Welcome this week to Gay Massender from GaysieMay! In this interview she tells us how she got started, gives us a beautiful quotation to read, and lets her love of glass shine through. Read on....
1 - Your name: Gay Massender
2 - Your shop name and address: GaysieMay, GaysieMay.etsy.com
3 - Describe your artistic style in three words: evolving, wearable and fun.
4 - When did you first start working with glass and how did you get started?
I first got into lampworking in 2008 after buying a starter kit and 'The Complete Book of Lampworking' by Kimberley Adams. Prior to that I had taken a one day fusing course and bought a cheap kiln of ebay, making small fused pieces led me into jewellery making and from there of course I had my first real introduction to lampwork beads. I knew I had to try and make them, what can I say, from then I was hooked.
5 - What do you love most about your craft?
I love many things about lampworking, one of which is the fact that when I'm at the torch I become totally involved in what I am doing, its a form of escapism! Another reason for loving it is that there is always a challenge to be overcome, whether it is in how to make a particular bead or how it may work within a piece of jewellery. I've never sat at my torch and felt bored - frustrated occasionally, but never bored.
6 - If you could take a class with any artist (in your field or otherwise) who would you choose and why?
I would really love to take a class with Bronwen Heilman as I think that some of the techniques she uses would be both challenging and yet adaptable. I have the 'Bronwen Heilman' Jim Kervin book and I keep thinking one day I'm going to try this, especially the painterly techniques.
7 - Do you have a favourite piece of your work that you can share with us?
I'm particularly enjoying making these brooches at the moment using techniques learnt on the Sara Sally Le Grand course held by Tuffnells
I'm not sure when this is going out, but I am really quite pleased with the piece of work I've made for this years GBUK jewellery competition. I had several days when I woke up and just lay there thinking about how to construct it and which colour palette to use, I'm pleased with the final piece but can't show pictures of it until the competition is closed.
8 - Where do you find your inspiration?
A variety of places really, it often starts with colours, maybe a piece of fabric I've seen or colours from the changing year. Recently this has been combined with new techniques learnt on the Sara Sally Le Grand course run by Tuffnells last year.
9 - What’s your favourite technique within your medium?
I can't say I have a favourite technique as such, but I have noticed that I tend to use a restricted colour range within a piece of work. I try and be wild and pick colours up randomly, but they never seem to work, so before I start at the torch I usually pick a mit full of rods that I think will tone well. If new ideas are not working I always finish a session at the torch with a scrolled transparent hollow, because then I know there will be at least one bead in the kiln that is reasonably pretty.
10 - Where do you create your work?
I'm lucky enough to have my torch in the house looking out of the window into our front garden, the set up looks a little messy, but at least I can torch through the winter, which I couldn't do for the first couple of years when I was based in the garage.
11 - Do you have a favourite colour scheme or range when you’re creating pieces?
I guess I tend toward the cooler colours blues and neutrals. I rarely work with reds and oranges or yellow it's not that I don't like them, but I rarely wear these colours so can visualise them made up into jewellery.
12 - Can you give us a quotation/lyric/piece of advice that sums up your approach to life and your craft?
“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
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?
Dr Who - I think time travel would be awesome, but also I've grown up with him.
14 - Finally, what are your plans or hopes for your work in the future?
I hope to keep learning new techniques and experimenting, I want to continue to feel excited and occasionally frustrated by glass. I want to always feel the way I do now about melting glass.
Thanks Gay for a lovely read!