• Folt Bolt

Heather Stevenson - Gooshouse Designs

Gooshouse Designs by Folt Bolt

Mosaic jewellery offers a small, safe and colourful version of my normal life.

As a practising mosaic artist in the beautiful hinterland of Byron Bay, Australia, I am constantly inspired by my natural surroundings. The patterns, the colours, the textures, the shapes. All of it feeds me and nurtures my creativity daily. And encourages me. I specialise in creating large mosaic installations for those special places in people’s homes or gardens. I work only on commission, nothing is mass-produced or sold off the shelf. These commissions come to me usually by word of mouth, or as a lucky by-product of a chance meeting. I have therefore also always worked part-time, usually in a desk job I absolutely loathed, but couldn’t see how I could avoid if I wanted to pay my mortgage and feed the kids. All my life I have been creative. My early school reports all natter on about my love of drawing and painting. My much-adored grandmother really illustrated this for me once when she gave me the most remarkable birthday present. She had collected every single piece of artwork I had ever given her, from when I was a tiny little girl upwards, and had pasted them all in a scrapbook over many years. She produced this book at my 21st birthday and reduced everyone to tears. She always believed I was a true artist. I have often in the past, in my sensible and necessary world of studying for a ‘good job to pay the bills’, forgotten this myself. Then last year I lost three jobs in fairly quick succession. With two of them the companies were nice enough to say they were restructuring, in one I was definitely ‘retired’ for being just plain hopeless. This effectively and quickly removed from me, or FOR me, that safety net of “I’m not failing as an artist, I’m just too busy to work at it properly,” which really translates to me not taking responsibility for it. In an epiphanic moment I realised I was doing work I hated for people I didn’t really like in jobs that were absolutely dead-end. Once I faced up to that reality and actually asked myself what I wanted to do, I realised that I had actually been doing it for years, but doing it without commitment and integrity.

And so I decided to really dive on in, give myself to the process and truly have a proper crack at making it work. My interest in mosaic jewellery grew out of my interest in creating large mosaics with small, focal points of intense detail. The brilliantly coloured tiny cubes of glass and teeny glazed ceramic seemed just like fabulous, shining piles of precious stones that I dearly wanted to play with, with a myriad of design problems I wanted to learn to solve. I was also attracted to the idea of working in miniature, with a corresponding diminuation in my level of physical discomfort that working in large mosaics can sometimes give. The tesserae are tiny and beautifully colourful, and easily manipulated. One day I made myself some mosaic jewellery pieces, just because I liked them and I liked the idea of being able to wear my art. I was then asked to make some for family and friends, and then asked to make a few more, and then realised that perhaps these teeny, tiny mosaics could become another successful facet to my larger mosaic business. And so I opened on Etsy. Making mosaic jewellery for my Etsy shop gives me so much genuine satisfaction. The work I can create with these brilliant little stones and pieces of glass is pretty and joyous and makes me very happy. They are so solid, and earthy and tactile, but also brilliantly coloured and vibrant and shiny. I love the physical act of creation, the finding of the perfect combination of colour and shape, the wondering about who might wear the piece. I love that my work is unique. Like every artist and creative soul, my work comes from those things that make me an artist – my love of pattern, my joy in colour and texture, my passion for creating something that didn’t even exist until I made it. I want the wearers of Goosehouse Designs jewellery to feel that they have just received into their care something unique, that is just theirs, something that no one else anywhere has. My mosaics are my way of helping them see the pink in life.

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#mosaic #jewelry #australia #rainbow

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