Archive for the ‘Other makers and crafters’ Category

Other People’s Creations – ‘Artrox’

July 14, 2010

Hello there dear readers and welcome (or welcome back perhaps) to my blog!

We did a craft fair the other day at the nearby Steiner School in Forest Row. It was a beautiful sunny day, there was lots of lovely customers and there were lots of wonderful stalls selling beautiful things. In amongst these stalls were 2 or 3 artists that really stood out and today I’m going to tell you about one of them in particular.

Art piece on stone

This isn't her, it's just her hand (holding her work).

Let me introduce you to Sanya Budna of Artrox. She turns simple stones into the most beautiful and magical art pieces. It seems like a simple concept, and I suppose really it is but perhaps I should use her explanation:

“Carefully studying the stones’ topography, Sanya infuses life into their natural imprints. She respectfully follows patterns, without judgement, or opposition. As the soul of every individual stone grows clearer and bolder with each stroke of Sanya’s brush, a wonderful magic occurs. The creator becomes the created, and the interaction with the medium develops into an act of alchemy, transforming both the artist and the art piece.

art work on rocks

Each piece is an original and unique artistic expression that will never be repeated, with the purpose for each stone to also serve its beholder as a loving, stimulative and comforting companion.”

amazing artwork on rocks

I personally absolutely loved them and looking at her stall covered in all these little magical pieces made my heart ache they were so beautiful. On holiday as a kid (and still now to be honest) I found stones on the beach that I thought were beautiful and put them in my pocket. I think what Sandra is doing appeals to that nature in us, to have a constant connection to the earth and to see beauty in even the simple stones at our feet.

painted rock

Mind blowing.

She was really generous and let us trade one of Jenny’s awesome lavender houses for one of her stones. I also got another stone that will be staying with me from now on in that little pocket in my jeans that’s inside my normal pocket. You know the pocket I mean? It never gets used for anything usually. Anyway, that’s where this stone is staying. I love it. I am so very pleased.

Art rocks

Anyway, hopefully you can see what I mean and you don’t think I’m totally crazy. Do you guys collect rocks when on holiday? Surely you did when you were kids at least?

You can find out more about Sandra and her amazing work on her website. The photos don’t really do them justice though, so if you ever get a chance to see them in person then don’t pass it up.

And that’s all for today – so, very nice to see you all.

Do come back soon!



I love Junky Chicken!

July 2, 2010

Hey everyone,

Just a quick post today to tell ask you all to go and check out my wife’s newly relaunched shop on Folksy.

Upcycling maps amazing

She’s got a new banner, some new products and it’s still all as awesome as it ever was. She needs some favourites and some sales (she had 31 sales in the old shop!) – so feel free to fall in love with something and snap it up.

She totally deserves as much love as you can spare as she is just brilliant. This is why I married her you see.

You can also look at some of the great presents she’s made me over the years in my series ‘Jenny’s Amazing Gifts‘, right here on this blog!

Anyway, more proper posts coming soon.

Lovely to see you all!

Joe Hurry Creations Interesting Conversations

June 30, 2010

Hi everyone,

wizard of oz cats polymer clay

A little while ago I asked the wonderful Kirsten of Quernus Crafts whether she’d be willing to do an interview so we could all get a bit of an insight into her awesome brain. Thankfully she agreed and this is the result!

So Kirsten, what led you to start doing your craft?

Until June 2009, I was a lawyer by trade and had been for nearly 15 years. Oh, I’d always dabbled in making things my whole life, but it was only ever as a hobby. And then when I stopped soliciting, I had the space, time and energy to really focus on being creative.

I have always thought in three dimensions (I can’t draw for toffee and have much admiration for those who can), and having worked on and off with polymer clay for years, I decided to turn my full attention to that medium and see what happened. To say that I was rather surprised by the outpouring of wee creatures which happened as a result is something of an understatement. Now I am completely hooked on polymer clay – it is the most versatile material, and there is no limit to what you can achieve with it. It’s like painting with clay.

rainbow cat canvass

Polymer clay is awesome so I’m not surprised your hooked.

So how long has it been now?

