Welcome Resin8ers to our brand new series in which we hope to inspire and motivate during these extraordinary times. We will be celebrating some fantastic artists who are adapting and continuing to create while staying at home.
With millions of people now looking to the creative industries – either to learn something new, return to a once loved craft, or looking for a way to unwind – we are hoping to help you keep busy, keep minds occupied, and ultimately, keep creative. In this series we are showcasing the work of some of our amazing customers that have inspired us, and through a ‘virtual interview’ we have delved into their journey so far with resin – enjoy!
To kick things off this week, we have the absolute pleasure of introducing Claire Edwards. We would like to say a huge thank you to Claire for sharing her incredible work with us – to check out more of her work, head to her website here.
Tell us about your background:
Embroidery and design is really my third career and not something that I could ever have envisaged getting into. I had no idea that I had any creative abilities and to be honest it wasn’t something that was ever encouraged in me at school. I joined the RAF at 17 as a Telecommunications Operator and enjoyed 10 years working around the world before leaving to have my children. Whilst living in Germany, I started volunteering with Home-Start, providing support to Forces families with children under 5. This was the start of my second career, as on returning to the UK, I then worked for the children’s charity Barnardo’s, supporting Children and Families with complex needs.
Unfortunately, I fell ill and after several failed attempts to return and not knowing what was wrong, I had to leave my role. I’m not used to doing nothing so taught myself how to crochet and draw and the day before the deadline for university applications, I applied. Staffordshire University offered me a place and I graduated in 2017 with a First Class BA(Hons) in Textile Surfaces. I received my diagnosis during my degree – Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disease that attacks the joints, so although I have already got damage to my hands, embroidering and keeping my hands working really helps.
How did you get into resin, and how long have you been using resin?
I’ve been using resin for about 2 years now after briefly exploring unconventional materials within my degree. I knew that after I graduated I hadn’t finished learning so enrolled on a Masters Degree course to explore materials further. Although the focus of my MA is Embroidery, I knew that I wanted resin to feature quite heavily. I began experimenting with encasing small embroideries in resin to see how the materials reacted before moving on to larger pieces.
Where do you make your creations – do you have a studio?
I mostly work in my little studio at the end of my kitchen, although I am lucky that I can use the workshop facilities at University when I need them. I only get to work on my creations on a part-time basis as I am also a full-time carer.
What inspires your work?
So many different things inspire me – my initial thought of working with resin was about contemporary ways to preserve embroidery and I researched the historical context of encasing and wrapping such as reliquaries and Victorian cabinets of curiosity.
Nature also plays a big part in my work. I’m very much drawn to the sea so I learnt to scuba dive a couple of years ago. I was devastated to see the damage that is being done to our oceans, so much of my work now is inspired by coral reefs and its destruction through global warming and plastic pollution.
What is your favourite Resin8 product?
Now that’s a difficult one to answer as there are so many. I love the moulds as they form the basis of my initial designs – for example, the tiles were drawn as 9 squares to fit the cube moulds then the embroidery was built around that.
Resi-crete – amazing
Resin8 fill-it Slow cure epoxy resin – I have to be careful with some of the materials that I am encasing as they can melt and discolour so I find that the slow cure is perfect.
Do you sell your work and where can we see your work?
I don’t sell my work currently but once I finish my MA I’ll start developing products to sell
We hope you have been inspired by Claire’s amazing work and have enjoyed our first week of Meet the Resin8er. Look out for next week’s blog, when we will be introducing Caroline Parrott.