Featured Interview: Gimme That Thing
Meet: Amanda Robins
Gimme That Thing
How long have you been making your work and how did it all begin?
I was a ceramicist, then I broke my back and needed something less strenuous to occupy my hands. I discovered some wonderful bead websites and started a collection of focals, giving myself the challenge of sourcing really unusual pieces. I pushed myself to learn new ways to create jewellery and eventually settled on wire wrapping rings and earrings and that is now what Gimme That Thing is all about.
What processes & techniques do you use in your work?
I love to wire wrap. I occasionally use gemstones but to be honest the price that they command can be exorbitant for a bit of rock. I grew up with an older brother who is a geologist so it’s easy for me to realise that this is exactly what these stones are. Some of them have a real wow factor though. I think it’s all about the focals. I’m constantly looking for something that makes my heart skip a beat. I’ve also recently got into precious metal clay, and can use my ceramics skills to create fine silver pieces, and I’ve also gone back to ceramics and make small pieces which I incorporate into my rings, earrings and brooches.
What are you inspired by?
Nature. Sounds corny and so many people claim it as their inspiration but it’s all around us, and each of us take a different bit of it and turn it into something. It’s the way nature throws unlikely colour combinations together that impresses me. Just visualise marine fish! With ceramics it’s more about shape for me.
Do you have a work space or studio? What is it like?
I’m so relieved to say that I don’t have a photo of my workspace. I have a huge 1960s teacher’s desk which I bought for a song, with squillions of drawers for my beads, wires and tools. I can spread everything out, practise craft fair displays and even accommodate a couple of sleeping cats while I work and create.
Where can people buy your work?
I also stock a few brick and mortar shops around the country such as the Gift Gallery in York and sell at several craft fairs in the Manchester area.
How do you promote your work?
I practically live on Facebook. If anyone had told me how useful it would be as a marketing tool and how many fabulous international friends I would make there a year ago I would have found it hard to believe. I don’t think I realised what Facebook could do for business without costing a penny.
What goals do you have for the future?
I want to keep on challenging myself to learn new techniques and skills. I really want to find more stockists this year too.
What advice would you offer to someone thinking about turning their craft/art into a business?
Go for it and enjoy yourself, but don’t go into it thinking it’s going to be a money maker. That way, you won’t get disillusioned with the whole thing. Most importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously and always accept criticism. You can’t please all of the people!
A few of your favourites (just for fun)….
Animal: Cat – black and white
Season: Summer – the hotter the better
Person: My 13 year old daughter. She’s so into manga and has even managed to pursuade me to draw some figures from the books she has.
Food: Any kind of cheese, nuts, white chocolate.
I’m sure you will agree Amanda’s jewellery is stunning! Please visit her folksy shop
to view more of her latest creations.