Pigling the First appeared on 23 July 2009, so it’s not even been a year since I started doing this for real.  I’ve lost count of how many wee creatures have emerged since then – must be pushing 1,000 by now. Crikey!

Woah, that’s crap-loads! That is so cool!

organised chaos craft workspace

This is the Kirsten's workspace

My workspace can best be described as organized chaos. I have taken over most of the kitchen table, and I can’t remember the last time we had a sit-down meal. I am gradually taking over the rest of the house by populating it with lovely purchases from my favourite artists and crafters!  I have everything I need within easy reach, and the windows look out onto our patio garden – lots of natural daylight, and I have a natural daylight lamp which is indispensable both for night-time working and taking photos. Radio 4 is my constant companion (I never realised before just how often they repeat their programmes through the day) and I’m getting to be quite a fan of the World Service. However, I have an abiding dislike of Sailing By…

luke, laya, darth vadar cats

These are so much cooler than Radio 4...

What’s the most challenging art-related thing you’ve done so far in your life?

Over Christmas I decided to make up a series of 23 abstract panels based around tree themes. These were special gifts for some wonderful people I’d met on a leadership programme in May 2009. These panels were a big departure from my usual creature creations, and I completely immersed myself in the task over the course of 5 days or so. In total, it took me about 50 hours to make up all 23 panels (each panel measures 4cm square).

amazing polymer fimo artpieces

Click to see closer. (Please!)

I used a wide variety of polymer clay techniques to create each panel, eg millefiori, Skinner blenders, etc – the concept of painting with clay really came into its own. I learned so much during the process, and I’m looking forward to doing more larger scale works in the future.

They look amazing, you are clearly some kind of freaky polymer genius.

fimo unicorn tiny cute

It's so cute! (and magical too)

So what’s the most exciting art-related thing that’s ever happened to you?

OK, this will sound a little strange, but I almost choked up the first time someone used Quernus as a verb, as in, “Can you Quernus my beagle?”!  So I’ve now started a campaign to add “quernus” to the dictionary to mean making something small (esp. cute) even smaller and cuter. Then I’ll know I’ve truly made it. Also I found out last night that I’m a Featured Seller on Folksy! I squealed quite loudly when I found out.

That’s great news, and very much deserved, that’s for sure.

tiny cute zebras polymer clay

Is there anyone that inspires you especially (artists or otherwise)?

I have always loved Georgia O’Keefe’s work – it’s so fluid and organic, and her use of colours is stunning.  And on the literary side, Bill Bryson’s drollness and sense of childlike wonder and curiosity always reminds me to look at the world with fresh eyes, and not assume that I know what’s going on.

Silly question (although sort of fitting) but if you were an animal, what animal what you be (and why)?

I’d definitely be a cat.  They have an inscrutable and ineffable knowing about them. I’d love to know what they know!

polymer geometric cat tiny

And what do you get up to when you’re not making your pieces?

Since February 2010, I have been doing a lot of work with UK Handmade. I am deputy editor of the magazine, and also do a lot of business development and PR work. UK Handmade promotes and supports artists and crafters within the UK. We are working on a number of projects just now, including producing e-books with advice and tips for running your own craft business, setting up local groups across the country, and a host of other initiatives. So when I’m not at the kitchen table, I’m usually to be found on the computer, on the phone, or out and about networking! And sometimes I even get to see my partner, Greg J (not a serious link)

cute fimo horses

Any blogs you’d recommend people check out?

It Belongs To Turtle is one of my absolute favourites – the creator is the very talented Elki Shaw, and she has created the most marvellous character in Turtle – you can read all about the adventures of Turtle and friends at I also have to say that UK Handmade has a great blog ( which is updated daily with lots of helpful articles and interviews. And for lots of lovely pictures of dogs and heart-warming stories, check out Poochie Freak – Angela Chapman’s beautiful photography complements her love of dogs in a wonderful way.

fimo turtles

This piece was comissioned by 'It Belongs To Turtle' - so cute.

I’ve had a look and they are all great blogs, you all must go see.

Ok final question now. What’s your favourite sight, sound, smell and feeling?

