Hi everyone, my name is Anja and I was born in Germany but spent quite a few years travelling with my parents, mainly in the Middle East. I used to love the Souks, the bare bright light bulbs and gold! I think my interest in decoration started there. My work? I make jewellery out of old ceramic tea cups, dinner plates, mugs, and found shards out of the farmers’ fields. Anything that is unloved and banished to the charity shop or has been thrown away ……
Apart from creating things what else do you enjoy doing?
I have a very badly behaved Camper, called Bungle (because he’s a bit slow) and whenever we can, we try and squeeze mini trips out in him. Normally Cornwall, lots of hidden coves where you can park up for the night. We very quickly go native. I also like to dance badly and buy far too many books, if that’s possible
Where does your inspiration come from?
It’s hard to put my finger on this. The broken shards usually dictate what they are going to be, and the whole process just evolves. At every step of the process, there is a hazard, and the shard can splinter and fracture, so what was to be part of a necklace, might turn into cufflinks instead, or earrings. I never sketch anything out. The closest I get to any kind of planning is when I have spent a week smoothing all the pieces, and then just scatter them onto my desk, to see what patterns seem to want to marry each other. I should pay attention to what’s in the shops, but I don’t want to be influenced.
Describe your studio or workspace?
I am based in an Art Centre, and rent a small studio shop from where I make and can sell my work. It’s very white, bright and gets very dusty! I also have more machines at home so that if I have not managed to get much done in the studio/shop, I can catch up in the evenings. I have tolerant neighbours.
What is a typical work day for you?
I am a night owl, so find mornings come round too quickly! I am presented with a coffee at 8am, and then switch on my computer. Check e-mails, ETSY, Facebook, Twitter, and at 9am start to think about getting ready to walk to the Studio. I try and open up at 10am, but can slip to 10.30am if I have banking or have quickly popped into charity shop to check for sad and chipped plates. I work usually till 5pm in the studio, or a little earlier if Archie the dog has had to stay at home. Get in, open up e-mails and see what has happened in the world. I also use the evenings for uploading images onto Etsy or Facebook. I like to try and keep my page interesting. I don’t mind admin, but it does take up a lot of time. Being your own boss is hard work, and you have to be very organised. If you love doing what you do, then it should never feel like work
What do you love most about what you do?
Think it’s the surprise of how the broken china morphs into something new…and that I don’t really have that much control over it. I also like watching people’s faces when you tell them what the shard was originally, it’s history, story, how it was broken, and look at it now. Nothing is wasted, I like that too.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Grayson Perry, I love him. He’s funny, grounded. You could have a good night out with him. I wish he lived next door to me.
Which local artist/maker do you most admire?
Dawn Cooper, the most gorgeous images ever. Go check out her work. I am also very biased towards my partners work, Ken Grix. He’s just won first prize for Architecture at the R.A summer exhibition. If you find you self in London, have a peep at his models for the South Bank Centre.
Tell us your current loves:
* Shop: bakeries, can I say that?
* Restaurant / Café: Mells Walled Garden, they do the scummiest stone baked Pizza
* Blog: Ellen Giggenbach, drips with colour
* Magazine: I buy Elle Decoration every now and then, but I find Pinterest a bit like a magazine, so much there, recipes, travel spots.. Very addictive.
* Book: Remake it Home, all about up cycling items
* Designer / maker / artist: I also really like Jane Fosters lovely clean palette and for a nostalgia feel, Angie Lewin.
If you were stranded in the wilds somewhere, what item would you need with you the most?
An unbroken cup to drink out of.
Thank you Anja. What a beautiful idea, and so totally unique too. You can find Anja's stunning 'found' jewellery in our Paper Scissors Stone shop.
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