Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cathy Sutton - Artist Interview

This week we have Cathy Sutton from Manitoba Canada with us for our Artist Interview series. Thanks so much for sharing with us Cathy!!  
Cathy Sutton

How would you describe what you do as an artist?
I create wearable art for women who want something entirely different from mainstream, to display and wear!

What inspires your designs? 

I live right by the 13th largest fresh water lake in the world so I am inspired by the lake and all that is around it. My designs tend to be quite organic in nature. Earthy colours and textures predominate.

How long have you been involved in this type of making? 

I have always been a "maker" of various things but the metalsmithing was an offshoot from making lampwork glass beads. I took a class in LampWork three and a half years ago and began stringing the beads into bracelets and necklaces. It wasn't long after that I got interested in silver soldering then that lead to purchasing silver sheet and fabricating and then casting. I took as many local classes as I could find and the rest I picked up from trial and error and the internet. So to answer the question more simply- about 3 years.

Amethyst, Citrine, and Rutilated Quartz Pendant © Cathy Sutton

Where are you located?

I live in Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba, Canada. Winnipeg Beach is about 4 hours directly north of Fargo North Dakota. If you look on a map right at the centre of the North American continent, you'll see Winnipeg. (referred to as "The Heart of the Continent"). Winnipeg Beach is one hour north- on the shores of our huge lake. My husband and I moved to "The Beach" 6 years ago. We rebuilt our family cottage into a home. The building I use as my studio used to be my sisters and my bunk house. Built years ago to get us young teens out of the cottage when we invited friends to the beach for a week in the summer. (girls can be such noisy gigglers at night). It was the scene of many a crime...sneaking out with the neighbourhood kids for bonfires and so on. Now Nepenthe Studio is a quiet and serene place (when I'm not cursing lost gems that have gone for a roll under my bench). Nepenthe is the name that our cottage was in 1950 when my parents bought it. Nepenthe means "sleep giving drug, peacefulness, euphoria". It was the drug that Homer gave his wife when he left on his travels.

Do you have a website? 


What other ways do you market your work?

Mostly I sell wholesale to stores. My jewellery is available in Manitoba at Des Art, Bijou Treasures, Artifacts Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Woodlands Gallery, Fishfly Gallery, and in British Columbia at Juvelisto and Dragonfly and Amber. I also will be represented in Influx Gallery in Calgary- as soon as I get the stuff shipped!

Sterling and Gold Ring © Cathy Sutton

Do you teach? If so, where?
I teach  lampwork bead making  classes at Prairie Stained Glass in Winnipeg. I am still a "newbie" at jewellery making.

Any sage advice for newcomers that you would like to share?
Be brave. Try it.

Where do you envision your work going in the next year?

I am very keen on getting into a couple more stores in the East. (Ontario, Quebec and / or the Maritime Provinces). I do plan and taking an advanced stone setting class in the upcoming months. I want to hone my skills. Lots to learn!
Tortured Copper © Cathy Sutton

Anything else you would like to share?
I use a technique that I call “Tortured Copper”. I heat copper sheet until its bright red screaming hot. Then I drop many little snippets of sterling on the raging hot copper. The sterling submits to the copper and turns to a shiny liquid. My torch “blows” the molten silver around in patterns creating a permanent marriage of copper and silver and lives happily ever after.

Of course some people would simply call this fusing…

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Cathy! You've progressed a lot in a short time. I never quit my day job, so my progress is slower. I like your tortured copper idea, and also your willingness to be brave and try things!