Monday, 2 April 2012

Inspiring Interview... Little Massingham Forge Crafts

This month’s interview is with Little Massingham Forge Crafts. I hope that you find this crafter as inspiring and interesting as I do.  I have known Claire of Little Massingham Forge for a couple of months through our local social crafting group (Craft Group King’s Lynn) and her work is beautiful.  One of my many favourite pieces of her work is this stained glass windmill:

·  Hello! Please introduce yourself … ‘What’s your name and where do you come from’!?
My name is Claire Moogan and my partner in business (and in life) is David Lowe. We are both from Doncaster in South Yorkshire and moved to Norfolk in October 2011 with our one year old son to take over a small forge.

·  Tell us more about Massingham Forge Crafts. When and how did it came about and what do you create?
After being laid off at the start of the recession and spending many months trying in vane to find new employment, we realised that we had become fairly stagnated. We had slipped into a life of expected rejection from potential employers. We decided that finding a job wasn’t going to happen fast so why not retrain? But retrain as what? All industries seemed to be suffering, so we asked ourselves “what have we always wanted to do?”  That was easy to answer….become self employed! David had always dreamt of becoming a blacksmith and I of working with stained glass! So that is what we did.

We create a number of different items in a range of mediums. As well as glass and steel, I enjoy working with wool and fabric. We make useful items such as decorative steel hooks and glass windows; but also make purely decorative and sculptural items from both materials - often working together with mixed media. We are both Pagans and will respectfully make any custom made orders, from metal wands and black mirrors to dowsing rods and bent hand made horseshoe nails.

·  What inspires you and your designs?
Nature inspires our designs the most but we also take inspiration from the past. We enjoy replicating historical designs or taking interesting aspects and expanding on them. We try to keep with modern trends and fashions but put our own unique twist to items often making them a little quirky.

·  Tell us what your favourite creation to date is…
My favourite creation at the moment is the Gothic pipe stand inspired by Victorian graves. (a little morbid I know but I like all the same!).

David’s favourite creation to date is a nature inspired rose candle holder.

·  Please can you share a tip or piece of advice for fellow crafters?
Do what you enjoy not just what you think people want you to make. If you truly enjoy making something then that will shine through in the quality of your work! Also network like crazy, you never know what interesting people you may find, or what useful information they may be able to give you.

·  Do you have any other hobbies or dabble in any other crafts?
My main hobby away from the forge is crochet. I find it relaxing while sat in front of the TV on an evening.

I have been known to dabble in felt also.

·  How can we find out more?

Twitter: @MassinghamForge

Facebook: Little Massingham Forge

·  And finally… do you have a favourite quote / saying?

“If what you’re doing is not your passion, you have nothing to lose.”

Thank you!

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