Field Notes: Folk X Tatty Devine

Q/ Do you feel like you are the master of your craft? What does 'mastery' mean to you and how important is it?

Over the past 15 years I have become one with what I do.

When the laser cutter first came into the studio, it was a big daunting piece of equipment which now feels so comfortable and familiar.

I love trying new things and joining up my ideas with the technology and materials available.

Mastery to me means something that was once hard is now natural.

Mastery is not always necessary in making things - ideas, spontaneity, and context can make something, sometimes even more wonderful.

Q/ How long did it take you to find the beginning of your path to mastery? Have you always known your passion?

I have always been on a path - when I was a child I was surrounded by making things.

I didn't know where the path was leading but I always felt compelled to make things.

My passion is an ever moveable feast; I chase feelings and aesthetics.

Q/ How important is learning, exploring the 'new' and trying to expand your horizons when it comes to mastering a craft?

Learning and exploring is where inspiration is born.

Trying new things is key to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in your work.  It is key to mastering a craft.

Q/ Where does inspiration come from for you? Is it in a certain place, or at a certain time of the day, perhaps?

Inspiration is like a personal web of references from everything you know and have ever seen.

Sometimes a moment, a place, a person or thing can set off a link of chains through that web that creates some new idea.

Q/ There's plenty of research out there to suggest that fear, failure and vulnerability are all integral to the path of mastery - have your failures taught you?

Fear, failure and vulnerability have an integral role in creation.

You have to trust yourself a lot to try new things and make something that has never existed before - that possibly inhabits the world of the 'not normal'.

I would also say you have to be brave, and sometimes a bit angry and in love, too.

Q/ You're quoted as saying there’s always a story behind your beautiful designs - what piece is most special to you and why?

The jewellery always starts life as a conversation between Rosie and me. We share our stories and images.

We never make jewellery for jewellery's sake; it is full of references to whatever we are into and want it to exist forever.

The dinosaur is such a special piece, it marks a time when we came to laser cutting and found ourselves, but the most special piece to me is always the one I am just imagining.

Q/ To what extent do you agree that we all have a purpose, and that we should focus on doing one thing, and doing it well?

I think you could spend too long trying to dream up a purpose and it could be quite inhibiting to actually starting something.

There is something to be said for doing stuff just for fun.

I hope we all live too long to only focus on doing one thing well.

I always try to do my best, but I don't just do one thing - ever.

Q/ Who were the people that inspired you the most along your path?

My parents, Art College, my friends, and of course Rosie.

Q/ What does the year ahead hold for your path to mastery?

This year we are going to be 15 years old so the year ahead holds lots of celebration.

Q/ What's your advice for other creative souls out there that are  nervous to take a leap and hone in on their uniquely expressive craft?

Working with a partner has always been an invaluable experience - don't go it alone.

Love what you do and do it (all the time).