I think it's important to feed your creativity constantly. I am always making something outside of my jewellery whether it be something knitted, sewn, drawn or baked. I keep up to date with artists, designers and crafters in all fields and I am very keen on learning new skills. I am currently trying to learn to crochet.
I think if you are creative outside of your working practice it flows back into your work and your creativity stays fresh, so your designs are better and your collections can move forward.
I grew up in quite an artistic household. My parents are both keen on photography and my mum has a City and Guilds qualification in Textile Art. I remember not being able to eat our tea at the table because Mum had her embroidery work all over the kitchen table. Interesting things happened in our house, Mum had water soluble fabric, air soluble pens, fabric paints and metallic thread!
When I was little, Mum, Dad and myself used to sit on the links at Birsay, Orkney and each paint our version of the Brough of Birsay.
I was also reminded recently by my dad of a 'guidebook' I started to make during one holiday to Orkney.
For my wedding last year I decided it would be nice to make lots of the elements we would use, from the invitation to the decorations. With a lot of help I made nearly a hundred pinwheels which were used as cup cake toppers and buttonholes, hundreds of paper pom-poms, all the invitations, place settings, table names, the wedding rings and my wedding jewellery.
Making all these beautiful things with the help of our friends and family made our special day all the more special. To me everything looked pretty much perfect and I was proud of what I and my friends and family had achieved.
I was recently reminded just how much I love making 'things' whilst making my mum's Mother's Day card and a birthday card for my new sister-in-law. I have countless boxes of crafting and art supplies which I periodically dig out and mess about with.
I also recently finished knitting a cowl style scarf which I am over the moon about. I couldn't follow the pattern (but neither could mum - a seasoned knitter!) so made it up as I went along! I also knitted some ear warmer head bands last year.
For several years I taught evening classes in jewellery and felting. This was great in keeping my creativity fresh. Jewellery assembled from safety pins, buttons, Fimo, chain mail and felt beads that we made were popular classes to teach. The felting classes where we made purses, bags, needle-felted objects and bowls were great fun too. I found myself being inspired by the objects of craft made by the class. My students would use different colours together that I wouldn't have thought of or they would try to make something in a different way. It was great, I miss teaching and would like to do more of it.
|Shrink plastic ring|
|Chain mail bracelet|
I think making things other than your particular craft is very liberating and helps with the creative flow. Let me know what extra crafts you do and if you think they help you in your day to day work.