Sylvia at work

Sylvia at work.

28-05-2020Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

If you had time on your hands during lockdown what did you do with it? These developing artists and craftspeople certainly took a step towards a fulfilling hobby or even a new career.

Daniela Garrett
Art

What do you normally do for a living?
I work part-time for Dorset Council. I am based at the History Centre as a Receptionist which is also the Registration office. My work involves helping customers and signposting them when researching historical data. However, my work is more linked with the Registrars as we register birth, deaths and weddings and assist in the processing of those official certificates and documents.

What inspired you to start making these?
I Love Frida Khalo – but three people who are close to me have made an impression and they are fabulous artists in their own right – my youngest, Giulio Garrett – who has produced some incredible, fine artwork especially during Lockdown and never had done much before this process. My beautiful niece, Dulcie Braddell, who is always so colourful in her painting and drawing pictures and my dear friend in Majorca, Sylvia Baker who is an accomplished and experienced painter in her own right. They have all impacted me.

How did you learn to make them?
I’ve never picked up a paintbrush or sketched anything before in my life. Paintbrushes and colouring pens were for others, not me. I haven’t been to classes or art school. I started one day during Lockdown and enjoyed what I was creating, the picture kept telling me to continue and not to stop – I just enjoy ‘the space’ and now I am addicted.

How did the process of making something make you feel during lockdown?
It is such a calming space. Hard to explain. You want to be in that space all the time, it is very addictive. I have never before felt anything so strong and passionate about. When in that space, time goes way too quickly – you are kind of immersed in your own world, in a ‘trance state’– I think it is a very healing and meditative state. Totally present and at one. I cannot get enough of it.

How did you find materials during the lockdown? I bought everything online during Lockdown with shops closed and not having the freedom to go out. My husband researched and bought me an easel, some basic acrylic paints and paintbrushes… Oh, and some painting boards. I haven’t painted on canvass yet but that will be my next goal.
Will you be looking to make it into a business? No. While I am enjoying the space I am currently in, it is only my new found hobby for now. If any of my artwork ever appeals to anyone in the future and as this process organically evolves, I may consider it more seriously up ahead…

You can find Daniela on Instagram: daniela_garrett54 –‘Danielissima’

Claire Martin
Weaving

What do you normally do for a living? I’ve got a property management and project management company. So I look after property for clients who are not here and manage building works from small bathroom refits to whole property reforms.

What inspired you to start making your macrame? I started Googling craft things to learn on the Friday before we went into lockdown, and macrame came up.

How did you learn to make them? I watched online videos and courses. It took a lot of patience and a lot of trial and error.

How did the process of making something make you feel during lockdown? Good, it was nice to achieve something that I wouldn’t normally have had the time to learn.

How did you find materials during the lockdown? This was quite difficult, and again it was trial and error, but I bought the majority of my materials online.

Have you decided to make it a business? Yes. I’m not sure how far I’ll take it but at the moment I’m enjoying making them for people I know.
You can find Claire on https://etsy.me/3dbZQjj or call her on 620 269 492

Sylvia Morgan
Quilting and embroidery

What did you make during lockdown? I made cushions and runners during the lockdown. I started with the burgundy one as I wanted a bit more of that colour in the sitting room. Then I decided to “tart up” our porch sitting area. I had lots of different green fabrics in my cupboard full of material so I went with that theme. I have made the three cushions in last month or so and have two runners half-finished at the moment.

What inspired you to start making these cushions? I have been sewing since I was a teenager when I made lots of my clothes. I started patchwork and quilting with American ladies in Turin in the 90s when we lived in Italy. I now belong to Cosi Patchwork, a Palma group, I am the only active British member. I have never done this professionally, only for love and friendship.

How did lockdown affect you? Lockdown has made me more active in my sewing room, far more enjoyable than housework!

