Enjoy reading about contemporary jeweller Evelyn Henschke who answers questions about her age old traditional craft of glass bead making.
Getting to know….Evelyn Henschke
When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realize you had talent? The desire to create something goes back to my early childhood. I was always busy with all sorts of materials, paper, buttons, beads, fabric, paint, clay. Talent – I don’t know. I just love my craft and I guess that many people can connect with that and feel that passion goes into a piece.
Where did you learn your art?
At the State Academy for Glass and Jewellery in Germany, where I was apprenticed as a jeweller.
What inspires you most?
Anything, but predominantly nature. I constantly absorb colours, textures, shapes. My mind seems to shuffle all those impressions and spit them out through the alchemy of glass.
What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?
Describe your studio…
Two rooms converted into galaxies – including black holes – of art and craft material. I am a hoarder, a collector. One room is my workshop with my bead making torch, jewellers’ bench and shelves filled with 204 different colours of glass, specialized tools and many, many bits and pieces. In the second room I have a three meter long table where I can spread out all my beads and pearls, put them together, shuffle them again, try a different combination, discard it and start all over again.
Describe your typical day of creating art…
Dropping off my daughter at Kindergarten, brew a coffee. Have a look at my bead bench, possible orders. Do I have to stock up on specific colours – or can I just PLAY. In case of the latter, I light my torch, fire my kiln and drift into my own space, let my mood choose colours, decorate with gold, dots, stripes, give the soft glass a tug, a twist, a push a squeeze, let it settle. Losing myself in the endless options of the alchemy of glass.
What mediums do you use and why?
Glass and South Sea Pearls. Glass got me hooked with its diversity. Hot – cold, soft – hard. Endless options I can explore while I have a great time.
Pearls are alluring and form an intriguing partnership with my beads.
What are you working on now?
Continuing my creative journey, experimenting with brighter colours, more daring colour combinations and pushing the boundaries to develop more depth and dimension in my beads. Always simplifying my beads, then making them more intricate, simplify again… starting all over. I am often astounded to find where this process takes me.
What do you love most about what you do?
Losing myself in my own space. Producing something completely unexpected and be mesmerized by it. And, most importantly, create something that brings joy.
Where can you see yourself in 10 years time? I am pretty sure that I will still make my beads, my jewellery. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine what my work looks like now. But I am certain that I will have pushed the boundaries further, stretched the possibilities more and still loving it.