well, a little like my life right now, this feature is all over the place! supposedly a weekly feature every monday but hey, better late than never :)
this week, we meet amy from amyorangejuice ...
Please introduce yourself …
I am Amy McCarthy a stained glass and mixed media artist living in Devon. I make bespoke stained glass windows for commission and sell my items in several art galleries and shops in the South West. I am also an exhibiting mixed media artist working with found objects, waste glass and old and broken costume jewellery. I am also a mum of 2 small children, which means I am very busy and always trying to fit the 2 areas of my life around each other!
How would you describe your work / style?
I tend to make bold, stylized designs often bordering on abstraction. I am very inspired by Art Deco, textile patterns and prints and the beautiful Devon landscape around me. Especially the coast, much of my work has a seaside theme.
Who, or what, inspires you?
I am inspired by the sea, the countryside, my children's amazing expressionist paintings and often found items and old rubbish others would throw away.
Do you sell your work? If so, what helped you decide to start selling your work?
Yes I sell my work. Although I have an art degree I never thought I could make my career from my art (lack of self confidence) then I needed to make money but did not want to put my baby into childcare and it all started from there. Also I am a member of the TRAIL collective and they have boosted my confidence no end by being so generous and open to new exhibitors.
Where can I buy your work?
Otterton Mill Gallery, Otterton, Devon
Spinnakers Art Gallery, Crediton, Devon
MADE, Fore St, Sidmouth, Devon
Pooplefords, Newton Poppleford, Devon
Quayside Crafts, Exeter Quay, Devon
Do you have a website or blog address?
How did you learn your craft? How long have you been creating?
I have always been creative since a small child and originally wanted to be a fashion designer, I studied art at Leeds University and have tried my hand at many things, but stained glass and recycled collage art are where I am happiest. In 2003 did evening classes in stained glass techniques for 2 years and I have been in love with it ever since.
Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
Would love to find the time and space to start doing some polymer clay and woodcut printing. Kids do leave home eventually, don't they???
Anything exciting planned for 2010 you’d like to share?
I had 2 art exhibitions in March. From March until April, I was one of 4 artists in the Otterton Mill Recycling Exhibition, which is my biggest break and I am in the midst of creating a series of Junk Plankton, from waste glass, broken costume jewellery and found items.
And I also exhibited two pieces at the TRAIL inside exhibition, The Ariel Centre, Totnes, Devon. These comprise a panel with 8 Junk Plankton mosaics and a huge stained glass boat mobile with 45 boats!
In July I am planning to take part in TRAIL outdoor sculpture trail in Teignmouth and I am hoping to make a giant kaleidoscope out of waste glass and old tin cans!
Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
See above, I wish for books and mags!
Has your work won any prizes/competitions?
Not since winning the college prize for effort and achievement for being the first person to get an A at A Level textiles and that was a loooooooooooooooong time ago!
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be …
I spent 10 years working as a specialist mental health worker with homeless people, so that probably.
I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for …
My amazing husband, who not only is my biggest fan but puts up with endless bits of glass, driftwood and rubbish hanging around the house!
What do you do to relax?
Whats that? Work from home mum with 2 little ones Ha, ha!
Marmite … love it or hate it?
How do you keep motivated?
My constant stream of ideas, which keep me up late into the night and the feeling when someone really likes something I have made for them.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started out?
To be selective about where you sell your stuff and ask the price you need to get, not what you think they want to hear.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Don’t think this kind of thing is ever going to make you rich! But you will be happy and fulfilled.
thanks for taking time to chat amy, your stained glass is gorgeous, especially those hearts you've just finished, and i really enjoyed seeing your recycled collage art. great advice too - not rich, but happy and fulfilled (with an understanding other-half!).