(versione in Italiano)
1. What's the name of your business, what do you create and sell?
My workshop is called LabSpace.
LAB: I like the idea of a LABoratory: where things are concocted in an almost chemical manner, where hands, heart and mind work together in mysterious ways and something gets invented or discovered by mixing ingredients and seeing what comes of it, in expected and unexpected ways. In fact, the more unexpected the result the more exciting it is for me.
SPACE: well, that is because I am always trying to find bubbles of space (mind-space, physical space, time-space) in the midst of my crowded and busy day. The name for my atelier also refers to Virtual Space, the internet, where there is ever more going on: I am trying to build my niche in this cyberspace, in my own humble and tiny way.
I mainly create little bags (this sprung from my own personal need to always carry my cellphone on me whilst protecting it from other objects) with leftover or recycled fabrics (torn jeans, old tablecloths, odds and bits found in GrandMa's drawers), sometimes with a theme to begin with, often by just letting the materials decide their own fate.
I started sewing a few years ago because I wanted to make clothes for my children. My mother gave me her old sewing-machine (which, incidentally, is exactly the same age as me!) and I took a course where I learnt to make skirts, shirts, trousers, simple evening dresses, even a jacket. I like to surprise my daughters with something we can't find in shops, like this dress I made for my 3rd daughter's 13th birthday:
Of course this leaves me with lots of strips of beautiful fabric, too little to make clothes with, but just perfect for crafting small pouches.
2. What are your inspirations in your art and life?
I like to always make the most of what I find around me, which I consider to be God-given, whether it is under the form of a blessing or a challenge. There is always the good and the bad side of things and persons. I like to focus on the positive, I think I do that spontaneously. So I usually go with the flow, and grab all those occasions that pop out at me. When something doesn't feel right, I stop and start something else.
My creative process is whimsical, fitful. I have very intense periods when ideas bubble and I stay up long hours riding endless waves of inspiration, then suddenly I can just stall as though the source has run dry, for no particular reason. I like to make one-of-a-kind items, so I find it tedious and very difficult to repeat something I have already made before. I am jealous of my work and have mixed feelings about parting with it, although it is very rewarding to know that it is appreciated by someone other than myself.
For example, this is a bag I made as a birthday present to a person who is a Pisces:
This is a bag I made toying with the theme of “folds”:
My creative inspiration can come from just about anything: an idea, a sound, a smell, a sense of joy or sadness...
3. Do you listen to music while you create? If so, what?
Ideally I would love to listen to music whilst creating. In practice, the children have broken my stereo and I am too lazy to face this fact and replace it. So my background soundtrack is made up of large-family-noise: voices, running foosteps, phones ringing, quarrels, requests, grumbles. And that's quite unique: you can't replay it, can't turn the volume up or down, change the CD or channel, and most of all, you cannot switch it off! But I really don't mind. It's just part of my life.
4. What is your studio or work space like?
I don't have a studio-space as such. It is sort of alongside the staircase, right in the middle of all the family-action. For some odd reason, that is where it came to be. It is definitely a strategic spot, one from which I can keep an eye on things (what's cooking in the kitchen, who is coming in or going out, what TV programme is on, etc.) whilst sewing a stitch.
My sewing machine shares the table with the mail, the family timetable, all the objects being dropped off by the rest of the family. Sometimes I need to halt, re-organize and reconquer my (lab)space!
5. What 3 things can't you live without?
My family, my rollerblades and all my books. And of course, God.
6. What is the best creative advice you have been given?
Make what you yourself would love to have, but cannot find. (I made that up myself! Not yet proven true commercially-speaking... but I'm loving it anyhow.)
7. What's new? Any products or projects you'd like to share?
I dreamt last night that I was about to give birth to quintuplets. I hope it wasn't a premonition. I think that the 5 children I that have are quite enough already. Yep, otherwise I wouldn't have any time left to make more bags!
I would like to share with you all my links, just in case you are curious for more:
_ this is my Etsy shop where I sell my pouches: www.labspace.etsy.com
_ to read more about my actual crafting go to my BLOG: http://labspaceworld.blogspot.com/
_ on my first ever private website you can see and read more about my clothes-making: http://xoomer.virgilio.it/lab.space/
_ in case you are curious about my architectural projects you can have a peep here: www.hg2.it
Of course I would much appreciate if you followed me on TWITTER: http://twitter.com/_LabSpace_ and/or became my FACEBOOK fan: http://www.facebook.com/pages/LabSpace#!/pages/LabSpace/395589553823?ref=ts