Well... what can I say? My name is Gill (obviously!) and I have been a Polymer Clay artist for about 35 years (time does fly when you're having fun!) I started working with Fimo (brand of clay) whilst I was working at a special school for young children who suffered from a visual impairement. One of the children brought the clay to school after the Christmas holidays, and we made all sorts of wonderful things... and that's how I became hooked! Over the years I have worked alongside some amazing children and adults and had the opportunity to create some stunning pieces of art... one of which was for the Bishop of Manchester! I absolutely LOVE my job which gives me so much pleasure, joy and a real sense of satisfaction.
NEWS JANUARY 2020
I have been working (10 hours a week) for the homeless charity Crisis for over 5 years, providing them with Polymer Clay workshops for the homeless and vulnerably housed, but in September 2019 I had a promotion to Arts and Crafts tutor (28 hours a week), so not only am I running Fimo classes, but also other Arts and Crafts classes too. I am really enjoying my job, but it has meant some big changes to my other self-employed work. I have had to say 'no' to running adult workshops, community workshops and also school workshops have to be a bit more local to South Yorkshire than they have been in the past, and I can only make Wednesdays...my day off!!
My Core Values...
Professionalism - This is at the centre of what I do. I always endeavour to bring a professional approach to my relationships with adults and children, to ensure that everyone is treated with restect, and that when I am teaching I will support and nurture their creative abilities. My aim is to provide you with great customer service, great quality and a great creative experience.
Integrity - I have found that people don't want false promises, they just want honest help and support with their project/commission/product, and a committment from me that I will deliver the best service that I possible can. I am always striving to improve what I do and appreciate honest feedback with my products and services.
Passion - I LOVE what I do... maybe I am slightly obsessed?? Well if I am, bring it on! I am driven by a desire to design and create bespoke art that makes you love life and inspires you to make your environment a more beautiful and colourful place to be. I want some of my passion to rub off on you, so that you can then inspire others.
Attention to Detail - This is not just the creative minute details i put into my creations, but also the planning and execution of workshops, birthday parties or talks. It is vital to be prepared, organised and able to think on your feet and an ability to be flexible when faced with challenges.
Encouragement - It is my job to bring out your creative spark... everyone has one! It's just that some are more hidden, maybe it was quashed by an angry art teacher, or you were ridiculed by your friends or just simply that you've never had the opportunity. To help someone achieve their goals and reach their potential is my greatest joy and delight!
When I moved over to Sheffield about 3 years ago I managed to secure this studio in the city centre. Previously I had always worked from home... not that I had a designated space to work, it just seemed to spread from the kitchen table, to the work tops, to the living room floor and beyoned. When the children were younger, they always asked what's for tea when they saw the oven was on, but usually there would be clay in it and they'd have to wait a bit!! (Bad mom!!)
Now I have my lovely studio. It's not that big, but I have everything I need. The main bulk of the units I got on Freecycle (which is a 'give free stuff away' website). The only thing I paid for was the worktop!! The shelf above my desk is an old cd rack laid on its side!! You can tell I'm a bit frugal...
My partner Bob has recently made me this storage rack for my work tiles (see below). It is very handly when I am working on a project and it needs to be stored away without being damaged or knocked. I think it's wonderful!! Even the tiles were given to me by a friend! :) The tall display cabinet was another treasure on Freecycle.