Sometimes there are a few spare moments in the day when I’m waiting for something to finish – like when the timer is ticking for a pot on the stove, or I’m waiting for the dryer to buzz so I can rescue the clothes before they become permanent-wrinkle. 😉
It’s not enough time to get involved in much – but it’s just enough time to take a quick peek on etsy to see what’s new!
Recently, I discovered an artist who creates unique and very beautiful pendants from beach pebbles! Many of her designs reflect the beauty of nature and the splendor of its simplicity. She graciously agreed to chat with me for this installment of Interview with the Artist, and I’m just delighted to showcase her work here today.
Please meet birdahoy!
Were you interested in art as a child?
One of my early memories is when I was about 4 years old at school, sitting painting an American Indian with powder paints and getting a little thrill that it had character that I hadn’t expected to achieve. I think that was the first time that I ever felt proud of anything I’d done. All through school I loved art, and it was fantastic because they gave us the opportunity to try all sorts of crafts like working with clay, batik and making huge sculptures with chicken wire and plaster impregnated bandages! Those were the days!!
What were some of the earliest projects that you created?
My mum still has some of those things I made at school. My favourite teacher at school used to let me do art all day after I’d finished my math exercises! There is a clay relief slab that is modelled on his beloved Mini with its bonnet up so you can see the engine. I think I was about 10 when I made it. He proudly displayed it on the shelf that year (he loved his car so much!!) and one day a naughty boy knocked it off and it broke in two. He was furious and glued it back together!
When did you first become interested in using beach pebbles for your art?
There is a huge draw to the sea and the great outdoors for me. I love the idea of using natural materials to create jewellery because I’m a nature girl at heart. I think I first wanted to create something for myself that tied me to my favourite environments and I’ve always had little collections of pebbles and shells. I’d been making jewellery for quite a while with beads and I really wanted to branch out and create something unique that was one of a kind. Other people seemed to like their simplicity so I thought I’d try selling them.
Besides working with the stones, what other materials do you enjoy using?
I love using silver in my jewellery. I’ve just bought my first block of PMC. The idea of using recycled silver that starts as clay and fires to solid silver seems like magic to me! I’m also in love with my camera. I’m obsessed with how things change in different light. I drive my husband mad whenever we go anywhere and always come back with hundreds of photos! I enjoy trying as many different crafts as I can. My little room is stuffed full of different materials. Carving rubber stamps, making lino prints, modelling with salt dough, painting, freezer paper stencils… you name it, I’ve probably tried it or want to try it!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration everywhere. I’m always absorbing things wherever I go, be it the forest, seaside, city or countryside. I love to find patterns everywhere. We have a cocker spaniel puppy and I now get inspiration on our daily walks through the forest. My imagination runs riot! I think the more you repeat a walk, the more you start to create things in your mind. My ideas go into my sketchbook/journal and evolve into designs for my jewellery.
Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself? 🙂
Yes I do have one pebble necklace that I made for myself featuring a leafy branch. People always ask if you’re wearing any of your own work when you tell them you make jewellery so I think it’s a good idea.
What advice would you give to people who would like to begin selling their art, but could use a little guidance?
My advice would be to first and foremost make art for yourself. If you love what you do it shows through and it makes selling it so much easier. Then try to build up a collection of work that looks as though it belongs together, something unique to you. Try to find your niche. Etsy is a great place to sell online. The most important thing when selling on the internet is to make friends with your camera. Good photos with good lighting make all the difference I think.
For more information on the art of Bird Ahoy, you may visit her etsy shop or her blog. 🙂
‘Til next time,