Wednesday, 23 July 2008

My Interview With hmsdesign

Please can you tell us about yourself and your back ground?
My name is Helen Smith and I live on the lovely Wirral peninsula in north-west England. My former life was as a computer programmer until I escaped to become a full time taxi service to my children. I needed something to keep me sane and, as I had always enjoyed stitching I signed up for the City & Guilds Creative Embroidery course – which turned out to be a life changing experience (thank you Carole!).

Can you tell us a bit about your work

I am very much inspired by the natural forms and textures of rocks and shells and the colours of the beautiful sand and sea views we have hereabouts. I started to collect bits and pieces on the beach because I don’t really enjoy building sandcastles so I needed to look busy! And this collecting has since become something of an obsession for the whole family. From this it seemed a natural step to start including these finds into my stitched work. My most recent pieces have all been about working with this collection and the surfaces I create by adding colour and texture to layers of recycled paper.

and how did you start your Etsy shop?

Hmmm, Etsy. I read about the craft blogging phenomenon in Embroidery magazine so I thought I’d check a few out… and of course they were all talking about Etsy… and I thought, I could do that! It took me a little while to work out what form to present my work in and I started listing seriously at the beginning of the year. I consider my work to be quite a niche product so I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction I have had so far.

What usually sparks off an idea?
That is a good question! It can be anything; something I have collected, something I have seen, a new technique I have learned. But it is always the natural colours and textures which inspire me. An idea will buzz around in the back of my mind for ages before resolving itself – I wish I were better at getting these half formed ideas down on paper because I’m sure I forget a lot of them – that is something I need to work on!

Please tell us about your latest products:

A new departure for me has been the sketchbooks I am making. When I was doing the City & Guilds course, something I looked for but never found was a sketchbook filled with different types of paper. So when I found I could get a gadget to do wire bindings at home that was the first thing I made for myself. Then I wondered whether perhaps other people would be interested… so I have listed a couple on Etsy to see.Another thing I am working on at the moment is a line of ‘Mermaids Treasure’ corsages; these are layered silk and lace flowers with the centre filled with pearls and beads and little seashore treasures. And I am expanding my range of Seashore Art to include more pieces ready for framing. Then there are all those ideas buzzing around at the back of my mind… I would like to do more work with silk paper… and with felt… watch this space!


myaphrodite said...

Gorgeous textures! Glad to find a new favorite!

hmsdesign said...

Thank you for featuring me on your lovely blog!


missknits said...

wow beautiful work! i just loved that journal too! thanks for sharing!!