Thursday, 11 November 2010

Meet the maker ... Machi de Waard

Today we find out more about Machi (formerly known as MagpieNest) and her stunning jewellery.  

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Machi and I’m a jeweller. I’m currently Artist in Residence at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell. I make modern pieces in silver and gold, sometimes using gemstones.

How long have you been making and how did you start out?

I’ve been making since I can remember, even cutting the line from my children’s Snoopy fishing rod to make necklaces. It’s already been 3 years since I started full time as a jeweller and I’m still loving it.

Where do you promote and sell your work?

You can find my jewellery online on Etsy and Folksy, as well as on my own website. I also exhibit at craft fairs and participate in shows with local artists such as the Caversham Artists and the Berkshire Designer Jewellers. Since I’m one of the two jewellers in residence at South Hill Park in Bracknell this year and next, people also drop by there to discuss commissions or just to see what I’m working on.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m a big fan of abstract expressionism and minimalism, so work by artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Yves Klein inspire me. Closer to home, though, my whole family is artistic so I can also see creativity at work in my sister’s knitting or my mom’s painting or my grandmother’s tapestries….the list is endless. I love how you can give the same material to a hundred people to make something and they will all come up with something totally different.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? / What’s the best piece of advice you would give to other makers starting out?

Best advice: take good photos. Advice I would give: make a light box. Look it up on Google and away you go…

Have you got any current projects/new stock you’re working on that you want to tell us about?

I’ve changed my business name to my name (Machi de Waard) from MagpieNest to make it clearer that it’s just me making the jewellery and also so people can find me more easily! I’ve also been very busily honing my collections and have quite a few new items, including new lace bangles, a bigger and better version of my peek ring, and two new silver with gold ball earrings.

Do you have any favourite online sellers or handmade websites that you can recommend?

I have tried many an online shop and have come back to the two that work the best for me: Etsy and Folksy. I feel that they are the easiest to work with in terms of set up and maintenance. It seems to me that these two are the most recognised by people interested in handmade work and also offer a good selection of items to their followers. You can find me on Etsy and Folksy.