I've got a lovely etsy shop find for you today, and it's a chat with Anna Wiscombe who creates the most beautiful wooden products...
I'm totally in love with sooo many of her beautifully crafted birds, in particular her Mother and Baby sets.
But she also makes stunning necklaces using yummy colour palettes.
So, as I usually say, grab a cuppa, and maybe a cheeky biscuit and get to know Anna better.
Here we go..
1. Tell us a bit about you and your background...
I studied Fine Art at University.
It was a course of self-directed study for the full 3 years which gave me a great grounding in working independently and following my own ideas.
I didn't realise it at the time but it has helped me enormously now that I run my own business!
Although I studied Fine Art it was obvious that I was always more interested in craft, so when I left Uni I struggled a bit with what to do next.
I worked part time as a PA for a few years but was always making things in my spare time, developing them into little businesses and selling at markets!
When I started to work with wood though, something just clicked, and as my current ranges developed I knew that it might be time to take the plunge and go full time!
I did that at the end of 2012 and haven't looked back!
2. Tell us about a typical day for you…
I work much better in the day than evening so (most days!) I try to get up early and get going! I work from my own studio which I have to travel to get to so that's quite helpful in feeling that I'm 'going to work' too.
I normally have orders that I'm working on and a rough plan of what I need to do each day so I start off by cutting out all of the pieces that I need and then gradually working through each stage of the process in making my products.
Lots of cups of coffee are drunk and a good bit of Radio 2 is normally on the go while I sand and saw the day away too!
3. What books/ magazines are currently on your coffee table?
Sadly not so much at the moment!
I've got an old issue of Crafts Magazine with a lovely article about a boat which has been built out of lots of different wooden items, all donated by the public and Country Living!
4. How did you learn your craft?
My woodworking skills are all self-taught but I do have a very crafty Dad who I'm sure has influenced me along the way and still helps out with all my questions about drills and machinery!
5. What inspires you and who are your design heroes?
I take inspiration from tonnes of different things but more often than not it comes from nature and family. I love looking at birds, plants and trees for new ideas for shapes and styles but also love looking back at 1950's design for it's wonderful use of colour and playful images.
Donna Wilson is definitely a design hero of mine.
I think she's got such a great, original style and is always doing something new and interesting.
I think she's a real inspiration for people starting out in the craft world too - to show that you can have a very successful business making the things that you love!
That's pretty cool!
6. Complete the following sentence...
'My happy place is.........'
.... at home in Dorset in my parents garden!
I love it!
It's in the middle of the countryside and is so beautiful and peaceful that it's an endless source of inspiration for me.
There's always lots of birds around for me to take ideas from for shapes and colours and so many lovely plants and flowers too.
7. What makes you laugh?
Definitely my sister!
Especially if we're watching some of our favourite cheesy American films from the 80's!
8. I adore your Mother & Bay and Wagtail brooches…
What is your favourite item currently for sale in your etsy shop?
I think it's still the mother and baby or family wall bird sets.
They were one of the first products I made and I still love making them now.
They're made of oak so as it's such a textured wood, each piece always has a different feel and when I add the eye detail and little carved markings, they really do have a character of their own!
9. What are your top three favourite blogs you read/follow?
I like Trend Bible for keeping up with trends and colours they're forcasting for the coming years.
I also love the work of American designer, Leah Duncan so like to check her blog to see what she's been up to!
Print and Pattern was one of the first blogs I started to look at many years ago too so that's one I still go back to to see what new things are happening in the world of surface design.