walk in the door.
For more information http://www.nationalcarehomeopenday.org.uk/home/fair-havens-care-home
If your looking for things to do over the Bank holiday why not come and join me at the Totton & Eling Arts Festival at Hanger Farm Arts Centre tomorrow ,running from 11am to 5pm providing taster workshops making stencils, no sew bunting and thave a go at face painting , there’s lots of things to do with lots of entertainment http://www.te-artsfest.co.uk/ Totton & Eling Arts Festival
On Monday I am over at the Hobbit Pub providing have a fg making dream catchers, poi and ribbon sticks , Southampton Environmental Rock fundraiser running from 12pm – 6pm it promised to be a great event https://www.facebook.com/events/420660788101643/ £1 entry per person, or £2 per family (kids have free entry).
If your looking for family friendly craft activities over half term then visit my families workshop page to find out about the mermaid workshop at Fareham Ashcroft Centre and Dart Centre Hedge End Eastleigh Southampton