Since the beginnings of Novelty Brooch Friday (over a year ago) the driving force behind it, other than seeing everyone's brooches, was meeting brooch makers and sellers. There is such a passion and excitement about their craft or the selling of others craft I find so appealing.
I don't often get to meet the generous people that answer my questions and offer one of their creations to a lucky person, but recently at a craft market Finders Keepers I was lucky enough to meet a few of the lovely ladies who I have met online.
One of those lovely ladies was Jennie, Jennie is the person behind A Little Vintage Etsy shop, specialising in soft material crafts. I am lucky enough to own one of Jennie's Frida brooches and this month she is offering one to a lucky winner!
And so in the monthly tradition I asked Jennie to answer 5 questions about her work and shop.
When did you first discover you liked creating your work out of
soft materials and sewing?
My first real discovery in textiles, was actually when my
Grandmother passed away. I was given her old linen tea towels. Linen makes the
best tea towels – so all my cotton ones became redundant. Then one night I
decided to sew them all together to make a table cloth. The only thing was,
that I didn’t have a sewing machine .. so I did it all by hand! All I can say
is, it must have been a very strong urge to make that table cloth! (some of the
tea towels were beautiful Laura Ashley that I had been collecting over the
years in England).
Do you have reoccurring themes you like to base your works
For the last year or so – the main theme has been Frida Kahlo. I
have made a Silk Collection of dolls, some wall hangings and of course the
little thread drawn brooches. Apart from admiring Frida’s artistic talent and
amazing strength of character, I think what draws me back to her is how
expressive and extreme I can go with fabrics/face/jewellery etc. It’s also fun
to see how each Frida turns out, as they are all recognisable as her – but none
are the same! Another reoccurring theme is flora/fauna, I have always been
drawn to flowers in art, let alone fabric. I remember painting a huge floral
wall hanging in high school for the library – so much fun! And when I was a
nanny in England for many years, one of the ladies I worked for used to pay for
the flowers every week when I went to a floristry course. Then, the flowers
were displayed in their home (where I lived too)! It gave me way more scope,
being able to buy what ever flowers I wanted – especially in expensive London.
Can you tell us a bit about artists/crafts people you admire?
Obviously Frida Kahlo – as mentioned above.
I also admire Annemieke Mein – she is a clever textile artist who
creates such amazingly realistic images – mainly of insects/fish/birds. I adore
how she captures movement in her works – such an inspiration.
Are there any particular materials you like working with or
would like to work with?
I love working with texture. Any fabric that has the touchy –
feely element. It gives another dimension, is a lot more interesting to look at
- and creates depth.
Is there any advice you could give anyone thinking about
starting a business?
Go with your instincts, there is only so much you can be
told about how something should be done. I’m talking about the creative side of
business. What is going to set you apart is being different. This is probably
where it was a good thing that I haven’t had sewing lessons – the way I sew is
not the way other people do! Which has helped me be different and original.
Thank you Jennie for your offering one of your wonderful brooches and giving us a little insight into your interests, loves and inspirations............and so here it is, the fabulous Frida brooch you could win. Just use #noveltybroochfriday on any friday in September on Instagram and show everyone your brooches.
See you on Friday!