Saturday, 9 August 2008

Maker of the Week - Barbara Macleod

Barbara Macleod Jewellery
I`m inspired by old decorative patterns found in anything from vintage lace work to architectural features from bygone eras. I aim to bring these sources of inspiration into a contemporary context through my own particular design process- largely through the use of vector illustration and photo etching.

1 Money spent on anything is never wasted. I always write it off as experience if something seems like a waste of money, there`s no point in stewing over it.

2 One favourite living craft maker I really love the contemporary jewellery of Marianne Anderson. She has been very successful in bringing ornamental design into a contemporary context and has a very cohesive collection of work.

3 One favourite historical maker (and why?) Peter Carl Faberge – I love antique Faberge jewellery because it`s very opulent and has a magic quality about it. I love the use of enamelling and stone setting.

4 When and where did you first want to do what you do? Growing up in a remote rural area without many entertainment facilities, I started enjoying making things from an early age. I thought about going into other careers, but I knew I would have to do something creative to ultimately keep me happy. Going to Art College seemed like the obvious thing for me to do and I enjoyed the jewellery design/making course the most in the foundation year so I went for that.

5 Do you work best on your own or in collaboration? It can be great fun getting the buzz from bouncing ideas of other people but ultimately although it sounds very egotistical, I probably prefer working on my own as I prefer to take the full glory!!

6 At age 15 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way? I have always loved decorative patterns, but at 15 I don`t think I really had a specific style, but I had an abundance of creativity and enthusiasm which got me in to art college. From there I think the most influential person was contemporary jewellery designer maker Eileen Gatt who gave me some great guidance in my third and fourth years.

7 Last best read? It`s a bit of a chick novel, but it was the `Bridges of Madison County`. It`s incredibly romantic but sad. I read it one night which is good going for me as I have a short attention span when it come down to sitting down and reading.

8 How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace? I think the general aesthetic of my work is fairly commercial to a degree as it`s quite decorative and feminine, but when it comes down to it, it`s the buzz of designing and making a piece that`s totally original and unique that gives me the biggest thrill and the pieces` originality is hopefully what the buyer wants .

9 Who would you say buys your work? Somebody who likes pretty, feminine, wearable jewellery which is also unique and contemporary. My work is probably of more interest to people who prefer a more decorative aesthetic.

10 How do you set about starting a new project?
I don`t really start new projects, it just keeps growing and evolving.

11 What do you have on your pinboard?
Decorative textile/wallpapers, vintage lace.

12 Where and what is your studio? Do you work alone? In silence, radio? I work alone in my shed just outside my house. My partner who also works from home likes to stand outside my shed window from time to time to scare the living daylights out of me!! I live on a croft so there`s constantly sheep/dogs/deer passing by my shed to say hello, so I`m never really alone.

If I have a lot of wet and drying of cold enamel to rub down, then this can be quite laborious and mindless so I need to get some good loud music on the go to keep me going or to drift away with a play or story on the radio. If I`m doing some technical soldering or tricky stone setting, I prefer silence though.

13 Surprising activity/hobby?
I`ve got quite diverse interests including: Astrology, metal detecting alternative theories, hill walking, growing vegetables

14 Do you have a good work/life balance? I never really switch off fully. I get really bored and unsettled if i`m just doing nothing. I think a creative profession is never just a 9-5. I`m always looking for nice patterns everywhere I go. When I do have some free time, I really enjoy brainstorming fresh ideas in my sketchbook.

15 What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work? Satisfied to the core.

16 Would you rather be doing something else?
No I`ve tried to picture me doing other things, but all I see is an unhappy person.

17 Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Well we`ve always had art and craft and they`ve always served as a benchmark for the times we`ve lived in and continue to do so.

18 What do think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
Pure shock value and unwarranted attention.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Astonishingly beautiful jewellery! I'm going to have to start saving my pennies to purchase something on etsy!