I love rainbows. They make my heart smile – the combination of colours is just so perfect, and it reminds me that nature’s pretty much got it all sussed, and we’re the ones with lots of catching up to do. I also love the sound of a lazy summer afternoon, with bumble bees and the distant drone of a lawnmower – that ties in with my favourite smell of fresh cut grass and honeysuckle from my childhood and.  And the feeling I love is when you see a beautiful sunset, or a beautiful view (I am particularly fond of trees), and I am overcome by a feeling that all is well with the world. It’s a wonderfully grounded feeling, like burrowing your toes into warm sand.

fimo detailed horses

They like grass too.

Great answers. Thanks so much for letting me interview you. I hope it keeps going so well. =)

And that’s it for today kids! I must say looking through Kirsten’s Flickr sets for photos to feature in this post, my mind was absolutely blown. She is an absolute genius. There are all so fantastically cute and hilarious. Please all go and take a good look.

Thanks so much for coming along and reading. Watch this space for another blog post about something else at somepoint! Yay!

Good day.

Polymer clay is awesome so I’m not surprised your hooked.

The Wirrow

June 15, 2010

Good evening dear readers! (or morning or afternoon I suppose),

the wirrow imagining

Today I am here to share with you a wondrous artist that from the moment I saw his work, he blew my mind. To start with, the video below features lots of his art and some of his music and I think it’s a good place to begin.

One of the reasons I really like what Wirrow does is that, in his own words he ‘creates characters and tells stories‘. Also, like me he ‘likes things that are lo-fi and organic’.

wirrow art piece
The art he creates gets right down into my soul and manages to affect me deeply. Every piece he creates has a longing, and also this amazing wonderment to it. It’s almost nostalgic in some ways, but at the same time I’ve never seen anything like it.

wirrow art piece
Many of them are also just really sweet,

wirrow art fox cub hug

they are often hilarious

speech bubble thought bubble wirrow

and they always make me smile – even when they’re sad somehow.

art piece wirrow

I had a really hard time picking so few of his pieces to feature in this post so I’d recommend heading over to his blog and his website and spending many hours looking at everything very closely.

cats on my mind

To close, here’s one of his animations (that the geeks among you will like especially).

wirrow show is over

And that, is today’s blog post. I only wish I could make things this beautiful. Perhaps one day I will. I’d like to thank Wirrow for making such amazing pieces and for putting them out into the world.

Thanks for coming,


Joe Hurry Creations’ Interesting Conversations

May 26, 2010

Hello you lovely readers. Today I start another new feature in which I interview interesting people about the interesting or awesome things they do(at least that’s the premise).

Today I’d like to introduce you to Lesley Karpiuk of ‘GEEKSOAP’.GEEKSOAP maker

GEEKSOAP is a new venture that makes some of the coolest soap I ever did see. If you aren’t particularly geeky the greatness of these soaps might go over your head a bit, it’s true. But hopefully you’ll find Lesley inspiring and interesting. She makes each bar of GEEKSOAP herself, by hand, in her kitchen and in a few short months she’s made quite a success of it so far. I recently interviewed her and we had an interesting conversation and this is what you’ll find below. Enjoy!twitter facebook gifts

What led you to start doing your craft?
I’ve been crafty as long as I can remember. I dabbled in soapmaking back in college around 2001 but nothing geeky. In May 2009 I made my first Batman soap. I had been knitting a friend a Batman washcloth for a birthday gift, but when it was finished it didn’t seem like enough. I wanted to make something to go with the washcloth, and soap seemed to be the perfect complement. I pulled out my soapmaking supplies from my craft box (I save everything) and set to work to design some Batman soap. It was a hit, and I sold a few bars around Christmas in 2009. At the time I was doing mostly knit and crochet, but in early 2010 while crocheting a Cthulhu hat, I was inspired to try some Cthulhu soap. The rest is history! I started making so much geeky soap in late February/early March that I decided to separate my geeky soap from my knit and crochet Etsy and officially created GEEKSOAP.

batman geeksoap

How long has it been now?

