Monday, April 13, 2009

Artist Spotlight on Suz from Solar Flare Creations

This weeks spotlight is on a woman who not only creates work that I love, but is also a dear friend of mine.  An Australian native, Suz is a teacher, lampwork artist, jewelry artist, and a medieval recreationist.  How she finds time for all of that plus juggling a husband and a dog I don't know, maybe days in Australia are longer or something :)
It is a cold and dreary day here on my side of the world so I chose this pair of earrings out of her ArtFire shop.  I love the bright, sunny colors, they remind me that Summer will come again, even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment.
Aren't they yummy!
And now, here's Suz in her own words.
1) Name, Location Suzanne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2) Where can you be found online?  3) What do you do? I am a secondary Art & Photography teacher who makes glass beads as a hobby. 4) How long have you done it? About 6 years. 5) How did you start? An American Ex-pat living in Melbourne told me about Lampworking, and pointed out the course in the Adult Education guide for the local TAFE college. I took a beginner’s course with Kathryn Wardill, and a few months later, an Intermediate Course. 6) Why did you choose this and not something else? I’ve dabbled in many arts and crafts over the years. As an Art/Tech teacher, I had covered about 15 studio areas in my training, but for my own personal expression it has been painting, photography, singing and now glass. There is something very addictive about working with an open flame and molten glass, which tends to take over my other artistic interests. Except singing – I still perform in musical theatre regularly. 7) How did you learn your craft? As I mentioned, I took some lessons to begin with, but I have also found the interaction with other beadmakers on various forums invaluable for expanding my skills and raising the bar. 8) Is this a full time profession for you or do you have another job? I teach secondary school full time, so it is only a hobby at the moment. 9) If this isn’t your full time profession, would you do it full time if you could? Probably not. My husband has always been concerned that if sales became the imperative driving my glass work, the fun would be gone, so he has encouraged me to make it a ‘self funding hobby’. On the other hand, regular sales help keep up the momentum, make me torch more regularly and more productively to replace sold inventory. 10) Anything you want to share with others in your craft or who may be considering your craft? Be warned – it’s addictive!! It’s hard to dabble and not get sucked in. ☺ 11) Anything that I didn’t ask that you would like to talk about? I am also involved in medieval re-enactment, and I research and recreate historical beads. There are various articles and a ‘bead timeline’ I have created under ‘SCA” on my webpage.

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