Our featured artist takes something old and makes it into something new. Come and meet
Here is our interview with the artist, Lorraine -
Briefly describe what you make?
I (mostly) make clothing and accessories and all of my items are created with upcycled materials. This has its upsides and downsides – the downside being that an item cannot be re-made exactly as the original and the upside is that each item is truly one of a kind!
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
Any fibers, textiles, jewelry, notions or other salvaged items. I am addicted to rescuing otherwise forgotten and discarded items and I use the characteristics of the existing pieces to inform my designs - the final piece evolves during the creation process and often ends up quite different from the original concept!
How long have you been creating craft?
I cannot remember a time that I didn’t create – from my very earliest memories of spending hours making simple daisy chains through painting, sculpting and altered art, I have always created. I grew up helping my Mum sew my dance costumes and learning photography from my Dad – I can still remember going into the attic where the darkroom was and watching the magical process of pictures appearing on a blank sheet of paper (pre-digital of course!).
How did you get started?
Hmmm – I’d love to give you a wonderfully profound story, but the truth is my creations and collections of found treasures were starting to take over the house! With much encouragement from friends and family I decided to overcome my fear and “put myself out there” as an artist/designer. Although the fear still lingers, I love it! I can create to my heart’s content and I no longer have to secretly squirrel away my finds or feel guilty about constantly hunting for treasures!
Where does the name of your shop come from?
I moved to Canada from England and it always made me laugh when my brothers referred to my move as “hopping across the pond”. I later realized that “pondhopper” was actually a well used term for expats who moved to a country across the ocean from their own! Anyways, I thought it would be appropriate and decided to pair it with “studio” which is admittedly a rather grand name for my little room where all my designs are brought to life!
As a child our family travelled by ferry (long before the Chunnel was built!) from Dover to Calais every year and then camped throughout Europe for our summer holiday. There were always seagulls that accompanied the ferry across the “pond” so I decided to incorporate a seagull as imagery for my shop. I also liked the message of the 1970’s book Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach about the seagull that didn’t want to be one of the crowd and aspired to greater things, and as seagulls are natural scavengers, it seemed to fit! I spent a morning sitting outside our local Tim Hortons taking pictures of the seagulls that were waiting to scoop up doughnut crumbs before I finally snapped the seagull you see in my shop banner.
What would you most want people to know about your work?
I love the whispers of lingering stories in my work and the way they make each piece so very unique - one of my customers told me that she loved wearing my designs because they inspired her, I hope that my work passes on a bit of that feeling to each new owner.
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
Be brave . listen to your heart . don’t stress when your muse goes silent for a while . share . push through barriers . have fun . be generous with your hugs
This is truly a unique shop and you must see it!