Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.
What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Amanda Slaughter, creator of our new Blooming Spoons Necklace.
When did you know you wanted to be a maker?
I’ve known since I was a little girl that I wanted to be a maker. From fluting the edges of mud pies to making mosaic pot holders with plaster of paris and the broken pieces of my grandmother’s favorite mixing bowl after it got dropped. In my adult life, I’ve dabbled in painting, stitching, lampworking and other glass arts. I have studio full of all sorts of odds and ends that never became anything at all.
In between all the things that never came to fruition, I made different types of jewelry and always came back to that form of art. Something about making pretty, wearable talismans made me feel fulfilled. Every time I’d sign up for a weekend arts class, it was always jewelry related! The funny thing is, I’ve pressed flowers for as long as I can remember but it never occurred to me to use them in my designs until the magical day I stumbled across resin. I’m also an antiquing nerd and had my “ah-ha” moment when I was perusing the aisles of my favorite shop. I saw a lovely bundle of vintage spoons and knew they would be the perfect canvas for my flower art.
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional maker?
Every day brings something new and exciting, but I think my favorite is realizing just how far I’ve come in the time I’ve been making this piece. I can remember those initial weeks of learning and experimenting–the weeks when the results were so terrible and I doubted myself and what I was trying to create. I never could have imagined that the locals would refer to me as the “the little spoon lady” or that I would have a couple of magazine features under my belt, a successful wholesale business and jewelry that has traveled to countries I could only dream of!
What does your typical day in the studio look like?
One of the perks of what I make is that a typical day in the studio isn’t necessarily spent indoors. A lot of my studio time involves planting, tending, picking and pressing. I have several flower presses my husband made for me using reclaimed wine boxes and old wood. I pick and press large amounts at a time because the process of pressing does take quite a while. When I’m not outside, I’m in the “Bloom Room” bending, cutting and polishing spoons to prep them for my resin process. I really think I could set a Guinness World Record with my vintage spoon stash!
Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
My studio houses all sorts of trinkets and objects that inspire me on a daily basis. I think because I’m creating tiny bouquets in jewelry, I’m naturally drawn to miniatures. My favorite things are my collection of miniature ceramics, tiny window gardens and fairy/gnome houses. Something else I draw inspiration from is my library-sized collection of books on flower and plant species, Appalachian stories and flower lore. All flowers have their own special meaning so when I want to convey a particular mood or feeling in a piece, my books come to my rescue. One more thing……when I’m making, Stevie Nicks is usually playing in the background!
Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
I love this question! I have shown lots of littles my work and they always have the same reaction. They ask me if fairies made it. I always tell them I couldn’t do it without the fairies’ help! I wish everyone still believed in a little magic.
What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
My mantra is simple. Don’t sit around. Start moving and keep moving. In the beginning you may not go in the direction you dream of, but as long as you’re moving, you’re creating possibilities!