energy that ~*Margot Potter*~ puts forth and shares with the craft industry, if not, now may be the perfect time for you to get to know her a little bit better.
Down to earth and full of juicy thoughts and ideas, Margot is making good things happen.
Describe your work area.
I have a room in the basement level of our home that is a fully functioning studio. It has a desk, computer, storage and a jeweler’s bench. It’s painted lilac and accented with black and white fashion and vintage images and items. Very clean, uncluttered and conducive to creating.
Looking around your work area, what feeling do you get?
Happiness. I have a lovely studio that is my own little creative sanctuary. When I first started out, I had a tiny desk between the fridge and the stove in our kitchen of our small rental home and my beads and supplies lived in a room in the attic, I feel really blessed to have a real studio now! Virginia Wolfe was right when she said every woman needs a room of her own. I think it’s crucial.
What is an impatient crafter?
The Impatient Crafter brand came from an email to my husband on the day that I came up with the idea for my first book The Impatient Beader. I had an epiphany. I realized that my approach to finding the path of least resistance in my design work was the key to my creativity. What I actually said to him was that I was either the world’s laziest woman or a Zen master in training. I am impatient, but also a firm believer in good technique, it’s a weird combination. I don’t have the kind of personality that wants to spend weeks on a single design, my brain moves very fast and there are lots of ideas in there at any given moment waiting to get out. I want things to look beautiful, but not take too much time. That approach is how I had figured out new pathways to doing things and I thought it might help other people who are time and technically challenged to see that it doesn’t have to be perfectly perfect and it doesn’t have to take forever.
Were you always an impatient crafter?
I was always impatient and always creative. I recently read a pile of old report cards and there are endless comments about how creative and smart I was, but how messy and disorganized. Apparently I also lacked the normal understanding of knowing when it was appropriate to talk in class. I have since become organized and I like to keep my studio clean, but when I’m knee deep in a lot of work it can get pretty bad in here! I love making messes, but I hate the cleaning up part. If it gets to bad, my husband has to help me. I can get overwhelmed by clutter. The impatience is really a restless creativity that keeps me moving forward. Because of that restlessness I can be messy and make ‘mistakes’, but I turned those weaknesses into strengths. I don’t really believe in mistakes, I believe that creativity is all about pushing the boundaries and seeing what is and is not possible. It’s that messy, impatient, passionate approach to my work that helps me learn new ways to do things and by sharing that I am hopefully helping other people give themselves permission to make glorious messes and color outside of the lines.
If you could be doing anything you dreamed of- what would be the perfect professional career for you?
I’m a performer. I sing professionally and am a classically trained actress...and I fully intend to get back to these things when my daughter goes to college. I have fronted rock bands, acoustic duos, jazz bands and orchestras. I’ve performed some of the greatest roles in the classical and modern theater canons. Being on stage is home for me, it’s where I shine. I took a break from that career when I had my daughter Avalon for several reasons. Being away at rehearsals at night and hoofing it to auditions became too hard and I really wanted to be present for her. So I put the performing career on the back burner for a while. I also love writing, there’s definitely a novel or two in me that will eventually emerge. The dream would be to have a career that allows me to integrate all of my talents in one place, which is pretty much what I do now. I’d like to host and produce a TV Show where we craft, cook, decorate, entertain and I break out into song with my guests, kind of like Julia Child meets Martha meets Rosie meets Dina Shore...with a generous dose of Lucy Ricardo. Lucy and I have a lot in common.
Did you grow up in a creative home? (crafters, performers, musicians etc.?)
I come from a family of performers, writers, artists. My mother is a fine artist and a graphic designer. She can pretty much do anything at all and whatever she does is meticulously executed. My grandmother was in Vaudeville before she retired, married my grandfather and moved to the suburbs. She was also a master seamstress. My father is very creative, though I didn’t see much of him after the age of 5. I had a tough child hood, lots of moving, sadness and unrest, so creativity, reading and being in nature were my escapes. In my imaginary worlds, everything could be shiny and happy and magical. The good thing is that there was never any impediment to my creativity and my family never ever poo pooed me or made me feel like being creative was a waste of time. I was a weird kid and I didn’t really fit in, so I spent a lot of time by myself. I’m still weird, but I’ve embraced my uniqueness. I think that all kids should grow up in an environment where their interests and passions are fostered, not re-routed. I’ve met a lot of folks over the years that grew up being made to feel like the arts were less important than other pursuits, but life without art would be dismal. We are surrounded by the fruits of creativity in every aspect of our day to day lives. It would be a pretty dull world without creatives.
