All Little Red packaging is made from 80% recycled materials! I currently work from my home but am hoping to convert a garage into an eco-workshop within the next year – this will involve solar panels and a mini wind turbine to provide the energy I’ll need, plus nifty ways of keeping the heat (very important when working in Scotland!).
My first job after leaving University was picking rubbish off the street during the Edinburgh Festival! The next was a step up from that - I worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and, though I left a while ago, I still have a huge soft-spot for birds and am always on the look-out for vintage bird-stamps to use in my jewellery.
Jumping out of an aeroplane is one of the best things I have ever done. It was made all the more exhilarating
because I jumped out over the sea in a very shark-infested area of Australia!
I think that rhubarb is under-rated.
I believe that crafters and makers should work together and support each other. I also believe that supporting your local makers is really important - that's why I've launched The Market, a makers fair that will take place this December in Edinburgh. If this is successful, I plan to extend The Market's remit to not just hosting fairs where makers can get together, sell and network, but also hosting events, workshops and info evenings where makers can learn from each other.
Little Red is still very new and I'm still learning loads. One thing I've learned in my dealings with shops and other makers is that being yourself and being honest with everyone you deal with is the only way to be.
What got you started crafting?
I've always loved making things. When I was very small I used to sharpen wax crayons and put the sharpenings in a glass jar filled with water then freeze them in the freezer. The results were beautiful - multicoloured curls of wax suspended in ice. I was lucky to have parents who encouraged this kind of experimentation! Now I work with resin, capturing bright scraps of paper or a torn old envelope and embedding them in resin, making it shiny and altogether new. It's not so unlike the ice-experiments I made when I was 4 years old.
I have a MA in Fine Art at University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh College of Art, where I specialised in mixed-media and photographic abstract collages. I still make these artworks but the 'fine art world' often leaves me feeling cold. It can be elitist, and separates itself from reality. I wanted to make individual, one-of-a-kind things that people could afford to buy and could take with them every day. Each one is completely unique and I hope that when people buy one or receive one as a gift it makes them smile to wear it.
What is your source of inspiration?
Old scraps of material, paper and envelopes - I love cardboard and craft papers! Also inspiring is finding old stamps and postcards and thinking about who sent the letter all those years ago and who received it! I also love discovering new jewellery makers, print-makers and photographers. it doesn't matter how many thousands of people are out there making things, there's always something new being created. I also love being outside - by the sea or up a hill - I'm all about the fresh air!
What have you made recently?
I recently made this New York airmail brooch from a vintage US stamp which was posted in Chicago. I like the idea that the stamp's already been on quite a journey and now, as a brooch on someone's jacket or jumper, who knows where it will go!
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I sell my jewellery online, at craft fairs throughout Scotland and I'm currently building up my list of shop-stockists. At the moment you can get your hands on my pieces in EatiBoutiquie, Glasgow, Vertiline in Love in Sheffield, Peter Potter Gallery in Haddington and at Studio One in Edinburgh. If you'd like to join the list, get in touch!
Because each item is a one-off, once it's gone, it's gone! There is, however, a SOLD section on the website. If you see something here you like do get in touch, I might be able to create something similar for you.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
When you buy handmade you're directly supporting someone who has chosen to make beautiful things with their own hands, rather than, say, work for a big capitalist corporation. I think these people should be supported!