Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Maker of the Week - Gemma Wheeler

Gemma Wheeler is a silversmith and jeweller who enjoys the challenges of the design process from paper to three-dimensional form.

One favourite living craft maker.
As a maker we all get to go to the fairs, even if it is work. The advantages of this is we also get to see other makers work. I really like the work of Gwen Bainbridge, it is very delicate, I like the contrast of the floral pattern against the bright white of the china.

What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased?
The last thing I bought surrounding art was a book on Iron jewellery, I love looking through books on anything and everything, I get really inspired.

At age 18 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
At 18 I would say I was influenced by a style rather than an individual, but if I did have to choose one I would say Clarice Cliff. I liked the geometric style she created in her ceramic forms.

What’s currently on your i-pod, cd player, tape recorder?
Johnny Cash is on the i-pod and cd player, I love to listen to him in the workshop.

Where and what is your studio?
My workshop is in Cropredy, Oxfordshire, I converted the space which is above my Dad's business. Its five minutes from my house, so I get to walk to work everyday.

What is your favourite (art) website?
Most art websites I visit are to purchase materials from, I couldn’t say they are my favourite sites though! Although the site I have chosen isn’t an art site it is some where I visit to purchase books for my inspiration, this of course is Amazon!

Surprising activity/hobby?
I can't say that I have any surprising hobbies. I’m very much a maker, I love ceramics and have just bought a new camera which I’m looking forward to experimenting with after the Christmas rush.

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
I do find it hard to completely switch off, I find myself always looking around for inspiration and new ideas. I would say I have a good work/life balance even though I only get Sundays off I make the most of them and the evenings.

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

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
I think that you only have to look back over the years to see the positive impact art/design has had on the world, there have been some really interesting concepts.

What do think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
I think every one has their own tastes and what one person loves another will hate, this applies in two ways the original designing of a piece and then the individual who is viewing the piece. I find that at the same time that I may not love the look of something I can appreciate the skill that has gone into making it. I would never openly point out individual designs or designers for examples as someone has spent time creating this and must think it is worth the viewing.

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