You may have heard the news already - but we're welcoming a new, amazingly talented crafter to our team! Michelle Jackson-Mogford is joining the Crafter's Companion crew - so we thought this was the perfect opportunity to kick off our 'Meet the Maker' blog series.
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Colourful, Creative, Passionate, Loyal, Procrastinator.
How did you get into craft?
When I decided to give up my life in theatre as a Designer and Stage Manager I knew I wanted to return to my arty roots but didn’t know in which way. My mum kept telling me about a Scrapbook magazine (Scrapbook Inspirations) she’d seen so I tracked it down, read it from cover to cover and decided it was my kind of art, mixing collage with story telling and decided to give it a go, a winning competition entry to celebrate national scrapbook day saw me published several times in the readers gallery and a couple of features and eventually I was named one of the Best of British scrapbookers through the magazine and the rest, as they say, is history!
What is a typical day like for you:
After doing all the boring chores of life in a morning I retreat to my studio, or hovel as I sometimes lovingly call it! Depending on how the mood takes me, or what I’m working on I will be drawing and painting, cutting and sticking or working digitally on some of my creations getting them ready for people to play with. A break at tea time will be a walk with my boys, Stan and Ollie the Shih Tzus, sometimes round the village lanes and fields taking in the glorious views round here and sometimes it’s a trip in the car to the beach to blow the cobwebs out. After tea it’s back to the studio for a few hours …. I’m a real night owl and sometimes will work on in to the early hours when I’m engrossed in a project although I do try and stop around 11ish to grab an hours telly to unwind before bed …. that doesn’t always happen!
What are your favourite mediums and why:
Hmmm this can depend on my mood at the time. The medium I go back to time and time again though is pencil. I am addicted to coloured pencils and have all kinds of them. I love watercolour colour pencils for the versatility and then working back into them with blendable pencils to get a richness of depth. I love colour and find that I can build the layers up with pencils to achieve the richness and intensity that I want. My other love is paint, acrylic mainly for it’s versatility and richness of colour but I dabble with other kinds if it suits a project, Aqua tints were a real revelation to me. I like to play with new mediums when they come out, Brushos are a recent obsession and my new fave rave at the moment is Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens!
Tell us about your favourite creation:
Oh that’s a hard one! On a very grand scale probably my step sons wedding this year which was a Mexican theme. I made a full size tree of life which sat behind them at the reception, Mexican hats bedecked with flowers and flying hearts for the tables, Mexican sugar skulls for the top table, a pop up guest book with a miniature tree of life in it and so many other bits including a 3 tiered cake stand covered in flowers and chocolate cake with a mini sugar skull family on the top, the day was bright, colourful and a real fiesta! On a smaller scale, and a claim to fame, is a miniature theatre I made for Henry Winkler … the Fonz when he was doing panto with my hubs years ago. The scenery replicated what was on stage and I made paper dolls of Henry as Hook, my hubs and Peter Pan as the characters to go in it. Apparently it is still on the shelf in his dining room in California and is admired my many of his (Hollywood type) friends :D
What projects are you working on now:
I am working hard to bring you my first collection which I am beyond excited about, creating projects with it to share and I also have half a mind on the next collection while trying not to let it distract me!
Where do you do most of your work:
I am lucky enough to have a room upstairs in my house, It has the most amazing views and it is my little sanctuary. When I sit in my chair at my table surrounded by all my stuff I feel everything is alright with the world. Sometimes in an evening, I will transfer myself downstairs to spend some time with hubs and have a change of scenery and to remind him I still exist!
What has been your favourite new product or discovery over the last year:
I have just got to play with the Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens and I love them, the possibilities with them are endless and I am enjoying putting them through their paces, I love the fact that they are so colour rich! And as I am creating I am not just discovering new things but I am enjoying re discovering old things, techniques I used ages ago that get pushed out of my head because something new has come along like using a glue stick to heat emboss with to get texture, things like that excite me.
Where do you get the inspiration for all your amazing projects:
My collections are inspired by the great Artists. I have always been fascinated by art history and have been influenced over the years by many artists. Art comes from art and I believe all ideas have been done before, we as creators just put our own twist on them. I take a colour palette and imagery I associate with the artist, mix in a bit of history of their time and run from their. It’s been an exciting process and an interesting way to work.
What are your tips for anyone looking to get started in crafting:
Buy magazines, read the stories and be inspired by the designers. Go to classes and workshops and learn from talented people that are willing to share their knowledge and watch Hochanda to see the products and tools in action so you can make informed choices of what to buy to set you off on your crafty journey. Don’t label yourself, dabble in everything and just as you will find the right craft it will find you and above all else have fun! Remember it’s only a piece of paper, a ball of wool or a bowl of cake mix!
We hope you're just as thrilled as us that Michelle is joining the team. The digital world of crafting just got a whole lot better!
Browse some of Michelle's amazing work here: