Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Maker of the Week - Lucy Mutter

Lucy Mutter is a glass worker producing sandblasted and engraved work from glasses to vases and lamps to windows. She lives and works in Portslade near Brighton.

One favourite living craft maker (and why?)

I think my favourite living craft maker would have to be Kaffe Fassett, his needle point in particular is stunning and I love the way he finds influence from all sorts of different things, from ceramics to cabbages.

What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased? or What one product/item do you really covet? (and why?)
I try not to covet things, it causes heart-ache, especially when there's only just enough money in the bank account to keep myself fed, watered, housed and in glass! However, I do yearn for a piece of furniture by my friend Cassian Garbett, who is a master craftsman and furniture maker. He lovingly works driftwood into beautiful and practical pieces. I already own a chair he made, given to me by my parents for my 21st birthday (some years ago now!) It will certainly be a mark of my success when I am able to commission him to make me something to go with that chair.

At age 15 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
At 15 I'd say my greatest influences were my parents, both very skilled makers, my father is a cartoonist and model maker who always tries to inject fun into his work, and my mother is a true craft artist with an incredibly diverse repertoir, from pottery to silversmithing. Both practice their crafts for their own enjoyment, almost in a therapeutic way, and both have supported me beyond measure as I have grown up.

Last best read (book)?
Duncton Wood by William Horwood. It's a book I read when I was 11 and re-read recently, it is a beautiful story set deep in the English countryside about a community of moles!

Where and what is your studio? Do you work alone? In silence, radio?
I live and work in Portslade, when looking to buy a house the first main priority was to have a garden big enough to build a workshop. My machinery is large and loud so it needed to be purpose built and the equipment craned in! I work alone, and have discovered that I work best when I am also singing along to my favourite music (so it's probably a good thing there's no one around to hear me!)

What is your favourite (art) website (and why)?
I often find art websites disappointing, as they often seem disjointed and clunky but I love I admit to being slightly biased here, because Ed is my Brother-in-Law, and the site was built by one of my very best friends, Gary Stanton. It is an un-fussy and very user friendly site, with style and elegance, so it's a good thing Gary will be doing my website for me (watch this space!)

Surprising activity/hobby?
I love the countryside and love being out and about in it, but one of my favourite hobbies is canoeing on the Cuckmere River, it really is the most stunning place to be.

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
I find that work can often take over, and at the end of a long day it is sometimes hard to get my craft-working hat back on, but ideas come thick and fast at any hour of the day! I find it best to record these ideas when they come, and dedicate time specifically to the workshop when I can devote my full attention to them.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Art and craft is something that has been practised by Human Beings since they first scrawled images onto cave walls, it is an intrinsic part of culture. Without it the world would be a very grey and depressing place.

What do think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
I think one of the beauties of the art world is the sense that 'anything goes', but I do feel that this can be abused sometimes and work is done merely for it's shock value. I consider myself first and foremost a craftsperson, concerned mainly with my medium, the potential of my equipment, the scope of my imagination, and how I can combine these things to make something beautiful, practical, and hopefully treasured.

Lucy Mutter:

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