Friday, November 29, 2013

Pam de Groot, fibre and textile artist extraordinaire. Friday Friend.

When I first met Pam she was a potter and a very fine one too.
And then she turned her very talented attention to the wild and woolly world of fleece.
Pam is now a sought-after tutor of felting and natural dyeing and holds workshops all over the world.
She is special!
Meet Pam de Groot.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Pam de Groot and I am a fibre and textile artist. 
I work predominately with wool creating felt but also use a lot of hand dyeing in my work as well.

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by many things but mostly by the natural world. 
The shapes and colours give endless rise to ideas for new work.

What is your signature or favorite item?

I have always enjoyed making hats. They can have so much personality. Each one has a different look and I rarely make 2 the same. 
I have a bag as my avatar on many things. It has been so popular that many people recognize that image. 
I have more recently been making clothing which I dye with bush and garden leaves.

What do you most enjoy doing?
I love most of all to experiment and play with new ideas. 
They don’t always work, or are not practical for sale, but the play leads to new concepts and ideas that do work and keep my work new and fresh. 
I find my field has had an exponential growth in the last 20 years and to stay current you must be on the cusp of the new.

What would you rather be doing?

I love my job.
I get to travel the world teaching and meeting new people. I have opportunities to explore my creativity, and justify it as “work” 

Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?

I hope to be still working in this field and exhibiting more. 
I would love to get enough work together in one place for a solo exhibition. - One day.

How did you start along this road?

I have been a Primary/ infants teacher and then a full time potter.
I came to this material after the birth of my third son. I love the flexibility of the medium and I can fit it around my family life.

5 words of advice?

1. Start small and test your market. Don’t over capitalise
2. Be aware of what is current. If you do badly at a market, it may not be you but you at the wrong place.
3. Be true to your ideas. Make your stamp on what you do. You want people to know your work anywhere.
4. Trust yourself and take a few risks
5. Find the discipline and make this a job. If you work from home set hours for work and hours for the other stuff in your life and stick to it.

If you are in Sydney you can find some of her work at the Craft NSW Gallery at The Rocks.
And in the Blue Mountains at The Nook Leura.

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