I just wanted to post a little update on my work for Prima lately. As you know, before Christmas, I was working for the magazine’s craft supplement. This is the result of that work. I’m actually back there next week working on issue two, but the first issue is out on the shelves now (until the end of March). Why not go and pick up a copy for some great crafting ideas and photos of lovely things? The magazine even comes with items to make a mouse shaped pin cushion, in an adorable floral fabric. It’s available in WH Smiths and Tesco, but if you see it anywhere else, let me know.
For a while now I’ve been wanting to expand the blog to feature interviews with crafters among other things. I’ll hopefully be making this a regular series and want to feature all types of crafty people. Today it’s the turn of Gemma from Gemmipop Designs, who talks about her foray into crafting and her work in general.
Gemma runs a jewellery shop on Etsy, a blog and has a very aesthetically pleasing Pinterest page. Her work mostly consists of laser cut jewellery and features plastic deer necklaces, hedgehog earrings and floral framed brooches. All her work is made in her workshop in Shropshire. Follow Gemma on Twitter for more information.
When and how did you first get into crafting?
I always enjoyed crafting. My gran taught me to knit when I was seven, but even before that my perfect day was spent cutting up crepe paper and cardboard! I started sewing when I was around eighteen, and picked up the knitting needles again around the same time, but I didn’t start crafting seriously until my early twenties when I started my degree in applied arts. I specialised in Jewellery and Metalwork and, although I work mostly in laser cut acrylic now, my love of textiles still features strongly in my work.
How would you describe your work?
I think of myself predominantly as a jeweller, so my work is mostly wearable, but generally the material I’m using dictates the outcome. I like the design opportunities you get with laser cut acrylic, and the tactile qualities of textiles, so I’m very much led by the materials at hand.
What is your favourite piece?
I think I’ve been most pleased with my range of frame brooches, which incorporates acrylic and fabric. It was an idea I worked on in metal at university, but it never quite worked until I tried it with acrylic. I have used vintage and retro print fabric, and well as vintage embroidered linens and I’ve always loved the outcome!
Who or what inspires your work?
I find inspiration in all sort of places – I love colour most of all, so I’m always led by that when I choose materials. I make an effort to visit as many art galleries and museums as I can, as I think it helps me to think outside of the purely crafty box!
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am working hard re-stocking my shop after a very busy festive season, but I’m working on some exciting new designs in my sketchbook too.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to sell their work?
Starting my business was the best thing I’ve ever done, but it is unbelievably hard work. I am fortunate because I have my shop to keep me motivated, but I think it’s very hard if you’re trying to do it alone. I would say find some other local crafters and try to keep bouncing ideas around.
Thanks Gemma! If there’s a particular craft you’d like to know more about, or if you’d like to feature on the blog, then please get in touch.
All photos courtesy of Gemma Manning-Bentley