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craft&design Selected

  Selected Makers

Catherine Farnon

When making pieces I tend to let the design take over. I'm not in the habit of drawing out designs unless working on a specific style for a commission such as a wedding.
When designing using art clay the bulk of time is put into the preparation of the piece before firing. A basic pendant could take up to 8 hours preparation time. The more time you put in the better finish you have, so pieces vary on input time according to the type of finish you are looking for and the customers’ requirements.

It is always essential to meet customer’s needs. Part of the pleasure of creating is making someone happy when they take their piece home. I always offer to adjust a piece or remake a piece so it is exactly what the customer wants and match earrings or bracelets to their own pieces of jewellery to enable them to complete a set.

When designing using silver clay, a basic tool kit and blow torch are the minimum requirements, but if producing more wholesale, a kiln is needed, with art clay embeddable, hot plate, tongs, mesh and a constant supply of clay. With bronze clay a larger kiln is needed to hold the firing pans. To create different textures and designs on silver clay, I have collected a variety of stamps, texture plates, cutters and moulds, but prefer to use textures found by customers or from the natural environment.

This is such a highly exciting craft with endless possibilities for design and style using different media. Every week I come up with new inspirations and new things I would like to try. Training in other aspects of craft work enhances your own creativity, so the ability to learn and adapt is paramount. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you do, that it requires a certain amount of skill and challenge to keep your interest but also allows you to relax and appreciate the therapeutic value of creating, that's what it's all about!

 
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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 85 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.