This week brings another artisan that I met on Instagram – Nancy Pickard from Cornwall, England. This highlights one of the best features of the Internet, getting to know people from all over the world. Nancy is one of those rare artists who makes a living at her craft.
1. Tell us about your jewelry handcrafting.
I am an artist and maker based in Cornwall at the far South West of England. It’s a very wild and beautiful area, much loved by artists!
I have been making jewellery since moving into this area in 2002.
3. How did you get started?
I trained as and artist and ceramist but when I moved here I had two young children and I needed to find something creative that I could do in a small space and with small chunks of time. I started by using found objects: rusty cans off the beach and pieces of driftwood, but soon discovered enamelling (it sat easily with me as I had spent 4 years studying ceramics, so kilns were familiar and I was used to the unexpected results of heat processes)
BijouBeadBoutique: I didn’t know about Nancy’s talent in ceramics. I might need to showcase her again!
4. Is it your main gig?
To cut a long story short, my enamelled silver jewellery has been a great joy and enabled me to live and support my family ever since. I have a little studio/gallery in Penzance where I display all my work, paintings, ceramics and jewellery, and also a network of other outlets across the country.
Each piece is unique and entirely made by me.
6. What inspires you?
I have become very interested in history and archaeology so I think the weathered imperfections of standing stones is evident in my pieces, which are often deliberately ‘distressed’. At other times, it’s just the pure translucent colour of the enamels that inspires me.
7. How do you reach the point where you know you’ve reached the point where you have arrived, so to speak? Where you have the confidence to say, I’m going to open my own shop?
I had always wanted to earn a living from my art: when I was a student I had used the summer holidays to make quick paintings of Guernsey, where I grew up, and had been surprised and pleased to find that they sold well! I held down a few jobs: community artist and then arts/play development officer for the city council, and enjoyed them. My life turned upside down when my then husband had a breakdown and lost his job. We moved to the seaside and had bed and breakfast – it was hard, with two young children, but at least gave me the chance to develop my work at home. To cut a long story short, I eventually found myself on my own bringing up the kids and gradually earned more from my creative pieces…dropping the bed and breakfast! Phew, all that laundry and cleaning – no greater motivation to do it professionally!
BijouBeadBoutique: WOW! To me it shows that besides talent, you were able to spot opportunities when they arose, and rise to the occasion when things got tough. I find that very admirable.
8. Do you have a favorite quote?
“Be yourself: everyone else is taken” Oscar Wilde
BijouBeadBoutique: Love it!
I will be linking up with these blogs all week.