Ctrl+GeekGirl Interview with I-Like-Shinies
Ctrl+GeekGirl is always on the lookout for quirky talents and you’d be crazy to miss out on Alison Fegan‘s deliciously-looking artworks! Amongst Sydneysiders, Fegan is a well-known polymer clay artist and the founder/owner of ‘I-Like-Shinies’. We’re not talking about any normal clay artworks — scented cupcakes, potion bottles, candies…you name it!
For those who aren’t familiar with polymer clay, it is a type of hardenable modelling clay that you can play with and bake. Describing herself as a ‘Deranged Candy Monster’, we can’t wait to share Alison’s work with you all. Read on to find out more!
– Describe I-Like-Shinies jewellery in three words.
Deliciously tricky sweets.
– How were you inspired to start this hobby? I take inspiration from sweets, foods, candy, movies, candy, books… did I say candy? I can’t remember exactly — I saw an adorable pair of heart cookie earrings and was curious about the process so I asked the person who was lovely to point me in the right direction …and I have been a busy bee ever since!
– How long have you been making jewellery? I’ve been making jewellery for many years now. I used to do a lot of beading such as making flower chains out of small beads. But it wasn’t until two years ago that I tried my hand at polymer clay.
– What was your first ever clay creation? My first clay creation was a mint cake that I had cut into slices and turned them into keyrings. It was a disaster!
– How long did it originally take you to master the art? I don’t think I’m anywhere close to mastering it because I am always learning new things and discovering better ways of making things. I like to think I have a *small* amount of natural talent so I hope there have been some improvement in my clay art.
– How long does it usually take you to design and perfect a single piece of new jewellery? Each piece can take a few hours to design, depending on its complexity. The first one is always the longest because you’re forever trying to make it as close to perfect as you can. Thankfully, the following ones take less time to make.
– Do you make the jewellery on your own, or do you have help from others? My supportive partner will occasionally draw up new designs for me, and I have a few special friends who help scent my clay and also writing up the descriptions of my work. However, when it comes down to making the piece, I am the one who makes it.
– Do your friends share similar hobbies/passion? I have some amazing friends who share my love of craft like Georgina from Mogo&Co (http://www.facebook.com/mogoandco) and Misty from Thiskidthatkid (http://thiskidthatkid.deviantart.com/). We get together every week and have craft days where we share knowledge, lunch and a few laughs. I also do conventions with these wonderful women.
– How many would you produce a day and/or week?
It really depends on the jewellery piece. If it’s complex, I can spend a whole day making one thing, but the more I make it, the faster I can produce them. I can make anywhere from 1-20 pieces a day.
– In your opinion, what are some of the best and weirdest creations that you have ever done? My best creation by far is my Beauty and the Beast-inspired rose in a bottle. I handmade each and every rose before carefully placing them in a bottle — an inch long before pouring resin into it and attempting to make it stand as it does in the Disney classic.
As for weird… any of my scented stuff could be considered weird. I mean, you don’t expect to pick up a block of chocolate badge and expect it to smell like real chocolate.
– What are some of the most popular jewelleries that people buy from I-Like-Shinies? When I’m at conventions, my scented stuff is very popular. Many people love my Harry Potter-inspired potion bottles though.
– You’re studying full-time at the moment. How do you find the time to create these jewelleries and manage a business? When I’m not studying, I’m crafting but it often takes it toll. I spend three days a week (full-time) at uni, and during my free time, I like to unwind by creating something deliciously tricky.
– Do you sometimes get frustrated with making the jewellery? Any other negative points? All the time! I can get so frustrated that I would smoosh pieces together and started again from scratch. Fibres are a major annoyance and it doesn’t matter how clean your hands are — they are always around!
– What are your other hobbies/interests? If you weren’t doing this, what other hobbies would you have invested your time in? I like to read and go for walks. If I wasn’t making jewellery, I would like to volunteer as a first aid officer. I like doing things within the community.
– Ever since you have started this journey, what kind of opportunities have you received? What are some memorable moments? Some of the most exciting opportunities for I-Like-Shinies has definitely been going to conventions. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do Melbourne Supanova this year which was exciting as it was my first interstate convention.
I have also been very lucky to have my product featured in a book which is set to be released very soon. I’ve also had a few offers from shops to stock my stuff as well, but sadly with full-time study, I’m not sure if I would be able to keep up with the demand.
– And lastly, where do you see yourself in three years time with I-Like-Shinies? I started I-Like-Shinies because I enjoy making cute, quirky jewellery. I just want to be able to improve my jewellery making and share my work with as many people as I possibly can. I’m not sure exactly where this hobby will lead me but I look forward to every adventure that it brings.
Interested in Alison Fegan’s I-Like-Shinies? Check out her work in the following links!
(All photos belong to ©Alison Fegan – I Like Shinies)
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