Q. How did you decide to become a maker?
I have always been a maker since I was in my early teens, my first job was at a pottery, painting on glazes, and then I worked at a craft centre demonstrating silkscreen printmaking, ceramics, candle making amongst many other craft techniques. I always loved making my own clothes and things, maybe its part of an all consuming desire to be independent, capable and strong, it is incredibly satisfying and life affirming.
Q. What made you choose the materials that you work with?
I don’t have any fixed media that I use. I qualified as a painter so this is my preferred media, but I also studied Fine Craft Design, which included jewellery, ceramics and textiles. So I do move between media. A lot of the work that I do with my students is in animation, mixed media, Paper Mache and other recyclables. However more and more I like textiles but this can change to printmaking, collage and numerous other mediums. I switch between the desire to make very functional objects and the need to make things that are flippant, fun or just art.
Q. Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
We now use so many materials in our creation of craft and this is evolving all of the time. We have quick, short lived movements in craft and art; this reflects the speed of our culture and communication, it is an interesting time. Increasingly I have concerns about the de-skilling of our art education. Art schools are losing traditional craft specialism; an example of this is Edinburgh Art College’s recent disbandment of their tapestry course. Glasgow School of Art, following Edinburgh and Dundee, will no longer be running a ceramics degree after the current academic year. Once we have lost these courses their equipment and specialist, craft practitioner, lecturers it is very difficult to reinstate them, and these skilled crafts are not available to future generations. I am sure that this trait in Scotland is being replicated throughout Britain and many other countries worldwide.
Kath’s Birthday Brooches (Kath is a Barber)
Q. How do you sell your work?
I occasionally participate in exhibitions, I am approached privately and I also have etsy and DaWanda shops.
Q. What is your working style?
My mind has to be clear, so everything else has to be done first. That includes all the cleaning, kids in bed, no outstanding work and a clear workspace. Unfortunately these days I need a clear idea of what I am going to do. This is a problem, I watch my daughter, she just lets loose on the paper and it works, she has no inhibitions. Maybe it’s because time is so limited for me, I want to know whatever I am working on is going to work out. I know that this is a mistake and it is a problem that I need to address, I need to play more often.
Super Soft – Appliqué
Q. Three words of advice for an aspiring Craft maker...
Learn new skills.
Get a partner who is good at all aspects of business!
Q. What inspires you?
Everything inspires me, but mainly my family, nature and fun.
Rosehip Syrup – Appliqué
Q. Who is your favourite artist/maker?
Oswald Flump is one of many, many artists and makers whose work I love.
Untitled – Altered Leaves
Q. You walk into your bathroom and see a crocodile in the bath tub....what would you do?
Check it’s got enough water and food; probably go to the fishmongers and by some fish for it!
You can check out Hazel’s blog and photos of her work at the following addresses: