The People Behind the Creations

We decided to 'interview' our Artisans so that you can meet the person behind each Collection

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We asked Helen Dockray:

How long have you been making things for, and how did you begin?

Nearly 3 years. I got fed up with buying other brands and them being rubbish. 

What is your craft (or primary craft)?

Making candles, melts and gift sets.

What appeals to you about this one over others?

Something me and hubbie can do together - usually around family time although not possible since home schooling began. I’m sure Julian, my husband, would have a different answer as being with me 24/7 can’t be easy.

Do you have a special crafting place or is there evidence of what you do all over the house?

We started in the office, then moved into a large spare bedroom, now looking at converting the garage. But when packing the melts and gift sets, I like to spread to every room in the house - apart from the bathroom - that is work free! Storage is my worst issue, but have a warehouse for that (aka mum and dad's spare lounge!).

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Nowhere really, just melt melt melt - sell sell sell.


Do you border on the obsessive when it comes to your materials and makes? Slightly! I put myself on a fragrance ban, for all of a couple of hours. Currently have over 150 in stock.

What do your friends/family think of what you do? Are they in awe of you or slightly bemused?
Most of them (especially Mum) help out with packing - no payment though - just in melts!

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We asked Ann Hood:

How long have you been making things for, and how did you begin
About 8/9 years ago I was bought a child's jewellery set as a joke.....and the rest is history

What is your craft (or primary craft)?
I make jewellery and accessories from loads of different materials.

What appeals to you about this one over others?
I have always had a passion for jewellery from being a very small child.

Do you have a special crafting place or is there evidence of what you do all over the house?
I have a dedicated craft room, however there is no room for me to work in there due to the enormity of my stash and addiction. So, yes, there is evidence of my jewellery making in every room of the house.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere. Always carry a camera, or a sketch pad, you never know what shape or colour or pattern you might see.

Do you border on the obsessive when it comes to your materials and makes?
I am definitely obsessed with my job/ hobby. I like good quality materials and am a bit of a psycho perfectionist.
 

What do your friends/family think of what you do? Are they in awe of you or slightly bemused?
I think most of my friends and family are proud of me and I get a lot of admiration; that I really find hard to process.

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We asked Esther Turner:

How long have you been making things for, and how did you begin?

I’ve been beading I think for 6/8 years. Can’t remember how I started. I think a friend showed me something she had made.

What is your craft (or primary craft)?

Beading

What appeals to you about this one over others?

Love love the feel and look of beads.

Do you have a special crafting place or is there evidence of what you do all over the house?

I’m lucky to have a room which I can store my beads. I do most in the conservatory as the light is so much better there but there is
evidence of my beads on the dining room table.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m a great collector of patterns and I do put my own take on some.

 

Do you border on the obsessive when it comes to your materials and makes?

Definitely yes, have you ever met a crafter who has enough?!

 

What does your friends/family think of what you do? Are they in awe of you or slightly bemused?

My family support my obsession and my friends do like my makes. I do so like when they wear one of them. It makes me feel very good, a little tingly.

We asked Linda Milton:

How long have you been making things and how did you begin?
I’ve been crafting all my life from making dolls houses out of cardboard boxes, drawing from my Dad, sewing from my Mum and knitting/crocheting from my Gran. Discovered about sea glass from some American ladies on a cruise a few years ago and I was hooked.

What is your craft (or primary craft).
Using sea glass to make jewellery and now whimsical sea glass art.

What appeals to you about this one over others.
Sea glass is nature’s recycling. It is a manufactured product (glass) that has been discarded into the sea which over decades, even centuries,has been tossed and churned by the ebbing and flowing of the tides over sand, shells and rocks to create a unique smooth, frosted gem. I just love taking the different shapes sizes and colours to produce something different.

Do you have a special crafting place or is there evidence of what you do all over the house?
Since downsizing to a flat, I use the lounge/dining room. I have 2 Ikea storage units and the dining table with some overflow to the guest bedroom.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life, greeting cards, Instagram and Pinterest. Anywhere, in fact, I keep a notebook on me to jot things down on.

Do you border on obsessive when it comes your materials and makes?
I think that my husband, Drew, would say that I am a tad obsessive as I plan our holidays on where there is, or hope there is, sea glass for the picking. Currently hoping to get to Seaham in the north east as it is renowned for its sea glass and hopefully later in the year to the Isle of Wight.

