Creative Q and A

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Hammered silver ovals, with flourite, teardops, topped with faceted prehenite and amethysts.

I started this blog with the intention of broadening my writing skills, and finding the inspiration to get my creative juices flowing. Recently I was tagged in a post by the lovely Sophie at https://beautifulsimplemeaningful.wordpress.com/, who invited me to participate in a creative Q&A session: a perfect opportunity to kick start the creative focus for BalticBliss, so here we go:

1) What am I working on?

As usual, I have several projects on the go. My all time favourite crafty pastime is making jewellery. I focus mostly on silver and gemstones. I used to attend regular silversmithing classes when I lived in Geneva. I haven’t found any regular classes of that type in Copenhagen (although I’m sure there must be some) and I find myself in Geneva so often for work at the moment that I go back to class there when I can. I like to work with gemstone beads when I’m at home. Previous projects have included silver and gemstone rings, pendants and cufflinks. My current project involves a lot of lovingly made little hammered silver discs, which are going to be used as components in earrings, pendants and a couple of bracelets.

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Domed brushed silver discs with tourmaline faceted drops

When I was about six years old, my beloved Nanna taught me to knit. I used to help her out with her blanket squares that she’d produce to send to projects run by Mother Teresa. Together we became a pretty nifty production team. I abandoned knitting as I grew up, but rediscovered it not that long ago. Thanks to good old youtube I’m expanding my capabilities and have learnt how to knit in the round and can follow basic patterns. Recent projects have included teddy bears for friends (three bears are currently in circulation, one in Denmark, one in Switzerland and the most recent is on his way to Qatar. A fourth is in production). I’ve also knitted a few cowls, and have had quite an extensive production of coasters ongoing.

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Another favourite pastime is photography. I’m not going to make any bones about it – I’m an absolute amateur. I have no technical knowledge whatsoever, although I’d love to learn. My favourite photos are those that I’ve taken on my travels. I have a lovely camera, which produces SLR-quality photos, but has automatic settings and is brilliant for a photography numpty like me. One day I will invest in a real “big girl” camera and some lessons. It’s on my “To do” list… Meanwhile, here are a few of my favourite shots:

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Sunday Market, Baune, Bourgogne, France

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View from the Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Place de l’hôtel de ville, Arles, France

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Central Market, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

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City ramparts, Khiva, Uzbekistan

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Shah I Zinda complex, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

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Yaroslavl, Russian Federation

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Crested Crane, Kampala, Uganda

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Kibale Forest, Uganda

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Versoix, Switzerland

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Cardamom buns, Cafe Saturnus, Stockholm, Sweden

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Cagliari, Sardinia

2) How does my work differ from others?

My jewellery and photography are very definitely influenced by travels around the world. Many of the beads and stones I work with have been collected far and wide, from Ethiopia to Thailand, Bali to Turkey. I took my first silversmithing class in Ubud, Bali, and was instantly hooked. It took me a while to find a class when I returned home, but I was lucky in Geneva and found a wonderful adult education institution with a very forbearing teacher. I took another class in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My dream is to go to India and work with the silversmiths there… one fine day, maybe?

I can’t really say that my knitting is different from anyone else’s – it is inspired by the usual blogs, craftsy, weareknitters, loveknitting, etc. and I get lots of lovely yarn from BaaRamEwe. I’m always finding inspiration for new projects and have way too much yarn in stock, with all intentions of making all manner of goodies!

3) Why do I create what I do? 

I’ve always been fascinated by making things, but unfortunately my day job is singularly uncreative, so I have to find my outlets elsewhere. For the moment, travelling, photography and jewellery tick that box, and when I’m at home I knit, I write and I’ve been known to end up elbow-deep in amateur dramatics. All good for the soul!

4) How does my creative process work?

In a rather haphazard manner, if I’m honest! Jewellery classes take place as and when I have a reasonable block of time in Geneva, and I try to make components that can then be incorporated into projects I can work on from home. It depends entirely how the mood takes me. Most of my colour combinations are inspired by the nature around me – a lot of seascape colourings seem to be happening here in Copenhagen. That said, if I’m making something for someone specific I tend to lean towards the colourschemes that they wear. I do make to order, so the creative process can be dictated by others. Knitting tends to be random, depending on how much free time I have, and I love making things for other people. With Christmas coming I’m full of bright ideas, only a fraction of which will come to fruition given the other lists of tasks I need to fulfil between now and mid-December!  Photography depends mainly on travelling, although when the weather is nice I have been known to “take the camera for a walk” around Copenhagen – it’s such a picturesque city and provides some incredible photo opportunities!

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Citrine faceted drop earrings topped with carnelian, freshwater pearl, garnet and yellow amazonite

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Fisherman on Lake Victoria, Uganda

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7 thoughts on “Creative Q and A

  1. Thanks for playing along, and for the peek into your creative process! I feel I must order some jewellery at some point! I LOVE your photos – what camera do you have? Several of them are amazing, but for me the iced up car really stands out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sophie, thank you for inviting me to play! And for your lovely compliments on the photos 🙂 I use an Olympus ep-2. It’s compact but has interchangeable lenses and produces great quality pics. One day I’ll get some tuition about how to use it properly! I don’t think that poor iced car can possibly have survived the winter! The trees became pretty spectacular twisty ice sculptures too!

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  2. You do all that … and write a blog? I hope you find some time to fit in some pastries and ale. You already taught me the meaning of “buskers”. Now you’ve given me another word, “numpty”. I gather from the context it means “stinking genius”. 🙂

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