Russell Hodgson
Woodwork

What inspired you to start making your creations? I’ve always been interested in woodwork since my school days and woodwork classes in the 80’s but I’ve never really had the time to do much about it, I made a coffee table and side table for myself last year and that really sparked my interest again in bespoke one-off items.

How did you find materials during the lockdown? I was bored in lockdown, as was everyone, so I ordered myself a hobby CNC machine just to do a few bits that interested me and things started rolling from there. Soon I was making things just from the scraps of material I had lying around. Within a week I had ordered another CNC with laser engraving and made a couple of coasters for a friend. When I posted photos online people seemed to love them and started asking me to make some for them. As for creativity, it was all determined by what I had in my very small workshop that I could use, I made a good few coasters a couple of mini picnic table ornaments that ended up turning into bird feeders, I engraved some plexiglass for a friend’s children that we made into night lights, some mini deck chair engraved ornaments and some led lights from some scrap pieces of epoxy River table. I’m not sure what the next step will be I’m really enjoying what I’m doing and now I can get more materials as places open up again, I’m looking forward to getting back to the day job so to speak but making sure I’ve got time to carry on with this little sideline.
https://www.facebook.com/Bespoke-Handmade-In-Mallorca-102794611414015/

Jillian Bluett
Painting

What do you normally do for a living? I’m a lawyer, but because I have a South African law degree I can’t practise in Spain. My husband and I, together with another partner, recently took over a vinyl wrapping company so we wrap anything that can be wrapped - boats, cars, kitchen cupboards. So now I’m a Jill of all trades doing admin and helping with the wrapping when necessary.

What inspired you to start making these? When I first got to Majorca I was absolutely bored stiff (this was some years ago), and was annoying my husband no end. One day he came home with some paints and a canvas and told me to try my hand at painting. I had never done it before, but I absolutely fell in love with it. I didn’t paint dogs initially, but during lockdown I gave some serious thought about whether or not to try and sell my art. I asked the artist in the Facebook group Majorca Mallorca, At Home Together, Daxa Parmar for some advice and she very soundly told me to paint things I love. I love dogs, so that was the obvious choice. I had done one painting of Guinness, our schnauzer, when he was a puppy - so I did another one of him, and then I posted a random painting on Facebook I did during lockdown of a Dalmation and got quite a few likes, so decided that that was going to be my thing. There is something very rewarding about painting something as personal as a best friend - it’s an honour really I love to bring a smile to people’s faces.

How did the process of making something during lockdown make you feel? It made me feel hopeful. Painting has always been a sort of therapy for me. Not being able to work properly, and not having any income has been really tough, as it has been on everyone. I know that in these sort of times, art is probably the least lucrative thing to do, but being able to paint something that will hopefully make someone else happy is just the bomb. It made me realise that I don’t have to be just an academic, I can use both sides of my brain and there are actually people out there who like what I do. It also sort of forced me to pluck up the courage to actually post my paintings online - something I would never have attempted to do in the past - and to perhaps try to make even a part-time sort of living out of it.

How did you find materials during lockdown? Fortunately, I had a whole lot of paints and old canvases (with dreadful paintings I had done before) in storage - so I dragged those out and was able to do quite a bit of painting. Bendix was also open at the time - they permitted you to email them a list of what you needed and then go and collect it. I only needed to do this once though, fortunately.

Have you decided to make it a business? At this stage, because it’s very early on, it will have to be something I do part-time because I can’t really afford not to work (unless by some miracle, I get a shed load of commissions!). I have however decided to make it a business in some form or another. Let’s just hold paws it takes off! I have always wanted to do something I really love, and be able to help others whilst doing so - so if I can make a bit of moolah for the animal rescue centres on the island at the same time, that would be a bonus!

You can see more of Jillian’s work at https://www.facebook.com/palmapawtraits a portion of any commissions Jillian receives will be donated to the animal shelters on the island.

You can join this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/MajorcaMallorca/ for more inspiration and support for new businesses, artists, creators and general friendship and support across the island and the world.

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