This time around, our interview is with Gemma Woodrow of SilverGems Designs, who talks enthusiastically about her love of molten glass, big torches, and Slipknot...intrigued? Then read on...
1 - Your name: Gemma Woodrow
2 - Your shop name and address: SilverGems Designs http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilverGems89
3 - Describe your artistic style in three words: still finding it
4 - When did you first start working with glass and how did you get started?
I first melted glass in January 2010 at Sabine Little's studio open day and was hooked! I ordered my hot head kit a few days later. I first "discovered" Lampwork beads through ebay while looking for unique beads for my jewellery designs, once I found out I could make them myself in my home, I knew I had to have a go!
5 - What do you love most about your craft?
I just love the way glass moves, and how it can be manipulated, when molten! I also really like the fact there is always something new to try, it stops me getting bored!
6 - If you could take a class with any artist (in your field or otherwise) who would you choose and why?
Hmmmm, this is a really tough decision, and one I have been trying to make for a long time now! But I think it would either have to be Anouk Jasperse, to learn the secrets of silver glass, or Sarah Hornik, because I love her use of colour and fun designs.
7 - Do you have a favourite piece of your work that you can share with us?
I found it really hard to choose a specific bead, so these beads represent my favourite "style" of bead, mosaics! I just love the way the glass reacts and the patterns it makes, if I had to choose one style of bead to make every single day these would be the ones, I never tire of them!
8 - Where do you find your inspiration?
From all sorts of places, anything I come into contact with during day to day life can become an inspiration, a colour combination, shapes, pictures, literally anything! I also find great inspiration in the work of other lampwork artists, sometimes I just get inspired by the glass
9 - What’s your favourite technique within your medium?
My favourite technique, which is something I'm working on at the moment (now I have a new big girls torch ) is striking silver glass, seeing the different colours you can achieve and watching them develop while making the bead is really fascinating to me.
10 - Where do you create your work?
The spare bedroom in our house has been officially converted into my studio, I have a 2 metre long bench, about 2/3rds of which is dedicated to my lampworking set up, the other end is free space for the other crafts I like to dabble in
11 - Do you have a favourite colour scheme or range when you’re creating pieces?
I find myself drawn to very "girly" colours, pinks, purples, pastels of any kind! I also like using strong, bold primary colours with black, for maximum impact!
12 - Can you give us a quotation/lyric/piece of advice that sums up your approach to life and your craft?
My favourite lyric is one from Slipknot's song Sulfur, "The longest hours you'll have in your life, are the ones you sit through to know you're right." Ever since the first time I heard this lyric it has stuck with me, every time I think life is getting hard this lets me know that everything will be alright in the end
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?
Ron Weasley from Harry Potter, he's so funny, I'd just love to hang out with him for a day! (I am a HUGE potter fan!)
14 - Finally, what are your plans or hopes for your work in the future?
I am very much looking forward to getting to grips with my new torch, and trying all the techniques and designs I previously never had the fire power for! Overall I hope my work continues to improve and I can begin selling more pieces!
Thanks Gemma - your love of glass really shines through!