My favourite time of the year because there are a lot of birthdays in my family, and who doesn't love a bit of cake and Hoo Haar!
This month I am so pleased to introduce to you something sweet, not just the brooches but the wonderful Hayley of Synergy Glass Art. In that special kind of way you organically come across people on Instagram, I came across Hayley's work. Bright colours and novelty subjects, I was naturally drawn to her work and was so happy Hayley agreed to answer a few questions about her work and offer one of her brooches to be given away this month (I have one similar).
Thank you Hayley and I loved reading your answers, to me personally your answer to the last question really resinated with me.
When did you start working with glass and start your glass art business 'Synergy Glass Art'?
In 2009 I returned from a yearlong backpacking adventure and found the transition back to normality really difficult to adjust too. I discovered a certain therapy in throwing myself into short course, classes and well, pretty much anything creative. I learnt mosaic, pottery, jewellery making, and Leadlight. And in Leadlight I found this incredibly magical world of colours I didn’t know existed. It ignited in me the desire to become consumed by glass. I wanted to know more about it. I enrolled in a course to learn fusing and slumping (melting glass in a kiln to form shapes such as bowls, plates etc). This was completely different to Leadlight. One thing leads to another and I then completed a weekend workshop in bead making on the flame torch.
It was only then that I finally realised this fascination wasn’t going away. I needed to do something with it. It was no longer just a hobby but something I could turn into a business. Ta-da! Synergy Glass Art was born!
What attracted you to working with glass?
In one word it would be… colour! The way a single piece of glass could change colour depending on the light behind it was something that gave me tingles inside. A blue could be moody one day and then vibrant the next.
I was also fascinated in the science behind it, which in turn, made me want to learn more. I have since had the honour of learning in world-renowned glass institutes such as Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, and Canberra Glassworks.
When creating a new design do you start with a colour, design or something else?
Usually I start with the colour rods when it comes to making my necklaces and bracelets. But with my brooches I let my creativity run wild and am quite often inspired to create when I’m not even searching for inspiration. I look at everyday objects and think “hmm, I wonder if I could make that using glass.” A perfect example of this is with my Iced Biscuit Brooches. Farm animals, food, fish, flowers, you name it, I’ve probably attempted to make it in glass!
Is there a technique you haven't tried with glass that you would like to explore?
Yes, definitely glassblowing. I’ve dabbled in glassblowing whilst under the instruction of a much more experienced artist but I really am very far away from mastering it. It is so much harder than I expected. I’m happy though because it’s an excuse to enrol in another workshop!
Is there any advice you can give to people wanting to start their own business?
Be patient. Success doesn’t happen over night (if it does then woohoo! Congratulations to you!) but through hard work, patience, determination, lots of ups and downs I am now seeing rewards that I never even dreamed of. I honestly can’t believe it’s been over 4 years since I was first introduced to glass. There were tough times were I thought I would hang up my apron and call it a day but to be honest I don’t think my life is complete with out glass!
So what is the cute brooch you could win this month? This cute biscuit brooch could be yours if you take a photo of yourself with one of your favourite novelty brooches on Instagram using the hashtag #noveltybroochfriday on any Friday in July (up to and including 25th). The winner will be announced on the following Monday, 28th July.
So what are you waiting for? Get those brooches on, it doesn't matter if you wear the same brooch 2 weeks in a row, just get them out.
*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches (worldwide) and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org