Monday, 12 March 2012

Interview with Joey from

Joey's work with paper and fabric really caught my eye. I spotted one of her papercuts whilst browsing Etsy after a rather stressful encounter with an Xacto knife (you can see the blog post here) and was hooked.  I wanted to know more about how these bright, beautiful and playful creations are made and Joey has very kindly agreed to answer some questions. Enjoy!

1.One of the first things that strikes me when I look at your Etsy shop is the fabulous range of bright colours. Can you describe your relationship with colour?I just love it! I love mixing colours especially. A colour that looks ok on its own can be transformed by putting it next to another – either into something wonderful or something awful! It’s this constant search for inspiring combinations that keeps me interested.
Colour everywhere!
All images - cecilymae handmade (photo layout pugly pixel)

2. Do you go hunting for particular fabrics to create a piece or do the fabrics dictate what you make?
Both. Sometimes, I’ll find some fabric I can’t bear to cut up which ends up either framed on the wall or folded neatly in my ‘do not cut up’ pile. Often I’ll find something and think “ooh, that’ll make a perfect….” whatever. I guess that when I’m working to commission I’m more likely to go looking for something particular to suit the client’s requests.

Fabulous fabrics
All images - cecilymae handmade (photo layout pugly pixel)

3. How would you describe your style?

In a word,  eclectic.

4. Tell us more about your layered papercuts...

I always used to do papercuts with just one layer but found working in that ‘silhouette’ style quite limiting as it tends to be quite flat. It all goes back to my love of colour – I love to layer them up. Why have two colours when you can have three or four of five? I cut each sheet freehand so the finished layers usually end up fractionally out of alignment, a little like a screenprint. I love the unpredictability. You don’t quite know how it’s going to end up but it’s always a nice surprise.
Layered papercuts
All images cecilymae handmade (photolayout pugly pixel)

5. Do you prefer working with fabric or with paper?

Oh don’t make me choose! I am so in love with fabric and love working with it. When I’m sewing I’m like a whirlwind with cottons and fabrics and pins everywhere. But I hate the clearing up afterwards! I love cutting paper and especially the little zing you get from seeing all the colours and layers working together to create an overall image. And I love just sitting and cutting with the radio on. I get so engrossed and find it very therapeutic. It’s so quiet and peaceful. So I suppose it depends on my mood!

Fabric "Owl and Pussycat" & Papercut commission
All images cecilymae handmade (photolayout pugly pixel)

6. Have you ever made something that you couldn't bear to part with?
Hmmm, no I don’t think so. I have fabrics which I can’t bear to cut up. I have made so many things for people I know and I love seeing them again, and seeing how well they’re fairing! But I suppose once something’s sold, I forget about it. I love the thought that what I’ve made goes off to a new home to make someone happy.

7. Name three things that are major influences on your work?

Pattern – found anywhere and everywhere – shadows, plants, clouds, birds, stairs, light.

Making things with my nieces and nephews. Children are so free and unrestrained by what we are taught “works” and “doesn’t work”. What “goes”. They draw things and make things that an adult wouldn’t think to do so I love getting ideas from them.

(CecilyMae is the name of Joey's eldest niece)

8. What's the craft/creative scene like in Dorset?

Dorset, and especially Bridport where I live, is such a lovely little creative place to live. It’s full of artists and musicians. Virtually everyone I know carries crochet or knitting or sewing or a sketchpad around with them at all times. It’s got loads of quirky independent shops and has a very ‘anything goes’ attitude. Nobody bats an eyelid at anyone else even though there are some very unique characters. The area is full of junk shops, second hand markets and vintage fairs. You can spend hours and hours having a good inspiring rummage.
Bridport beauty
 All images cecilymae handmade (photolayout pugly pixel)

9. Name three tools you couldn't be without
My scalpel and a pack of 10a blades
My big Orange Fiskar Dressmaking scissors
A big stash of newly sharpened 2B pencils.

10. What can we look forward to from CecilyMaeHandmade this year?
Who knows! I’m designing my own range of fabrics at the moment so that’s something I’m really looking forward to. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be selling the fabric or something made from the fabric, but either way, it’ll be colourful and fun!
Some of Joey's fabric designs!
All images cecilymae handmade (photolayout pugly pixel)

So where can you find all these fabulous goodies? Well check out:





Dorothy and Theodore:

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