Baked by Lou: hump day happiness

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Happy hump day!

Today’s artist is extremely exciting! Her jewellery is so colourful and fun I instantly fell in love with it. It also has magical lucky powers. I wore my Baked by Lou necklace to an interview and was successful – woo! Lou is the first  artist I have featured who is from South Wales and the first artist I met in real flipping life after interviewing her. She is awesome and her mum is too fabulous too! So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Lou…

  1. Who are you and what do you do?

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I’m Lou, owner and maker of Baked by Lou. I create ‘baked’ jewellery and accessories amongst other things! I’m a passionate educator by day whilst working to develop my jewellery and accessory business alongside this in South Wales.  (It’s ‘baked’ because the pieces are either polymer clay cooked in my oven or earthenware ceramics, kiln fired!)

  1. How/where/why did Baked by Lou begin?

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I completed a Fine Art degree in 2009 and took this creativity into teaching as I always had a fear of being a practicing artist.  At the ripe old age of 30 I’m finally trying to turn my creativity into something productive! I did a ceramics class last year to refresh myself on some of the basic techniques and began experimenting with polymer clay to go along with this. It’s snow balled from there really!  I’m finding my feet at the moment, experimenting and exploring the materials I want to work with and the direction I want to go.

  1. What inspires your designs?

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Where do I start?  Lots and lots of things around me. If I look around my house I see patterns and prints that inspire me, it’s chock-a-block with things my husband and I have hoarded (‘selectively curated’ hehe) bright crochet blankets, ornaments, functional things like flasks and salt and pepper shakers!  Hugely into prints of the eighties and nineties and lots of things from Memphis Design, too.  I take a lot of inspiration from functional items.

  1. Who inspires you?

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I love Grayson Perry, his tapestries especially. Other inspiring artists are be Kandinsky, Miro, Klee and Frida Kahlo.  I’m currently obsessed with Camilla Walala and @dunsendunsen on Instagram.  My friend Liz, @fizzgoespop is a big inspo too as she is such a generous, creative and lush individual all round.

I saw an incredible exhibition from Gillian Ayers recently in Cardiff Museum.

  1. What tools do you use to create your designs?

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I love finding this out about other artists too!  In the first instance, it’s tools you would imagine; rolling pin, paint brushes, pliers, scalpel.  But I’ve grabbed stuff in the moment that are now vital to my processes.  I use an old spoke from my hubby’s bike to make holes and create patterns.  I use a milk bottle to roll out smaller bits of polymer as you can see through it and what’s happening to the pattern as you roll.  I use a lightbulb to mould bowls as I couldn’t find another bowl to mould around!

  1. What is your favourite item to make?

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At the moment I’m into polymer pinch pots because they never turn out the same as the last and they’re just a huge mish mash of colour.  I’m also into rolling out chunky necklaces as I love seeing the patterns and textures stretch and expand.

  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

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The one that’s stuck with me recently, is to stop thinking I have to do everything myself. A lady called Georgina who wrote a book called Turn Lights On said in so many words, that you should focus your energy on the things you’re good at.  So I contacted a business mentor and an accountant, and my head has felt much clearer since then!

Are you drunk in love from all of the patterns and colours?! Here are all of the links you need to find out more about Baked by Lou and to swap your pennies for some of her amazing creations:

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