I am so lucky to have this great pool of tutors who come and share their passion with those that attend our workshops. As I have gotten to know them all, first as tutors, then as friends, I get to find out all these neat things about them that makes me see them as more than just a tutor at the studio.
Jenni Harris, who teaches our Making Beaded Jewellery
workshop, and also has her own online shop Off Beat Beads
via Folksy, was kind enough to answer a few questions for me so that I could share a bit about her and what makes her tick. Thanks Jenni!
List five words the describe you and what you do? Beadaholic! Designer/maker, Mum, creative, passionate!
What inspires you when you are finding it hard to get your creative juices flowing? I am an avid magazine reader and hoarder and when my creative mo-jo grinds to a halt I will flick through some back issues of jewellery and fashion mags and see if there is anything that inspires me again. It's very easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when everyone loves what you make – however you need to keep moving forward and expanding your range and skills – I am forever on the lookout for new ideas!
Best part of being a jewellery designer/maker? It's got to be seeing people wearing your creations! I get thrilled to see my designs being worn by people. I recently went out for dinner with friends and everyone of them was wearing a piece of my jewellery! I've recently had commission orders from Germany and USA, from people I've never met.. now that really excites me! I also love teaching and sharing my skills, I recently started the Making Beaded Jewellery workshops at The Make and Do Studios and it was lovely to see my students being able to create beautiful pieces of beaded jewellery from the tuition I had given them.
Least favourite part of being a jewellery designer/maker? That's a tough question because I love what I do! I can honestly say the only thing that gets me down is when I have a workshop full of beads and I have zero inspiration, it doesn't happen often but when it does it's frustrating. Best thing to do is to walk away, do something else and come back later!
I also struggle with pricing my jewellery, I often undervalue my work and end up giving it away for next to nothing! I need to toughen up and be more confident in my ability to charge the right amount.
One quirky thing about you that we would only find out about by asking! I used to work in Animation! I worked for Cosgrove Hall Films and various other studios in my twenties and helped make cartoons for television. My biggest claim to fame being that I made an animated video for U2 called 'Hold me, Thrill Me, Kiss me, Kill Me' which was the soundtrack for the Batman Forever film.
Jenni's next Making Beaded Jewellery workshop is 28 April – we have a few spaces left and would love to have you come along! She might even tell you a bit about her animation days – what a great claim to fame!