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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Member Interrogations - Sue Harris

 Welcome to another member interrogation, this time with Sue Harris -and it's filled with an obvious love of glass, and a special tip for how to get inspiration (hint: it involves chocolate). Read on...

1 - Your name: Sue Harris

2 - Your shop name and address: Blue Box Studio –
www.blueboxstudio.co.uk and  http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueBoxStudio

3 - Describe your artistic style in three words: Vibrant, colourful, quirky

4 - When did you first start glass work, and how did you get started?

I have worked with sea glass for a while but it’s getting harder to find. Some friends wanted to have a Taster Day with Georgina at Fireworks and needed someone to make up the numbers. Game for anything I joined in. I’m the only one of the 5 of us to have continued. Making my own glass beads seemed a natural progression for my jewellery.

5 - What do you love most about your craft?

The surprise element? I love the way my own beads mix beautifully with pieces of sea glass which I have drilled to use as beads, the way a murky brown rod of glass may just occasionally spring into life as a myriad of pinks and purples Of course it’s also lovely when something you have made is also ooh-ed and aah-ed over.

6 - If you could take a class with any artist (in your field or otherwise) who would you choose and why?

I’d love to incorporate my own buttons in my velvet scarves so would love to spend a day with Julie at Lush! I would love to be able to improve on my basic skills with George. I want to move onto the next ‘level’ and have Manda on my shortlist for this.

7 - Do you have a favourite piece of your work that you can share with us?

I discovered several large tab beads in ‘Dog Teeth Amethyst’. I’ve always loved amethyst – and purple so had to have these. I then gave myself the task of making a selection of purple beads to work with the stunning amethyst to make a necklace. I’m really pleased with the result and look forward to someone else loving it enough to give it a new home.

8 - Where do you find your inspiration?

Sometimes a combination of colours in my garden catches my eye, sometimes a picture or photograph inspires and from these images I’ll select the colours to work with. On days when inspiration deserts I’ll just take a selection of rods and work with those to see what effects I get – sometimes that is enough to kick start inspiration. If that doesn’t work, I sort through my bead box and eat chocolate!!

9 - What’s your favourite technique within your medium?

I’m ‘into’ frit at the moment. I have rather a lot of it.

10 - Where do you create your work?

I’m lucky to have 2 garden studios. One, the original Blue Box Studio (not too hard to work out why) was always my jewellery studio. It’s now my lampwork and drilling sea glass studio. I also have a larger studio for textile work, making jewellery, photography and anything else I can’t sneak into the house on a take-over bid.

11 - Do you have a favourite colour scheme or range when you’re creating pieces?

With lampwork glass it would have to be purple, or Nyx or Triton if using Double Helix (although Pandora is coming up the outside as a favourite). With sea glass, I love working with End of Day sea glass (the multi-coloured pieces that result from work made at the end of the day in the glass workers own time).

12 - Can you give us a quotation/lyric/piece of advice that sums up your approach to life and your craft?

Always do the thing you don’t want to do first. I also like ‘A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water’. [Eleanor Roosevelt] – I tested this one in 2002, and it’s true for me.

13 - The most serious question of all: if you could meet any fictional character, from TV film or literature, who would it be and why?

I’d like to meet an estate agent (there must be one) from Midsomer [Murders] county, to find out how he dismisses the incredibly high murder rate to potential incomers. You could hardly advertise the area as having a low crime rate, although 100% of the crimes do seem to be solved.

14 - Finally, what are your plans or hopes for your work in the future?

Working with glass is only one of my crafts, I also work with silks and velvets to make scarves and accessories. I’m a realist and know I will never make my fortune at this, but hopeful enough that I will be able to return to full time self-employment in the next few years and be able to leave The Daily Grind. In the short term, I am hoping to spend the first couple of months in the New Year to concentrate on my lampwork and put the hours in to PPP (practice, practice, practice). Then I feel I can justify taking more courses and furthering my skills.


Kitzbitz Art Glass said...

A wonderful read, it is lovely to get to know a little more about you Sue x

BlueBoxStudio said...

Thank you. I have to say writing this was one of the hardest things!

Thanks for the opportunity - I think it's probably quite good to stop and soul search occasionally.