Once upon a time… a long. long time ago, 3 years ago to be precise. I had just started a blog of my own and I was looking to find fellow Dorset bloggers. Quite by chance I stumbled upon The Cat in the shoe Proud to say I have since become a lifelong fan, indeed I consider my self extremely lucky to have met Lucy, even though I called her Emma! (so sorry Lucy its my age!) and to own three pieces of her work.
Meet Lucy The talented Maker from The Cat in the Shoe:
Lucy’s is the artisan behind the ‘Cat in the Shoe’ her work takes my breath away, her sublime, fantastical creatures evoke sweet childhood memories. and speak to me of fairy tale lands. I think they would look very much at home in Narnia!
Lucy very kindly took time out from her busy schedule to answer 5 questions I put to her, for my monthly series ‘The Back Story’
1. Why the name The cat in the shoe ?
Quite simply we had a ginger kitten who used to sleep in my shoe, and it was as straight forward as that….’the cat in the shoe’, I have often thought of changing it but it has stuck. I’m also a huge Dr Seuss fan, so the similarity to ‘The cat in the Hat’ is a bonus.
2. When did you start creating?
I have always created in one way or another, When I was little I used to make paper dolls and clothes for them. Little creatures out of Playdoh and clay, some of these still sit proudly in my parents house. My Mum is a print maker and artist and always encouraged my creativity and my Nan was a seamstress and knitter and maker of everything she could really. There was always a project taking place and my Nan was a strong believer in making something out of nothing.
Bournemouth Arts Institute
After school I studied fine art and Photography at ‘The Arts Institute Bournemouth’ . Then after a break from art and a move to London I began to sew. Slowly and poorly! but gradually I found a love for fabric and a way to express my creativity. After the birth of my son who is now five, I started to concentrate on my designs and now I work on the ‘cat in the shoe’ full time.
3. Who or what inspires you?
I find inspiration pretty much everywhere. Fables and fairy-tales are obviously a strong influence. A bird in the trees, or an animation I watch with my son, can suddenly bring an idea. The Fabric itself is usually the beginning of a piece. I use as much reclaimed fabric as I can get my hands on! A scrap of fabric, an old jumper a piece of lace, in my mind these become a creature with its own story to tell. At the moment a huge box of donated leather has me slightly obsessed with layers and birds. My work focuses mainly on the animal form and incorporates the human element with a touch of whimsy.
4. How do you juggle family life with creating and selling?
Ha! I don’t ? Running your own creative business involves so much more than just making what you want. Social media is a full time job in itself, accounts, emails, ideas etc. Its hard work and I had no idea how hard, but I wouldn’t change it even though the alternative is probably less stressful and better paid. I love making and creating, its what I do best.
My son is always going to take priority regardless of how much I want to be working or how much work I have. I made the decision to be a full time mum and run my own business and to have a partner who supports and encourages that decision. Sometimes you have just got to suck it up and get on with it, after all there is always wine and coffee!!
5 Tell us about your future plans
This year I am dedicating to creating new pieces and really working on my designs, I work a lot to commission and although I love this, I feel I need to work on my own pieces for a while. I have a book full of ideas and sketches I haven’t got to yet, so I would really like to test some of these out.
However, I have some amazing commissions to work on this this year, that I am very excited about. I have the best customers who give me the freedom to take their ideas and make them my own.
Places where you can find Lucy and The Cat in the Shoe…
Her Facebook page: the best place to see what she is up to, where she is showing her work and when she is accepting new orders.
Lucy has a blog too and hopes to have a website up and running by the end of the year.
Lucy also has an Etsy Shop.
Please do go and check her out and follow where ever you can? Lets all support our very talented and hard working creative, independent artisans.
I have no words left to describe those beauties, do you?