First up is Tracy... who you might know better as Plastic Bat
. Featured in French Cosmo, NEET, numerous blogs, Channel 4's Ideasfactory Scotland and most recently in Fred Flare's Next Best Thing things are looking good...
Tell us a bit about yourself…who are you and what do you do?
Well, my name’s Tracy Romaszkiewicz (above), I live in Dundee, Scotland & I run my own online accessories store called Plastic Bat which sells all manner of brightly coloured, handmade plastic goodies to add colour to the drabbest of wardrobes & best of all - I love every minute of it!
What first got you into crafting and making things?
As far back as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with jewellery & small objects. I used to make trinkets (usually household objects wrapped in foil) and sell them to the neighbours as a child & naturally this lead to my current career with the obvious exception of the foil!
I took a bizarre turn briefly at Art College where I studied Fine Art & ended up producing massive paintings but swiftly came back to jewellery & smaller artwork upon graduating.
What/who are your inspirations?
Anything & everything! For instance my current line of tooth themed pieces came from a nasty bout of toothache I had for a few months.
Generally though my work has a theme of nostalgia - childrens picture books, old movies, vintage toys, old postcards, greeting cards - as well as a healthy dose of current trends to ensure my pieces will co-ordinate with the seasons wardrobes.
What do you think the difference is between art and craft?
To be honest – its usually the price tag!! Apart from that there is no real difference, the same amount of passion, talent and hours could be put into either a beautiful handmade bag or a gallery exhibited canvas but in the end the “artwork” label will fetch the higher price 9 times out of 10.
Any crafty tips to share?
Ebay! Its a virtual treasure trove of supplies for both professional & hobby crafters. I’ve never found a brick & mortar bead shop yet which offers the choice & value you get on ebay.
It means you have access to fabulous supplies from the closeout warehouses in America, candy coloured cuteness from Chinese wholesalers and all the standard findings you could wish for without leaving home! You will find yourself in the situation where several other people have the same items as you but its what you do with them that counts in the end.
What do you think about the current UK craft scene?
Its definetly come a long way from loo roll covers & pressed flower displays but still has a looooooong way to go till it has the same credibility as the USA scene.
When people hear “handmade” its often still associated with the older traditional crafts (which there is nothing wrong with) but its about time things were shaken up & the new talents break through. To do this though, we need more Craft Mafia cities and more indie craft fairs like Miso Funky & Pretty Crafty Things throughout the country, all raising awareness of the alternative to the mass produced crap on the High Street.
Maybe someday the UK will have its own DIY network style channel. We can but hope!
We certainly share that hope! To make this happen we really need to support our UK indie crafters so why not go and have a look over at http://www.plastic-bat.co.uk/
Watch this space for the next crafty interview...coming soon