Though I flirted with soapmaking briefly in college, my first geeky soap wasn’t made until May 2009. I didn’t start focusing on my geeky soap as its own separate business until 3 months ago, though. I have been making things for as long as I can remember.

What’s your workspace like?
I’ve taken over my kitchen. And the living room. And just about everywhere else I can store soap supplies. I have a dedicated counter for soaping with a wide ledge above it for drying and drawers for some supplies. Thankfully the kitchen leads out into the living room, where I have three large, long tables together for my staging area and where I set up orders to be shipped. I’ve got lots of those large tupperware type drawer units out there to keep things organized, too. My computer and printer are in between the kitchen and living room, which is convenient because I’m usually simultaneously replying to customers or printing labels in between making and moving loads of soap.NES cartridge geeksoap

What’s the most challenging art-related thing you’ve done so far in your life?

I’ve always picked up various crafts quickly. All but crochet. Most people learn crochet first and knitting later because crochet is supposed to be the easier of the two. I learned knitting first and then tried to teach myself crochet from watching online tutorials. I tried to teach myself and gave up at least two times before I finally figured it out. It was SO difficult for me to grasp at first, but now that I’ve been doing it for a couple years it’s become second nature. To this day, though, I still feel that crochet is more difficult than knitting. Maybe it’s because when crocheting there are thousands of potential stitches to stick your hook into so it’s easier to work into the wrong stitch… but with knitting, all of your stitches are one after the other on the needle, so you always know exactly where to insert the needle to complete the next stitch. Now I’m rambling.

What’s the most exciting art-related thing that’s ever happened to you?

I’ve made a lot of things over the years that has received positive feedback, and recently I was featured in many places on the Internet, complete with a couple RL magazine photo shoots done of my soap, but nothing tops the reaction to a gift that I made and gave to my brother and sister-in-law. This past Christmas I did a large, somewhat abstract painting of my brand new nephew to give to them. When they opened the giant painting on Christmas morning, it moved my brother to tears, though he tried hard to hold them back. They still talk about that painting being the most important thing that they own, and to me, that is the best, most exciting feeling about something I created with my own two hands ever.

Is there anyone (artists or otherwise) that inspire you especially?

I am inspired by the small, indie handmade crowd; I find handmade and local to be so important, and thanks to the Internet I am able to connect with small independent crafters more easily. I am inspired by their hard work and their true dedication to the quality of their craft vs. mass production.

If you were an animal, what animal what you be and why?
I’d be a moose. I don’t know why, but I love moose. I lived in Canada for three years and wanted to see one in person SO BADLY. It figures that after living out west in Calgary all that time it would take an anniversary vacation to Nova Scotia on the east coast before I saw my first one. One month before we moved back to the states. At least I can say I saw one before we left the country. I heart moose.

When you’re not making your pieces, what do you get up to?
When I’m not making soap, I’m probably knitting/crocheting something or gaming. I love playing video games! Anything on a Nintendo console or MMORPGs on my PC… I play them all. I also like to rollerblade when the weather cooperates.

Would you recommend us some blogs worth checking out?
Yes! There are so many good blogs out there, but some of my favorites include How Science Fiction Failed Us on GeekShui (all good stuff there)
SciFabulous by Emily Pritchard
and for the knitting geeks, I adore Knit Purl Gurl’s blog at
Finally, what’s your favourite sight, sound, smell and feeling?
My favorite sight is of my husband and our two dogs snuggling. Sometimes I’ll look over and they’re all cuddled together in a big pile saving a spot for “mama” on the couch and I can’t resist their faces. I swear those three can NEVER get in trouble when they give me their puppy dog faces.
My favorite sound is the crashing of the Atlantic ocean against the rocky shores of Nova Scotia, Canada. I dream about it.
This is going to make me seem totally crazy (If you didn’t already think I was), but I love the smell of my husband’s deodorant – Old Spice. He doesn’t wear cologne, so this is the smell that I have associated with him, and it’s the most comforting smell in the whole world.

While we’re referencing my craziness, I’ll also admit that I love squishing soft yarn before I start a new fiber project. I have a hard time keeping myself from petting yarn; how it feels is the most important part of my decision to use it.


