Continuing on with the Sunday Artist Interviews – many are lined up, so keep checking back, I think we need a few more distractions from the rather scary times we’re all living in right now! I’ve actually been doing these interviews over a year now! Here’s Joy to tell you a bit about herself and her art….
First of all, who are you?
I’m Joy Salt aka JOYSofGLASS. I live in rural Staffordshire where I work in my studio come garage as a Glass Artist.
I’ve been making glass since I did a 4 day WI course in leaded glass at the beginning of 2008. I was immediately hooked though I had never cut a piece of glass or used a soldering iron before the course.
I quickly switched from leaded glass to Tiffany copper foiled sun-catchers. I can do every single bit of these all by myself which is much more satisfying than windows which need fitting by someone else and it also needs a smaller workbench.
I started selling online in 2009 and have a busy shop on Folksy as well as my more recent shop on the lovely British Craft House.
After about 5 years, so I could make some fused glass, I bought a small kiln which runs off a normal electrical supply. I make only one off fused pieces as the kiln plate is only 18cm
I draw up my patterns in the office and scan them in so I can print out copies to work from. I cut my glass in the garage / studio at the end of the garden and grind each piece to smooth the edges. Then I copper foil on the sofa watching mindless daytime TV for company (I can just walk out when my glass is foiled). Then soldering is in the porch where the roof is high (good for lead fumes !) and the light is good. Then a wash, fit a chain, polish and take photos ready to add to my shops in the evening.
A really addictive ‘hobby’… I twitch if I can’t get my fingers on my glass cutter and work more hours a day than I ever did in my previous IT life..
When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you answer?
I don’t think anyone ever asked me. It was assumed I would be a teacher as that is what educated grammar school girls did then but I decided aged 15 that was not for me but had no idea what I would do. Until my last year at university when I did an IT course, to avoid the pure Economics alternative, and found my place in life. A++ in both coursework and exam clinched it.
What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?
Then there was the time when my big strong gazebo was blown over in a gale at a Christmas fair. That was not funny as I had been having a lovely day but had to pack up and go home.
Next fair was not windy and the gazebo appeared useable…. But… when we tried to take it down and fold it up so it fitted into the car… eeerr it wouldn’t and we had to leave a twisted mess of metal behind near some dustbins. Always felt a bit guilty !.
What is the hardest part of being creative?
The hardest part is feeling that I really need to make something even when I am short of time and really should be doing something else… like the ironing or the cleaning.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Rome wasn’t built in a day if that’s not too much of a cliché. Practice may not make perfect, especially with handmade but it does go a long way towards it. If you are not happy with something you have made, bin it or stick it up in your window as a reminder that you can do better and only make what pleases you because that way it will please others too.
What subjects inspire you?
Flowers and scenery. I’ve often come out of the garden inspired to a new floral design and have made several landscape panels when we’ve returned from a holiday in our motorhome.
What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?
My Water Lily. I designed it for my daughter’s birthday and love to see it hanging in her window when I visit.
What was the last piece of art you sold?
This budgie which I made to order for a customer who had just bought two other pieces.
And finally… Because this is really important….
What’s the best type of cheese? (haha)
Wensleydale with Cranberries.
I was brought up on some pretty awful Lancashire cheese which always tasted of soap so it took me a while to retrain my taste buds and still don’t eat uncooked ‘smelly’ cheeses…