Conversations with the Makers

An array of questions to fibre/textile artists and their answers.

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Conversation with Jenny Crossley, Australia

Jen is an Australian mixed media artist and highly sought after instructor.  Her art is truly unique, incorporating many a found object, vintage ephemera, metal she has herself etched, resin and much more.  With a true eye for detail and the ability to see past a rusty bit of metal, Jen is able to create assemblage pieces, tiny books and jewellery from this assortment of pieces she collects.

Jen’s career has now taken her abroad where she realised her dream of becoming an internationally recognised artist and began teaching at the Art n Soul retreats.  Her work has been published in a number of Stampington’s magazine publications. Jen also was one of the 31 featured artists in Seth Apters The pulse of mixed media: secrets and passions of 100 artists

Jen’s pieces conjure up images of times gone by .... which is the apt name of her blog A Mark in Time.


CONVERSATION WITH THE MAKER(CWTM)Did you always envision a life as an artist?

JENNY CROSSLEY(JC)I never envisioned my life as an artist at all I knew I was creative, but it seemed like a pipe dream to ever think I could be an artist I still wrestle with this. I think of an artist as having a master in art at Uni.


CWTM What was your first experience with making art?

JC I was always making something as a child, back in the old play school days on TV I always was playing with pipe cleaners, cotton wool and match boxes making them into doll drawers Augh those were the days.


CWTM Do you have a dedicated studio?

 JC I don’t have a dedicated studio I have a dedicated dining room table with a drill set up on one end .My daughters room has my supplies and the laundry my house is a dedicated studio with supplies strewn everywhere and one very patient Husband and family.


CWTM Can you describe a typical day?

JC A typical day for me is generally a normal day of housework, then I either create or pack kits for where I’m teaching next. I don’t have a typical Create pattern when it hits I work till I drop.


CWTM Would you consider your art making to be more about the process than the outcome?

JC Generally I would consider my art making to be about the process now, learning to plan a bit more with how I construct things instead of diving in like I used to and then think gee I should of don’t that first before I added that.


CWTM Do you agree that a small element of uncertainty about the finished look is what makes the process of creating so enticing?

JC A small element of uncertainty about the finished piece does make my process of creating enticing sometimes happy mistakes are the best result.


CWTM Any indispensable tools or equipment?

JC I do have some tools that are indispensable I Love my flex shaft drill,

my bench block, good tin snips But  the top would be my Found objects without these my creative flow wont flow.


CWTM Do your pieces start with a planned course of action or are they more spontaneous?

JC I never plan my pieces sometime I might be cleaning my table off to start on a new piece, and I might throw one thing on top of another and think gee that looks good and then the create flow takes over


CWTM How do you know when to “stop” – when do you consider a piece actually finished?

JC I do generally know when to stop a feeling comes over me and I know it’s enough less is more sometimes.


CWTM Your greatest source of inspiration is….

JC I would have to say my greatest source of Inspiration is generally found objects something goes off in my head and the process begins.


CWTM Favourite quote?

JC Don’t sweat the small stuff,


Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get.


CWTM When do you do your best creative thinking?

JC I think I do my best creating when I have time to play just for me, and if I have a dead line I chock creatively till the last day then its flows under pressure.


CWTM What do you enjoy most about your work?

JC The thing I like most about my work is the unexpected results and the creative process it makes me feel alive when I do it. Also the people I meet through Art I have meet some wonderful and talented people.


 CWTM Best advice you’ve ever received?

JC You’re not going to make your master piece in class. Keith lo Bue


CWTM Worst advice you’ve ever received?

JC Hm nothing I can think of at the moment


CWTM Best part of your day?

JC When I finish a piece I have been working with all day.


CWTM What inspires your creativity?

 JC I find I can be quiet creative when I’m surround by other likeminded people I tend to bounce off their  energy.


CWTM What are you excited about right now in the world of textile art?

JC I love the diversity of it all, the amazing products available and artists taking their creativity to the limit.


CWTM You’d be lost without…

JC I would be lost without my tools and creativity.. shoot me now I say.


CWTM What would you do with a few extra hours each day? 

JC I’d love to work on new ideas and technique’s if I had more time in the day