Thursday, August 27, 2015

Artist Interview: EverAfter Artisanry

Today's interview is with the talented force behind EverAfter Artisanry.  These lovely wire and bead flowers are her work, and she has agreed to share her projects, ideas, history, and more! 

When did you get interested in wire/beading art, and how did you learn? (books, youtube, other artists, etc.)

I was first interested in the aesthetic of wire-wrapped jewelry a very long time ago, probably over a decade ago, but it wasn't until the last few years that I actually thought I could attempt to do it myself. Probably I started first working with wire in a hobby way about three years ago. I would wrap large crystals with wire to turn them into Christmas ornaments and give them to friends as gifts. Around a similar time I was separately learning some beading techniques, just using plastic beads and elastic cords, as there was a stretch of time when I was going to raves and making what they call 'kandi', which is the word for the large colourful bracelets that a lot of kids wear at those parties. I learned some basic beading techniques from my friends at what we called 'kandi sessions', where we would go to someones house, sit around, and make those bracelets. At some point along the way I became interested in beaded embroidery, to embellish fabrics. Two years ago was the first time online that I saw a picture of a 3d beaded flower. I was looking for 2d flower patterns/techniques to bead flat onto fabric, but seeing these 3d ones fascinated me. I did a lot of learning through looking around for free articles on the web, and from watching youtube videos. When I am developing my own patterns for beaded flowers I will hunt around on the internet for articles regarding how to make those kins of flowers out of paper, and then adapt it to make the same shapes from my wire. Sitting down and just practicing has been essential to learning. Finding wire that is thin enough to get the seed beads onto, and strong enough to hold shape, using different gauges for different purposes, has been a trick of experimentation. I made my first bouquet at the end of last year/beginning of this year. I have made eight bouquets in total now, and I learn more each time.

What is your favorite project that you have made?

I would say that this piece is my favourite one, as it stands:…  I am one of those artists that tends to dislike their older work as mistakes become more apparent or I prefer my newer techniques, and, I think in many ways some of my newer pieces are better than this one, but, this is my favourite. I spent a good bit of time designing it through sketches after looking at calla lilly bouquets on pinterest, I was throughtful about my choice of colours as well. In this one, I also taught myself how to make calla lillies without a pattern, and I just have not done anything else on this scale. Its so large!

What do you like best about wire and beading art?

I think its a very expressive medium, though to be honest most forms of art have a wide range of expressive capacity. Honestly, the thing that I like best about it might just be that I seem to have some talent and that I authentically think I am producing good and creative work. I've messed around with other mediums, but, I think the stuff I'm doing at the moment is really bringing my skills together. I like a sense of accomplishing something.

Where do you get your ideas for new projects?

Well, I'll take inspiration at the moment by looking at bouquets using real flowers. There are a number of classic bouquet types, such as circle bouquets, cascading bouquets, even sheath bouquets. I have not made a sheath bouquet yet! I want to be able to create varied arrangements of flowers, arrangements in different sizes and different shapes, conveying different moods - so I'll find inspiration by trying to widen my portfolio, essentially. I also look into wedding trends, what flowers, colours, styles and shapes are popular. There is a website called Style Me Pretty that always posts the most beautiful floral designs, so, I find that very inspiring to look at.

What makes your projects different from other people's?

Well, in the scheme of things, there aren't actually all that many people who seem to make whole bouquets out of seed beads and wire, so, being in an area with so few artists working in the medium makes it easier to stand out, I think. I'm relatively new to this area, as I said earlier, I have only made eight bouquets - but I think my research into floral design helps me to create unique designs. Also I don't work from other peoples patterns, I develop my own. I don't do that by looking at other beaded versions of the flowers I am trying to produce, I'll do it by looking at the actual flowers themselves, and my looking into construction techniques for flowers in other mediums such as paper - to help me get realistic shapes. I think that kind of innovation might help me to stand out as well. At the moment I am really focusing on providing a wide range of colours/sizes and shapes, but into the future I think one thing that will help me stand out is I pay attention to fashion trends. I'm the sort of person who keeps up with couture runway designers, so, I think taking influence from couture catwalk trends will also help my work have a little something different.

How do you stay current with new techniques and trends in wire and beading?

To be completely honest, while I do produce good work (I feel) - in many ways I feel that I have a lot of 'mastering the basics' to go, when it comes to techniques. I'm not on the cutting edge of wire-work or beading techniques, not at all! I'm starting to get better and have subscribed to some mailing lists for beading websites, but this is an area I don't feel on top of, to be honest!

Do you have any special or long term goals for your art? A contest, or major project, or producing a certain number of type of pieces, or some such?

Well, I am an aspiring professional. The proper long term goal would be to sustain myself doing this, as my full time job. Shorter goals to get me to that point are going to include coming up with reproducible jewelry lines for sale. Also I've got some special projects lined up in the form of some planned styled photoshoots. I want to make matching jewelry and accessories for some of my bouquets, and have some photoshoots with models. One of these major projects involves making an embellished black veil, jewelry and bouquet for a gothic photoshoot. I'm going to incorporate swarovski crystal skulls into the bouquet, I think thats going to be something special.

Is there one aspect or technique about your art that you really want to learn?

I want to get much better at basic beadweaving techiques. In the future I also want to get into glass blowing and glass work, so that I can make my own beads, and so that I can incorporate my own glass flowers into my bouquets. I think that could be really special.

Where can people go to view/buy your art, and do you take commissions/do custom work?

I'm really only in the setup phase of turning this into a professional gig, and, I have not opened a shop yet or started selling my work yet. I want to come up with a jewelry collection before opening up some sort of shop. That said, I would absolutely love to work on custom bouquet projects, so if anyone is interested, then contacting me through facebook to arrange talking more would be fantastic.

My art can be viewed in the following spaces:

Many thanks to EverAfter Artisanry for agreeing to be interviewed!  If you'd like to be interviewed, leave a comment on this or another post!

Image Credit:  All images credit EverAfter Artisanry.

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