Friday, 3 February 2012

Meet the Crafters #5

Introducing our last crafter before the big day (this Sunday 10am – 4pm, we’re taking over The Coach House and Gallery in Astley Park, Chorley, Lancashire):

Please give us a little detail about what it is you make?
I mostly make cards and framed pieces from handspun newspaper yarn.

Have you always done this or did you first start with something else?
I started by making little resin blocks with pictures cut out of newspaper, but they weren't that good really! I am not sure why I started rolling the newspaper into yarn, but I do remember googling it afterwards and being slightly disappointed (but not really surprised) that it has been done several times before! In fact, I think it is an ancient Chinese art or something, but don't quote me on that as I am not sure.

What / who inspires you?
I am inspired by the people who dissect and explain where stories in the newspapers come from and try to present the facts behind the stories.  In the health world, that includes people like Ben Goldacre and NHS Choices "Behind the Headlines".  There are other fact-checking websites too that try to present the context to statistics used in news stories.  I am also inspired by human beings, and how they are constantly striving to turn bad news into good.  I think newspaper is full of bad news, but by chopping it up and spinning it into yarn, something beautiful can be created.

Is there an interesting back story/start up story to your business?
I started making stuff initially for my godson's birthday.  I thought of using newspaper from the day he was born and I suppose the yarn sort of evolved from there. I was between jobs at the time, so I suppose I had a lot of time but not much money for supplies.  The idea of using up old newspaper was also born of necessity I suppose!

Tell us what we can typically find when visiting your stall?
Framed pieces and cards mostly....sometimes some additions from my little sister who is a fledgling illustrator  We share craft stalls sometimes.

Do you have a favourite item?  .... My favourite is my framed rainbow coloured raincloud.  It's made from newspaper yarn but also some vintage dictionary.  All the colours were found in the newspaper, I haven't used any inks or anything.  All the colours of the rainbow can be found in something you think of as black and white (not to mention full of bad news)! I quite like the rain - it's what makes rainbows and, quite, importantly, it is essential for all life on earth... It's currently for sale for £37.50 online (plus P&P) though you might be able to haggle with me a little bit at a fair!

Do you have a website or somewhere we can have a nosey at / purchase your products?

Any pipe dreams you are willing to share?
I love making bespoke pieces - I always get slightly scared when I hear people's requests, but I do like to be challenged a bit!  I never would have contemplated a giraffe, if no-one had asked me to do one, but I was really pleased with the results (and so was the lady who bought it).  I think I would like to do more of these. Secondly, I have quite a science background, so I would very much like to do some more geeky/science themed pieces.  And lastly....I picked up a copy of the last ever news of the world on a train, and I know I should do something with's just not entirely clear to me yet how to express my feelings about the story of the NOTW using newspaper yarn... maybe one day!

Wow very insightful, BB is definitely a crafter/artist who makes me stops and take a moment to see my world.

And now must be moving on again, if you are local we very much hope to see you Sunday.  Free craft activities for you to try, fittingly some of these involve newpaper, but this time it’s decopatching, if you have an item you would like to try this on, please bring it with you, or we have mini boxes you can use.  For the children (although they will be welcome to ‘patch’ too) we are asking them to help us make an excitingly long bunting for our Summer events and the lovely birdies are back (if you missed them last time, well worth a go, so simple yet very effective).

See you Sunday. xNik

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