What mediums are your favorite to work with?
I have no favorites; I just enjoy exploring, playing and finding new avenues of expression.
If you could travel the world, for free, where would you go and what would you want to see and do?
I would go everywhere (though I prefer warm climates to cold.) I would see everything. I would do all of it (with the exceptions of what I am unable to do because of my asthma.) I love travel! I love adventure! I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. We live in an endlessly interesting world.
When you create, do you plan your work out first or does it happen spontaneously?
I don’t sketch. I do have a plan of sorts in that I always have a little queue of ideas in my brain waiting their turn, but I don’t limit myself at all. I just let it unfold and enjoy the journey. What you make isn’t the point; it’s the making of it that has the real resonance.
Do you write poetry, songs or stories?
Yes...all three. I’m a writer!
Do you like to collect things?
I am firmly convinced that all crafters are hoarders. I have been thrifting since I was 17. I collected vintage clothing for a number of years. I move a lot so I’ve had to pare my thing collecting back to things that can move more easily, so now it’s mostly paper and bits and pieces that are easier to transport. Ephemera, magazines, old game pieces, old toys, costume jewelry....
Have you ever joined a charm swap?
Nope! I don’t have a lot of time for swaps since my day job is making stuff, so when I’m not working I generally don’t make stuff. But I’m happy to give it a whirl!
Do you collect charms?
I collect tiny things that can become charms...does that count?
How long have you been making charms?
I have been making mixed media jewelry since my second book The Impatient Beader Gets Inspired and the charm/bead making really started there. My fourth book Beyond the Bead is all about making your own charms, beads, pendants and components. I really love turning things into other things, to me that’s fascinating and fun.
What is it about making jewelry that brings you the most joy?
I like making things. My new motto is ‘I Do Stuff.’ Jewelry, food, music, writing...it doesn’t really matter what I’m making. Creativity is the opposite of destruction, it feed our souls. That’s good stuff.
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry to wear?
Yes. It’s a simple sterling ball chain with a tiny handcrafted heart charm that is stamped: mom. My husband and daughter bought it for me several years ago from Sundance for Mother’s Day. I wear that more than any other piece of jewelry. I like either delicate and tiny jewelry or totally over the top pieces, nothing in between.
Tell us about your new puppy!!!
His name is Pilkington or Pilky for short, after Karl Pilkington on The Ricky Gervais show. He’s an 8 week old shih-tzu mix we rescued from a local animal shelter at a PetSmart event this past Saturday. He’s a tiny little playful ball of fluff. Our other two dogs are not down with Pilky yet, but we’re working on it. Hopefully in a few weeks, they’ll all be fast friends.
~*Thank you Margot, for sharing a slice of your life with us!*~
Here are a few pieces that Margot has composed with her own handmade art charms.
Buddhalicious is from Beyond the Bead
with charms molded from UTEE
Nice and Naughty has shrink plastic charms with
vintage French images from a Dover publication
Peekaboo was in Bead Chic and is made from
a vintage key hole with a decoupaged image
Pirate King has polymer clay crystal encrusted bones and skull pendant.
Anachronist was in Steampunk Style by Jean Campbell, it's a combination of charms made by Green Girl Studios and Earthenwood studio. The pendant is an image from my ephemera collection which I sized to fit into the watch fob and added the 'cyborg' watch part detail. I also made the wood and chipboard charms and the glass vial. Lots and lots of work went into this design, it's one of my personal favorites.
Inspired by Margot's 'Pirate King' charm necklace---
GIVEAWAY!- Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win 3, 2 ounce blocks of Premo polymer clay and a colorful selection of 40 point back Swarovski Crystal Rhinestones in various colors and sizes!