7. What do your friends/family think of what you do? Are they in awe or slightly bemused?
My husband is very supportive and has quite a good eye for spotting the sea glass. The rest of my friends and family tolerate my crafting although the sea glass art has been very well received.

That’s it for now. Hope it wasn’t too long as can talk about sea glass for ages so have tried to curb my enthusiasm.

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We asked Caroline Vouvoulis:

How long have you been making things for, and how did you begin?
About 4 years now. I can't really remember how I started, it was a gradual thing. I had tried so many different arts and crafts, most of which I was rubbish at, but I watched tons of YouTube videos and stumbled across mixed media and altered art and fell in love.

What is your craft (or primary craft)?

Mixed media and altered art.

What appeals to you about this one over others?
It's so versatile. I never know how a piece will end up. And I can pretty much decorate anything and everything using anything and everything!

Do you have a special crafting place or is there evidence of what you do all over the house?
I have a craft room which is nowhere big enough. I have dreams of a large she shed.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My favourite artists are Finnabair and Tiffany Solorio; I get a lot of inspiration from looking at their work. Also I like the Gothic style and Game of Thrones was very inspiring.

Do you border on the obsessive when it comes to your materials and makes?

I am obsessive with my materials. I tend to hoard them. When I find something nice I hate to use it. I've learned how to make my own moulds so when I find something unusual I can replicate it.

What do your friends/family think of what you do? Are they in awe of you or slightly bemused?

Some love what I do, others are a bit dismissive and humour me!

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We asked Deb Gaskell:

How long have you been making things for, and how did you begin?
Five or six years ago, I think. I told my son I was bored and he told me to get a hobby - 'like soap making or something.' So that's what I did, I started making soap and absolutely loved it.

What is your craft (or primary craft)?

I don't think I have one anymore - so many crafts, so little time seems to have become my mantra - but I adore beads.

What appeals to you about this one over others?
Whatever I am making at any particular time is what I am completely absorbed in; although it isn't unusual for me to have a few projects on the go. As for beads, crystals and semiprecious stones, I think I must have been a magpie in another life.

Do you have a special crafting place or is there evidence of what you do all over the house?
I have a shed which is packed to the rafters and nowhere near big enough so try as I might, there are always materials and half-made items everywhere. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere. Pinterest is great for ideas but definitely not for copying. And I have even been known to pause the TV to take a photo of a character's jewellery! If I see something I really like, I have to find out how it's been made. 

Do you border on the obsessive when it comes to your materials and makes?

Aren't all crafters? There's always something that we need (notice I said need, not  want ;-) )

What do your friends/family think of what you do? Are they in awe of you or slightly bemused?

Definitely not awe; they think I'm crackers - but very supportive.

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We asked Marina Kelly:

How long have you been making things for, and how did you begin?
Since 2014. I was in Ukraine and walked past a craft shop and saw a doilly in the window. The following day, I returned and asked the lady in the shop to teach me to crochet. She refused because she was so busy but I wouldn't give up so finally she gave me about six lessons. When I came to the UK, I carried on practicing and had a few more lessons. I am still good friends with both of my teachers.

What is your craft (or primary craft)?

Crochet. I love designing and trying different materials to see how they will work out. I love the technical side of crochet.

What appeals to you about this one over others?
It's what my heart wants and my soul requires. The crochet is at the base of what I do; it plants ideas so I'm always moving forward with it and incorporating new ideas, such as felting, or making jewellery. It is my world.


Do you have a special crafting place or is there evidence of what you do all over the house?
I have made the spare bedroom into my Zen Den. When I'm working I need space - and be able to shut everything else out.


Where do you get your inspiration from?
The Internet mostly. I study international customs for ideas, different elements, combining colours and styles so I can extend my range and collections. I only ever use the best quality yarns because it's impossible to make something really good with cheap materials.


Do you border on the obsessive when it comes to your materials and makes?

I am crazy obsessive. When I am in the middle of something, I can't sleep or eat until it's done - and if I don't like the way it's going, it gets cut up and I start again. It can be very demanding.

What do your friends/family think of what you do? Are they in awe of you or slightly bemused?

They love what I do, and my husband is very supportive. He often surprises me with new hooks and other items. He respects my independence.

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