Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Maker of the Week - Miranda Hughes

Miranda Hughes designs and handcrafts jewellery that is distinctive and unique. Contemporary design combined with a love for all things vintage forms the starting point for many designs. Antique objects, words, colours and patterns are used as precious charms and details. This gives these seemingly valueless elements a new life; reinventing them into something wearable and beautiful.

One favourite living craft maker.
I love the work by Rob Ryan at the moment, it brings such a smile to my face; particularly his paper creations. His pieces are whimsical, narrative, delicate, beautiful, romantic and witty!

What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased?
A gorgeous little porcelain jug made by Rebecca Callis when I was exhibiting at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair last month.

At age 18 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
Stylewise I loved the ‘retro’ look and must have watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s countless times. As much as I tried I doubt my personal style appeared anything as elegant as Audrey! I had a weekend job in Habitat, which luckily was a much more inspiring environment than working in my local supermarket or pub.
I was quite poorly for a while around this time, bad timing as far as my A-Levels were concerned, so had to catch up on all Photography and Art coursework in a very short space of time. Compared to the Business Studies A-Level it didn’t actually feel like too much hard work, and triggered something in me which make me realise I didn’t want to stop my artistic pursuits and sit in an office just yet. An inspiring art teacher and support from friends & family led me to continue on with creative education and pursue it as a career. Somehow I’ve managed as yet to successfully avoid any dull office jobs!

What’s currently on your i-pod, cd player, tape recorder?
Mumford & Sons, Hot Chip, The Killers and old favourites Beth Orton, Portishead, Massive Attack, Simon & Garfunkel…

Where and what is your studio?
Hatfield in Hertfordshire; in a small spare room in my parent’s house. Quite a strange, yet comforting feeling as it’s my old bedroom. It’s not ideal, and hope to be able to work from my own home one day, but as I live with my boyfriend in a small one bedroom flat that’s not really an option at the moment. However, I am so very grateful for my parents to offer me the space, especially as I’m sure I make more noise and mess now than I did in my teenage years!

What is your favourite (art) website?
I don’t think I’ve explored enough yet, but I do like to glance at the V&A website every now and again to see what’s going on.

Surprising activity/hobbies?
I do love a good pub quiz. And if I go to a beach, I can spend hours searching for the ‘perfect’ pebble.

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
I do try to switch off, but find it difficult as there’s always something I feel I should be doing, and there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. Unfortunately I don’t work on my jewellery full time yet; I have two other part time jobs at the moment so my working life is extremely busy, but varied; which I enjoy. My work as a designer/maker feels like a real treat and escape.

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

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Yes, it has such an influence on culture & society so acts as a fantastic record of the times we live in, from cave paintings to popart. I believe craft has a real importance today; our lives are being taken over by technology & mass produced items, so unique products produced with skill, craftmanship, heart and soul are vital. Most importantly, our world would be a very miserable, dull and empty place without it.

What do you think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
I really get angry at those chain style “art galleries” that you see in shopping centres full of awful, reproduced, cartoon like “paintings” and “sculptures”. I get even more angry when I realise they must have enough customers to keep them happily in business, when so many real art & craft galleries find it more difficult.

1 comment:

Madeleine said...

I completely agree about the faux 'art galleries'!
Why do people buy this rubbish?!
Hopefully if we keep making our lovely stuff people will be willing to buy that too! Maddie