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I always used to hate this question when I was working in computing, because the true answer was ‘not here’! Now I can happily say that I would like to be using my new skills to create beautiful things and selling enough of them to make it all worth it.


What advice would you give someone starting a creative business? Learn as much as you can. Do what you love and be proficient at what you do. Be original. Look around to see how other people are making it work for them and don’t undersell yourself!


Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/makers? I love the beautiful simplicity of the work produced by Japanese textile artists – I had the chance to visit the Cultex exhibition in the summer, which was a collaboration between Japanese and Norwegian


textile


artists and it was just stunning. Closer to home I am a great fan of


59 | ukhandmade | Summer 2011


weaver and textile artist Sue Lawty. For my degree course, I am just beginning to explore the world of contemporary glass art and coming across some lovely work.


What keeps you motivated? I absolutely love the process of making but I am an awkward so- and-so; I always want to make things my way, which means I have to come up with my own designs and sometimes my own methods too. I am not always so good at finishing things – witness all the sweaters I have knitted but never sewn up – so I have to be quite strict with myself about that. I make lists… lots of lists…


Did you always dream of being an artist/designer maker when you were growing up? In my heart of hearts, I think it was what I wanted to do but it never occurred to me that it was possible to make a living as a designer maker when I was growing up! Making was something I did at home. At school


I was really academic and, although I loved the needlework lessons, I couldn’t say the same about art.


I


went on to study maths but, looking back, the parts of maths I really enjoyed were all about pattern.


I have to say that it was the discovery of all the artists and crafters out there on the internet that made me feel less alone and the lovely reaction to the first few pieces I put up on Flickr and in my first Etsy shop, which has encouraged me to take the path I have. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this degree without the support of everyone, so thank you all!


For further information visit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/hypsela http://www.etsy.com/shop/ffflowers http://ffflowers.folksy.com http://facebook.com/ffflowers http://thiscraftinglife.blogspot.com/


Images courtesy of Helen Smith


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