And that’s all for today kids. Hope you enjoyed getting to know Lesley as much as I did. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her and her soap as the business continues to grow.

See you all again soon,

Thanks for coming,


Joe Hurry Creations’ Genius Occupations

April 27, 2010

Hello again everyone,

Today we’re revisiting one of my lovely new features – Joe Hurry Creations’ Genius Occupations. I’ve found you guys a really cool one and I think you’ll be pleased you visited. Let’s begin, shall we?

scrap metal sculpture

High up in the American Northeast, in a town called North Freedom, Wisconsin, there is a man called Tom Avery. He also goes by the name Dr. Evermore and he is responsible for a scrap-metal sculpture known as The Forevertron, which is the biggest  scrap-metal sculpture in the world. Weighing in at over 300 tons (320 to be exact) this amazing structure climbs 50 feet in the air and stretches out to 120 feet along the ground.

amazing recycled sculpture

As the owner of a salvage business, he began turning his talents to this fantastic creation and after many many years (26 of them I believe) he has one of the coolest free attractions I ever did hear of. The place is now littered with (hah!) hundreds of sculptures of varying size, from waist high to 20+ feet tall. There’s the most amazing bird band which is probably my favourite part I’ve seen so far, with 70 different bird/instrument hybrid creatures.

recycled sculpture

Aren't they just fantastic? Click the image to see them in more detail.

Tom is especially cool because he doesn’t use sketches, blueprints or calculations to build these creations. He just builds them and manages to make them stand up safely and happily (even when they weigh 20 tonnes or more). recycled birds

The only bad thing about this place is that it’s so very far away and while you may have a chance to go (and you really should if you do) I’m probably not going to.sculpture chimes

Now, that’s not to imply stuff like ‘good things never happen to me’ or ‘I’m so poor I won’t ever be able afford it’. I’m not a whiny little b*tch so that’s certainly not what I’m trying to do. Basically I don’t have a passport right now, and I’ve got a baby on the way and while I’d love to go to this place, I don’t really want to have to go to America at all. Here’s one more picture:

scrap metal art

Either way, my respect goes to this fantastic individual and his amazing creation. Once again, I think he has created a truly genius occupation.

See you all again soon,

Thanks for coming,


Jenny’s Amazing Gifts – Part 2

December 19, 2009

Hello everyone,

Today we’re going to look at another one of the awesome gifts that Jenny has made me over the years we’ve been together.

Now Jenny knows me very well indeed and some of you may know by now (if you’ve been paying attention) that I absolutely *love* tiny things. Jenny used this knowledge when making my birthday card last year and the results will astound and amaze.

How tiny is that?!

As you can see above, she made the most amazingly brilliant birthday card ever! It’s one of my cards, only it’s big enough to put on the end of my nose, or to be carried around on my thumb. The card was actually printed out using our printer, she made the envelope herself and she even made a tiny first class stamp! Look!

Miniature stamp

Even the address is genius. =)

On the inside it reads (in tinsy-winsy writing):

‘Dear Joe,

I hope you can read this!

Happy Birthday!

Love Jenny’

I know – how did she fit all that in such a tiny card? I don’t know either, but lets just accept it and not feel bad that we aren’t able to understand it.

Anyway, that’s all for today. But there are many more wonderful gifts for me to share, a couple of secrets to tell you and a couple of courses to show you pictures of – so keep your eye on this blog (though I wouldn’t expect many blog entries over christmas to be honest) for it’s all very interesting.

Happy Christmas to you all! I hope you all have a beautiful time free from work and have plenty of good cheer. =)

See you again soon,


Artist Interview

November 30, 2009

Hey everyone!

That’s right, it’s another blog post! Who woulda thunkit?! Today I will be sharing with you my first interview with another artist who I think is amazing. Depending on my mood, I may do more of these sporadically. For now though, enjoy. =)

I recently came across this artist a month or so ago via a bit of a chain. Someone tweeted an article about hand drawn websites and her’s was one of two absolutely beautiful one’s that really blew me away. She makes some absolutely beautiful pieces and I wanted to share her work with you. I got in touch with her a few weeks back and she agreed to answer some questions. So I present to you, Mel Kadel:

What first inspired you to do art?
I don’t think of what inspired me to start doing art, but just that I
kept doing it. I think all kids make art, but at some point or some age many of us stop drawing. I felt a great deal of challenge with drawing and felt a sense of accomplishment when something worked, so i kept on doing it.

