This is a compilation of questions we have been asked by writers over the years. I hope this will help with any further information, but we are happy to answer any questions you have to the best of our ability.
L = Louise
Brief intro to who you are & what you do
- L - Former elementary school teacher. Taught kindergarten and first grade. Worked in a therapeutic tutorial program in a non-profit with at-risk children.
- D - Former Civil Structural Engineer. Much of his work was in construction management.
How do you divide the work?
- L - Design, marketing, website development and maintenance, shop images, chasing and repousse', piercing, assembly, communication. Her strengths are in organization and design.
- D - Raising, shaping metal, hammer forming, assembly and finishing of larger pieces, His biggest strengths lie in making things work and masterful craftsmanship.
How did you get started in this field?
- L - We were on a job where we were awake nights and sleeping days. Louise was playing with beads and wire. "It was one of our typical impulsive moves. We wanted to explore. I have a very restless nature."
- D - Always liked to make things that work and turned his attention to metal work after retirement. "His skills and designs grow with every piece."
What are you working on at the moment? (6/23/17)
- L - Right now I am obsessed with learning to cast. Everything from mold making to the actually casting and finishing is fascinating to me. I want to make small spoons, salt dishes, baby spoons - just about anything that can be cast and used in the home.
- D - He has been fascinated with new things to make and new techniques. The most recent work has involved a wood lathe to turn handles and lids for his hand made bowls and such.
One of my favorite musicians describes her style as “Organic Moonshine Roots Music.”
How do YOU describe your style of art?
- L) Total Wabi Sabi - outside-the-box with bold organic shapes.
- D) Meticulous, well-crafted pieces made to last a life-time and beyond.
Have you studied art/design or are you self taught?
- L) Pretty much self taught with a class here and there. We have taught at Wildacres and William Holland and plan to so some teaching in Aberdeen in our own studio.
- D) Uses his experience as an engineer, his own creativity and design skills to create his work. Pretty much self taught as a craftsman.
What is your favorite piece of work that you have created? (Would love a pic of this as well if at all possible)
- L - Wow – 60 years of making things. I am not sure. I love the metal work, but also loved the fiber. I love the very sleek and simple spoons and sets we have been making recently. Example
- D - A new creation is always my favorite at the time I love pushing the envelope with an experimental approach. Especially the ones with serendipitous outcomes.
What do you do when you’re not creating? (Other hobbies/life in general)
- L - There is a challenge – my life lacks balance of any kind. We mostly work and work some more. When given time, we are out on the boat. We sold the big one and now have a pontoon that is like going on the water on your patio.
- D - Sleep and buy tools. We have recently bought a Rhoades Car quadricycle that we have customized. It is great exercise and more fun than anything.
Where else do you sell your work?
- We have work at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN.
- We have work at the Mississippi Craft Center in Jackson, MS
- Our tutorials are on the KingfisherArtJewelry Etsy shop.
- Our website is our main shop - Kingfisher Designs
- Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/KingfisherDesignsMetals
When & How did you first discover your creative talents? Tell us about that first creation.
- L) I started knitting at 5 – made a little red scarf on a pair of mismatched knitting needles and I was hooked.
- D) In a high school I built a ham radio and enjoyed the intricate work. It is very similar (detail and design) to some of the work we do now.
Do you have a favorite subject or series of work?
- L) Birds in flight and leaves mostly.
- D) The Eruption series of holloware and jewelry that almost appears to be on fire – the red/orange/black enameling.
Tell me about your favorite/strongest childhood memory.
- L) Very silly – We lived in trailer houses and I remember sitting under the house with a broom straw teasing doodle bugs out of their little cone shaped burrows.
- D) Bird hunting with my grand dad and his trophy winning hunting dogs
Describe a real life situation that inspired a piece of art.
- L) Don feeds humming birds – hundreds of them. A couple of years ago I made a hummingbird repousse’ bowl.
- D) Living with Louise (he made me type that)
What are some memorable responses you have had to your work?
- L) Mostly it is just the people who come to our booth and talk about how excited they are to see the work, but we also have won a number of awards and been published in The Crafts Report (national trade publication) several times
- D) “”
What inspires you? What gets you into “creating mode?”
- L) Waking up pretty much – Always ready to create (not always ready to do dishes and clean the house).
- D) Learning and experimentation
Is there anything you dislike about your work?
- L) Sometimes we have so many deadlines (of course mostly set by ourselves) that I feel behind and hard to keep up with what needs to be done.
- D) Always want to improve the work
Name something you love and why?
- L) Animals – I just love them, especially birds. Imagine being a bird and being able to fly anywhere you wanted to go.
- D) Tools and imagination are the basis of creativity
Is there an artist that you relate to or who has inspired you?
- L) Blacksmiths – they inspire me every day
- D) We know several artists (hard to name just one) who inspire us to create new designs
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
- L) Exciting new things every day to do – making my own journey. I also love our tribe of wandering artist friends.
- D) Doing what you like that stimulates you mentally and physically.
If I wasn’t creating art professionally, I would be _________.
- L) I would be lost. I make art because I can’t not do it.
- D) Creating art unprofessionally or driving Louise completely up the wall.
Ok, I’m going to stop here – for now. I don’t want to overwhelm you. After I get these answers I will begin on the article and I may send some follow up questions.
Thanks so much!