A few months ago, I posted about my dread beads. Covered in vivid yet tiny patterns and intricate designs, they're richly coloured and sturdily, delicately beautiful.
Today's post is an interview with their creator, Emily Jane Adam. I hope you find Emily's story an inspirational example of what can happen when you choose to leave the rat race behind for the road less travelled.
[Me] How did you begin the artistic journey that eventually led to the creation of your own business?
[Emily] I'd always wanted to have a go with fimo, having never used it as a child. I'd seen some examples of millefiori techniques in the past and had never quite understood it! My adventure began Christmas 2009 when my partner Ian bought me the tools I needed to start making beads after I had mentioned I was interested in having a go. I took naturally to sculpting and manipulating the clay having studied ceramics in A level Art at school and realised I was onto something special! My jewellery was receiving lots of positive comments and at the time I was unhappy in my job. I would spend time at work writing lists and planning how I was going to escape the rat race and start my own business. The jewellery became very therapeutic to make on an evening and I loved doing it so much - why not do it as a job? So, I handed my notice in with hardly any money in the bank and no business advice or loan and started selling at the local markets and to friends and family. And so it all began!
How long have you worked with polymer clay, and what drew you to it as a medium?
Two years in December. I loved working with sculptable materials when I was younger, and the vibrant palette and amazing techniques you can have with fimo are limitless.
What did you make first?
I had started making basic canes (patterns) and making them into earrings by slicing and attaching ear posts. I wore them, then my friends wore them!
Where do you find the inspiration for the colours and themes in your art?
I love making kaleidoscopes and flower images, techniques that I have enjoyed repeating to see how different each one can be. The colour themes just sort of come to me, nothing is pre-planned. I wouldn't say that there is an underlying theme in my art, I just sit and create whatever my hands decide to make!
Do you have a favourite time of the day/night to work?
I work whenever I'm feeling up to it. That's the beauty of working for yourself. If I sit at my work station, whatever time it may be, and don't feel its working I will get up and go to the park to hula hoop or potter around the house until I next feel inspired!
My next big venture will be a rainbow butterfly. I have such an affiliation with them! Other than that I want to work on some more statement necklaces with more sculpted shapes rather than intricate images. Watch this space!
What ideas do you have for the future, with regards to your business and creative aspirations?
I'd love to sell at more festivals next year, and at some point get a van and a stall of my own. As far as my art goes, I'd love to try making things other than jewellery, maybe covering odd bits of furniture and exhibiting them in galleries across the world! Haha, we'll see.
How do you drink your coffee? ;)