Sunday, December 23, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 40

This week we head to Lancashire, England

Name: Joanne Headington
Age: 46
Occupation: Artist/Designer/Tutor
Etsy Shop: Joy Pure And Simple

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a single Welsh woman currently living in Lancashire with two children, aged 27 and 17. I have always enjoyed learning how to make things. If I wanted something when I was younger, I would learn how to make it...bleach splashed jeans, holey mohair jumpers, tie-dyed T-Shirts...I even embroidered the hem of my super wide flared jeans...all this in my teens. So making has become who I am. I am a maker.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I have learned how to knit, crotchet, sew, paint, draw, print, quilt, dye, cook, bake bread, grow vegetables, keep hens, throw a pot, write poetry and now I am learning how to make jewellery. This desire came from browsing through the amazing craft stalls in Copenhagen, a few years ago. I just wanted to know how to do that! I signed up to a six week silversmith course, learned how to saw, file, solder and then worked really hard learning how NOT to do things.

I am becoming more confident with my making skills now though, and the shop has gone through quite a few metamorphosis... which meant I had to learn how to use html, photoshop, and how to take better photographs of my work.

It has all been one steep learning curve.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

The latest shop name Joy ~ Pure and Simple was the tag line of my old name Rhubarb In The Garden (which was the title of one of my early poems). The tag line became more and more important to the making of my jewellery and it feels like the right time to take it on as the full shop name.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

There is so much inspiration out there. I am really moved by artists that are true to themselves – they stand out so strongly from those watered down copy-cat versions. And although while learning your art it may be good to copy techniques and styles – eventually you have to create from your heart and soul. Nature, colour and simplicity inspire my designs – and I have always loved collecting fossils and stones. The dinosaur bone ring was one of the hardest rings to let go of!

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

I have sold at craft fairs and was lucky enough to have a stall at the Welsh Eistedfodd in Bryn Mawr a couple of years ago. It was a very quick lesson in presentation...the customers were more interested in the dried flowers I had used as props, than my jewellery!!

What is your most cherished handmade item?

My Grandmother was always making things for us. It was so wonderful to see traces of her all around our home after she had died so suddenly and unexpectedly. A needle case she made me when I was learning to sew is still the most used and loved treasure in my sewing box.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

Read, write in my journal and walk in the countryside.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?

A psychologist or sociologist. I find studying people absolutely fascinating.

Five years from now you will be…

I may be living on my own – my children are grown ups already !

Describe yourself in five words:

Impulsive, independent, inquisitive, inspired, introverted.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

Spotify has been running through Rockin’ Robin, Run Run Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman quite a bit this month, though the Sussex Carol and the Hallelujah Chorus has had it’s fair share of the list too!

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Don’t be afraid to fail. We learn more quickly by making mistakes, and by not giving up!