My featured artist this month is Bobbie Pene – Auckland based creator of beautiful glass beads (yes, she actually MAKES them!!) and artisan jewellery & accessory designer.
There’s much more to Bobbie of course, with many hats to juggle - medical professional, student, wife and mother to name a few – how does she find the time to make such beautiful things?!!
My first contact with Bobbie was during my search for a new website host – I came across her gorgeous site and realised I had actually seen her work before. My interest was piqued, and further investigation revealed a Bobbie Pene Felt Shop, Etsy shop and a very interesting blog called ‘Florishing Crafts’ where she generously shares her craft and business experience.
Bobbie has a home studio in which she creates her beautiful lampworked beads of many colours, hues and shapes. It’s a truly fascinating process which Bobbie has explained in laymans terms (click here to view).
I thoroughly recommend checking out Bobbie’s work (links at end of article). If you’re a jewellery designer/maker, you’ll adore her beads and appreciate the time and effort put into each one and should consider what you could create with them! If you appreciate beautiful jewellery, you’ll love her finished jewellery pieces, and if you just plain like colour and ‘shiny’ you have to take a look!
Read on for some insights into Bobbie Pene, Lampwork Artist and Jewellery Designer as she answers the questions I put to her...
1. What are your Influences and/or Philosophy?
My creativity and the way I live is strongly influenced by nature – the colours, patterns and textures found in both flora and fauna. I don’t have a philosophy as such, but I believe we should do what we love and not what people expect of us. Life is not all about what other people want from us – it is about personal achievement and personal satisfaction, and this comes in many forms.
2. Favourite product(s) to make and why?
I love making glass beads. Glass is a mysterious medium that can be manipulated but not controlled. The reactions formed by heating, cooling and mixing different glass, leads to endless possibilities. I also love the way light and glass play together. Each bead is like it’s own little universe waiting to be explored. My home has a lot of glass objects including original leadlight windows, glass vessels, hanging ornaments and even fish tanks!
3. Have you any other crafty sidelines/interests?
I have dabbled with paper crafts, cross stitch, mosaics and various other forms of jewellery making. I am considering going back to university next year and studying anthropology with a focus on folklore and ancient crafts such as vernacular magic. No I’m not planning on becoming a witch or practicing magic – but I do find the ancient crafts and symbology very interesting. I want to include some of this in my glass work. I study a lot – in fact I have been studying at University most of my adult life.
4. Earliest Art/Craft/Design memory?
I redesigned our Christmas tree angel. I can’t remember how old I was, but we had an angel on our tree that was very old and looked a bit worse for wear. I made her new clothes, and crafted a tiny choir music book for her to hold. My mother still puts her on top of the tree every Christmas.
5. What do you love most about what you do?
I have a career that can be stressful both emotionally and mentally. Getting into my creative zone takes me away from those stresses. I also love the look on people’s faces when they are looking through my bead stash – there is always a look that says “how did she do that?”. Beads are magic!
6. Anything you'd like to add?
If you have a dream – LIVE IT! Life is too short. Try something new, try something you have always wanted to do, and find personal satisfaction in doing so. Let your children explore their creative side too – you never know what they may achieve. My 13 year old daughter designs jewellery and is quite an entrepreneur at school, selling her creations to her teachers.