Saturday, February 12, 2011

Meet Rachel From Flyingcheesetoastie on Etsy

Meet Rachel From Flyingcheesetoastie on Etsy
You can visit her shop here:

How many years have you worked with glass?

I have been working with glass in some form or other for about 10 years now. I have a degree in Architectural Glass from Edinburgh College of Art where I graduated in 2007 and I built and opened my own studio in the city in 2009.

What triggers ideas for new projects?

Inspiration for new work broadly falls into two categories; I’ve seen a exhibition or residency or funding call for submission and want to respond directly to that or I have work in mind, whether that’s sculptural or gift related that I simply want to and will make regardless of a destination.

When do ideas come to you? How often?

Ideas come to me all the time, I’ve never not got at least 3 or 4 new concepts I’m thinking about and wanting the time to realise them. I’ve never and hope I never suffer with lack of ideas or artist’s block.

What percentage of the day do you think about or work on your art?

I’m a full time glass artist and this really means 110% of the time. If I’m not in the studio, then I’m working on new designs, ordering materials for new designs, or asleep and dreaming about making new work or flying in the clouds!

Do you create daily?

I try to make daily, this isn’t always the case though, pesky administration takes up far too much time and it necessary evil. I also teach glassmaking in the studio, so sometimes I’m there helping others to create pieces rather than my own. Some days I’m manning a craft fair or other event, trying to sell my wares, which again prevents me from physically making.

How important is it for you to create art?

It’s my life, it’s my outlet, it’s my profession and source of income, it’s what keeps me sane and it’s what feeds the cat (and me on a good day!)

Do you feel that choosing the artist’s life has been a sacrifice?

It think sacrifice is really the wrong word to use, I’ve always had the determination and drive to achieve what I want, even if that’s meant waiting or putting other things on hold. I have chosen the life I lead and I could very easily stop, get a regular 9-5 office job with a regular salary and regular tasks, if I felt that would make me happy, but I doubt it. I’m fortunate that at this present moment I only have myself and my cat to support, with no desire for a family of my own just yet. If circumstances change them I and my routine would evolve with it.

Describe your studio:

I have a 200 square ft room in an old secondary school building built in the 1930’s just outside Edinburgh. I make it sound glamorous, it isn’t and it’s why there is only photographs of the interior of my room on my Facebook page. When I first took the space, it was an empty room and over 3 months I purpose built it into a kiln and flameworking studio. I have three glass kilns in there, the biggest is a 2mx1m flat bed and the smallest is the beadkiln. Much of what I undertake is kiln work, including screen-printing with enamels and lost wax casting so the three main workbenches reflect those activities. One bench is a 5ft lightbox, steam bed, mold mixing & storage unit, another is a duel size cutting table with a flip down top and the last is a dedicated cold working area with flat disc grinder, ringsaw, pillar drill and other hand tools. Every possible bit of space is used and serves usually more than once function. I think the only space that isn’t used is the ceiling!

Tell me something about you:

There’s really not much to tell, I’m quite boring in that my entire existence revolves around my glass and occasionally my cat. In my mind, I still have another year or so before I hit 30 and then I might have to be more sensible but till then, I’m living my dream and taking all the opportunities I can to enjoy my work! But if you really want to get some more information about me, my past adventures, or even how I ended up naked in Trafalgar Square in the name of art, them please feel free to contact me via my website, Facebook, Twitter or Etsy!