How long have you been doing it?
High School is when I began to become very focussed on it. I had a really influential art teacher. She was unlike any other teacher or adult I had ever met. She would talk to us, tell stories, challenge us, and really expected
a lot out of us. I’d walk into her room and feel inspired, unlike some other classrooms I’d walk into at that age.

What is your workspace like?
I would say it’s pretty organized. I like to keep a clean desk, and just have the inks and pens around me. It’s a room attached to our kitchen. My boyfriend Travis Millard works in the room next to me. He’s an artist too, so we spend a lot of time looking over each other’s shoulders and giving feedback. It’s a small place, but we just fill it with desks and make it work.

What’s the most challenging art-related thing you’ve ever done?
I think talking about my work in front of an audience is probably the
most difficult. Although it’s only happened a couple of times, my stomach still sinks with the thought of it. Even if there is a lot of clarity about it in my mind, talking about it can be tough.

What’s the most exciting art-related thing that’s ever happened to you?
Selling work to people that aren’t collectors. In particular, I remember this retired school teacher who bought a piece a few years ago. She told me that she had never bought a piece of art in her whole life. That made me feel so so good, because she didn’t add up the value of the work within the art world, but got it because she loved it and it made sense to her. That, and Ian MacKaye came to a show that Travis and I had together.

Who are any other artists who you admire?
Travis Millard, Swoon, Raymond Pettibon, Aurel Schmidt, Allison Schulnik, Cy Twombly, and so many more. These are just the first few names to pop in my head.

If you were an animal, what animal what you be?
A squirrel

What do you do when you’re not doing your art?
Build fires, sweep the porch, cook, walk, look for my cat, look for sticks to build the fires, make coffee, stain paper, and stuff like that.

Are there any blogs or websites you’d recommend people check out?
Here are a few sites I enjoy:

and finally,

What’s your favourite sound, sight and smell?

Rain, Water, Basil.


I must say she is very cool indeed and I’d highly recommend having a look through the drawings on her site. They are all amazingly beautiful and dramatic as you’ve seen in the few I’ve featured in this post, but there’s many more. She is based in the U.S.A so you won’t be seeing her at any UK craft fairs or anything, but you can buy various works by her in many places online. There’s loads on her ‘News‘ page on her site, like this and this.

Hope you enjoyed the interview, stay tuned for all kinds of other awesome.

Good day,

Joe x

Jess Bradley’s amazing art

November 8, 2009

Hello my pretties,

Today I’m going to do a bit of a feature on someone elses work that I absolutely love. I recently came across a lovely girl named Jess Bradley through a bit of chain of randomness. I was on someone’s blogspot blog (I can’t remember who they were annoyingly – someone into Japanese-type stuff) and she had all her followers in the side bar and one of the little avatar images looked hilarious so I decided to click through to the person’s blog. This is where I ended up.

Jess Bradley is a wonderful artist who is a masterful creator of:

The ridiculously cute.

The brillaintly absurd.

And the wonderfully hilarious (although the above are clearly also hilarious):

It’s all got a japanese style to it, as they are the masters of cute stuff really (you can’t deny it), and it’s all just great really.

The blog led me to her website, which I was then on for a good hour, annoying Jenny by interrupting her every minute or so to show her another ‘Thingie’ or ‘Kiyarakuta’.

If you like the work I’ve posted here, then check out her website for yourself (but make sure you’ve got some time). She also has a blog, Etsy shop, Deviant Art Gallery (or you could even follow her on Twitter). Loads of options!

That’s all for today, but since this was a relatively ‘easy’ post I’ll try and post something a little more substantial in the next day or so. I’m considering a new competition, so get your competition boots on (if you have them).

Thanks for reading,

See you again soon,