About Me

My photo
North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Introducing .... Oggi

I have a love of hand made glass beads, which I use with my sea glass to make necklaces. Window-shopping one evening I came across Oggi's Etsy shop. I've asked Ine to tell us more about herself and her business.

My name is Ine Sueters, and my company name is OGGI.

I live in the Netherlands, in a small town close to the German border, called Duiven. It’s a town with about 27.000 inhabitants, close to the highway, and rather rural, but I like living there. With the Netherlands being so small, I get in my car and within max 2 hours I’m anywhere I need or want to be.

About me, personally: I’m 49 years of age (urghh 50 is coming up!), and I’m married (or rather: living together) with my partner Frank. We don’t have kids, but love our 3 cats to death;-) Though I have 2 university degrees, I ‘ended up’ being an artist with her own little company. For the past 14 years I’ve been creating. I started back in 1994 with sculpting, mainly with polymer clay. I sold my work at craft fairs, and taught sculpting for 12 years, I had 5 groups a week! I always enjoyed sculpting, and still would IF I’d have the time now. Back in 2003 I started being interested in making jewellery, and from that time on it’s still the main part of my working life. I made my first necklaces and was hooked. As I did the craft fairs with my sculptures, it was easy for me to introduce my jewellery as well, and people seemed to love it. And now, 6 years later, I’m having a full-time job designing jewellery, doing commission work, and selling my work at huge lifestyle fairs throughout the years. And I’m loving it!! I have thousands and thousands of beads, findings and other stuff, all waiting to be picked by me, and to be included in a next necklace, bracelet or whatever new design I have in mind.

Three years ago bead making came my way, and from the first minute I sat at the torch, clumsily making my first ever glass bead, I was hooked! I love working with glass, it’s so magical seeing how it moves in the flame, seeing the bright orange glow, and being able to make another beautiful bead out of it! It’s kind of a ‘game’ between you and the glass. Glass has a mind of its own, and so do I ;-) The final goal is to get the glass to do what YOU want, and sometimes it does while other times it just doesn’t. That’s when a ‘wonky’ bead is born. With my handmade beads I make jewellery of course, selling it at Etsy and at my fairs.

I feel very lucky to be able to make my living with what I love doing most: creating. Though it means working 18 hours a day sometimes, I always have the energy to do so, because I just love doing it!

I make one of a kind jewellery and glass beads. Beads that stand out on their own, or that I include in a new design.

What led me to becoming an artist is the fact that I had a major burn out back in the nineties. I was so tired of working in an office, from 9 to 5, having to do what my boss told me to. So I got sick, and for a year I was depressed and wondered what to do with my life. And then, one day, I found polymer clay. Why I don’t know, but I bought it, started sculpting, and within 3 months I had my first group of pupils to teach! Ever since I’ve been creating! Though I went through a very distressed and awfully dark period the year before, I realize it led me to where I am now.

I get my inspiration from anything and everything around me. Nature, especially springtime, when all the beautiful colours start popping up outside, colourful pictures in magazines, beautiful clothes in fashion stores, literally ANYthing can inspire me.

You can see and buy my work at Etsy, where I just started my shop a month ago: www.oggi.etsy.com

I have a website, which is currently only in Dutch, but I’m working on translating it in English: www.oggi-jewels.nl

And of course I’d be delighted when you’d visit me at the fairs! My scheme for 2009 is on my website! But hey don’t feel guilty if you don’t feel like travelling all the way to the Netherlands, just to see me ;-)

When not creating I enjoy shopping (yeah right, can’t help it!), salsa dancing and playing my djemb√©. Listening to music is one of my other passions as well. Working out, but I have to admit that it’s been over a year that I went to the gym. Spending time with friends. Going to the sauna and spending an ultimately lazy day there. Travelling, I love travelling, but have too little time. Last time I travelled was August 2008, when I went to Italy for a week. Great country, nice people, fantastic weather!

Then, last but not least, I’d like to tell you something about my company name, Oggi.

Oggi is the Italian word for ‘today’. I didn’t pick that name randomly. In the first place I love the Italian language (it’s what I studied in university). In this one word ‘today’ my entire philosophy on life is hidden. I’m a convinced believer of the fact that what counts in life is TODAY. Enjoy TODAY, as you’re never sure whether there’s gonna be a tomorrow. Enjoy TODAY, as yesterday is in the past and will never come back. Enjoy TODAY, because today is ALL there is! There’s an old latin proverb that says ‘Carpe Diem’, I think it translates ‘seize the day’, in English.

And with that in the back of my mind, I try to enjoy every day, enjoy the important things in life, but also the little things that come my way.

Snakes alive!

If there's anything I don't like in the garden, it has either 8 legs or none at all and crawls along on its belly. I don't like spiders, worms, slugs or snakes!

So, having decided to move some pots that I placed outside my workshop last weekend, I lifted the last one, turned back and found this little critter on the gravel, where the pot had sat. I presume it had gone under the pot because it was cool and dark - it was hot today.

I screamed 'snake' (OK I know it's probably a slow worm, a legless lizard but I wouldn't normally have the power of speech at such times as this) and was overtaken on my dash to lock myself indoors by 2 cats who clearly share my dislike. My neighbours came out of their house with a look of curiosity that said anything less than a giant anaconda would be a disappointment and my husband stood there in total bewilderment that I could be scared of this thing. He said it was 4" long, believe me it's nearer 12" but that's another argument. Ever the hero, husband did collect up the poor thing and take it to a new home across the road where there are trees, grass and hedges to hide in. We have none of these.

So far, we have been delighted with one visit by a squirrel, one visit from a hedgehog and we desperately hope it will be just the one visit by this reptile; beautiful though it is I can assure it we are destined not to be best friends.

Am I right in thinking it's a slow worm? Can anyone confirm?