We met Rebecca J Coles (paper artist) in her workshop.
What kind of training did you attend? and How did you find your way with these techniques?
I have both a BA and MA for textiles. My masters specialized in Constructed Textiles, and my discipline was woven textiles.
I think the nature of a repetitive process to create a piece of work is something that weavers demonstrate, and this follows through and is shown with my current work.
The notion of repetition and small scale is important to my work. Whilst studying I knew that I didn't want to pursue weaving as a career, however I used what I learned as a stepping stone which has naturally progressed to where I am now.
Which experience do you consider as more important, the one in the workshop laboratory or that of a classroom training?
I would say both. Classroom training is of course essential, but based on you having your own discipline and desire to learn, as well as having passionate and talented tutors.
Workshop laboratory experience is also just as important because it is allows you to gain 'real' experience of what life will be offering within the design industry once you have left education.
Whilst studying I knew that I didn't want to pursue weaving as a career, however I used what I learned as a stepping stone which has naturally progressed to where I am now.
I feel more of an'artist', working within a crafts discipline.
The term 'craft' sometimes denotes a field that people perceive differently to that of 'art', which seems to conjure a more 'contemporary' balance.
What are the channels to promote your business?
Gallery exhibitions, website, and fairs...
Origin, for me, is a fantastic opportunity to showcase my work. This is my second year, and I am fortunate enough that it continues to be a success. I also think that having a website, and one that works and represents you and your work to a high standard, is also vital. It isn't just our work that sells...for some people they like to know the maker so it is important to promote just that.
You feel more of an artist, craftsman or balance between the two definitions?
I feel more of an'artist', working within a crafts discipline. The term 'craft' sometimes denotes a field that people perceive differently to that of 'art', which seems to conjure a more 'contemporary' balance. Origin, being a contemporary craft fair, is an example of just this.
What passion drives you, inspires you or motivates you?
Wanting to create work that I am proud of, and that people will want. Receiving compliments about my work is the first step to encourage me to continue with my practice, that and people buying my work, is another motivation. Seeing other artists develop their work and practice is always inspirational, and something I therefore aspire to. This is a business at the end of the day, and turning it from what can be perceived as a hobby, into a profiting business is something that is challenging, but drives you forward.
The relationship between the technique of the hand and the creativity of the mind is increasingly difficult to handle...
Repetition is very apparent in my work, and the fact that my work is all hand crafted is vital. That is what my work is about.
I find that my creative pathway is all very instinctive, and I respond to my work subconsciously. The process from start to finish and the development of my ideas, is all very organic.
How long does it take to make one of your creations, like the “Stamps 04” piece?
It's very difficult to put a time scale to my work, because not only do I sometimes work on numerous pieces at once but I also alternate my work patterns so I don't damage my hands. Cutting out in long duration isn't good.
For the 'Stamps' piece, I spent a week, solidly, choosing the stamps, folding them, drawing the stencils and then cutting out the butterflies. The following week I then pinned them all and created several pieces from them.
Without framing time, I would have to say that Stamps04 would take approximately 2 weeks.