Monday, August 29, 2016
Today's Monday Maker is Robyn Stewart from Birdy and Clementine
My mum was crafty and my Aunt was a painter but I only remember making mud pies.
How would you describe your work?
A little bit retro a little bit modern, feminine and complicated like me :0. I focus primarily on surface decoration as that is my first love and I like to wing it as I have a low boredom threshold'.
How has your work evolved since you started?
I started a looonnnggg time ago with a big hiatus where I moved interstate and was the main caregiver for my gorgeous gals- they were my priority for many years. Now that I am an empty nester I can indulge my passions again . My work has changed firing temperatures and am using new techniques but I look at my work from 20 years ago and I can still see similarities in the colour palette,the lustre used and the simple shapes although I was doing wheel work a lot more then and now I prefer to hand build and slip cast my original proto types.
How did you start selling online/ Etsy?
Ahh this for me is the big change... way back when you did art shows and sold face to face now the online world is massive. It's great opportunity to have a global audience, incredibly exciting but alas my photography skills need a lot of work so I don't really have a presence there as yet. I have a shop.. it's rather sad only two items listed to date.
Colour, pattern and texture be it in the natural world or man made... life really - it's full of amazing things.
Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process? If yes, how is your art/craft eco-friendly?
I have solar panel assisted electric kilns which I fire predominately when the sun is shining. I prefer to keep packaging to a minimum and use recycled where possible.
I have two workspaces, actually that's a lie because if I need to commandeer the whole house I will! I have just done The Finders Keepers for the first time and I literally took over the spare bedroom and had work stations dotted throughout the house, nothing was sacred, the dining room ,the living room two verandahs... you get the picture. :)
Generally though I have a tidy area which is my studio upstairs (an enclosed verandah) where I do my hand building , decorating and lustering and downstairs where I slip cast , make a big ole mess and have my kilns
What is your favourite thing to make?
Right now I love love love making earrings. I treat each one like a mini abstract painting and enjoy where they end up.
How did your business/shop name come about?
A brainstorming session with my eldest daughter. I know I wanted Birdy (Robyn) and the Clementine was brainstormed from a bunch of 50's names as I feel my work harks back to that era (albeit in a lateral way)
I have so many ideas but I am currently time poor... more tableware, more jewels. I love a good cup and I used to specialise in teapots so I would like to develop that further.
What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
Well I feel like I'm still doing that myself but basically you need to take yourself seriously and do the work.As boring as that sounds everyday you need to do something that takes you forward and sometimes that ain't sexy.
Describe your typical creative day?
They are often long. I have breakky then walk into the studio upstairs and depending on what I am making I could be running up and down stairs all day between work spaces. I mix it up a bit otherwise the body protests so if I alternate fine and gross motor skills I find I can work longer. I tend to focus way too much on the making and very little on the marketing.
I have a very eclectic taste in music so it could be anything from classic to folk, funk. grunge, alternative, world, R &B etc
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
So many... I really appreciate and collect antique hand stitched fabrics especially from minority tribes in Asia.
Where can we find you online/stockists?
Almost two years
Why do you craft?
Because that is the true expression of who I am. Be yourself people!