Born out of a loathing for the corporate exploitation of Black Friday Sales and Christmas marketing, #Craftmas aims to get word out about the artists, artisans and craftspeople making beautiful gifts. Why buy a mass produced piece of plastic when you can gift an exclusive and interesting piece made by a creator-maker looking to make a living.
Support #Craftmas by using it to Tweet about your favourite makers, by using the hashtag as a Christmas shopping directory or simply by retweeting!
“With painting and drawing I was never entirely happy with the end result but there’s something about wire trees ….. sometimes it just takes a smidge of a movement and you go from something a bit ‘meh’ to something so pretty.”
Twysted Roots is a collection of beautiful bonsai tree sculptures created by business owner Clair, using wire and glass seed beads, and sometimes incorporating other elements such as Murano glass beads, lampwork beads and gemstones.
The creation of the sculptures, which happens on a sofa in Clair’s home, went from being a hobby to distract her to an award winning business in the space of three years.
Moving to Cornwall from Scotland six years ago Clair found herself isolated and in need of a creative distraction to help her deal with a new home, caring responsibilities and being away from friends and family.
She explained: “After moving from Scotland I found myself without any kind of support system which I really struggled with. No friends and routine was out the window. Being a carer, options were limited so in the quiet times I started to revisit things I used to love doing such as painting and playing guitar.”
The solitude however proved productive as it pushed Clair into exploring: “It was after restringing my guitar and winding the old strings together, I thought ‘hey, doing wall decor with wire would be fun to try!’ so I took to Pinterest for some inspiration. I started just playing around with wire and decided I wasn’t very good so I found some wire trees and decided to try that. And I was hooked. The rest as they say, is history!”
Inspired by trees around her, which sees her capturing photos of interesting ones encountered on her travels, and the colours and materials at her disposal Clair has been able to create a range of unique ready made trees available to click and buy, as well as allowing her to offer bespoke trees to customers. Although she has received a late diagnosis for autism and has general anxiety disorder, Clair has found her business has been able to fit into her life as it is.
“I don’t sleep much which goes in my favour for running a small business.” she explained. “It means I can work late into the night when all is quiet, and catch up on things I’ve not done during the day.
“I live a quiet life and the majority of my socialising is done online. It’s been great meeting other small business owners since starting my own business. I never imagined that there would be such a supportive online community; there’s a lot of empathy because we all struggle at times. Running a business can be lonely, but far less so when you know some like minded people.”
Clair is pleased that she has been able to create a creative business for herself – not just for the financial element. She added: “It’s such an awesome feeling to be able to create something you love and have huge passion for.”
To buy Clair’s gorgeous little trees visit http://www.twystedroots.co.uk/shop
* Want more #Craftmas inspirations? Clair recommends: “I’m going to choose an artist I’ve collaborated with previously who makes the most beautiful animal figurines. You can find her via Instagram as @whimsycalling or her website https://whimsycalling.com/ Be prepared to fall in love!”