Interview with GISELLE No.5 part 1

It’s Easter weekend and we have a very special guest! Giselle Massey from Giselle No.5 has a heart to heart talk with us. Her design studio Giselle No.5 produces the most wonderfully handcrafted stamps for multi-functional use. If you’re a potter or ( polymer ) clay artist or just like to bake cookies – she has the perfect stamp!

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Giselle is chatting with us about her lovely sea-side hometown Los Osos, California,  gives a great insight of her home studio where her creations come to life. Giselle shares with us the memory of a family feast  – she’s one of seven sisters! – and even gives us a quick-guide how to start working with ceramic clay.
Find her beautiful work here on Etsy. Ball stamps, cube stamps, texture stamps and finished pottery pieces such as a pendant necklace or a fridge magnet. Giselle’s stamps can be used on cookie dough, polymer clay and all sorts of ceramic clay, even metal clay. The possibilities are endless – if you have a look at these one-of-a-kind & full of detail stamps, you just want to start a new project & get crafty!

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Ifeelcrafty: Give us a little tour of your hometown so we can picture where you’re living & what you like to do.

Giselle: I grew up in Los Osos, California, and my husband and I moved back with my son about two years ago. It’s a small town of about 15,000 on the Central Coast, just about in the middle between Los Angeles and San Francisco. There is a beautiful, peaceful quality to the days and nights here. The ocean is so close that at night I can hear the distant fog horns and the roaring of the waves as I go to sleep. I remember that it was a huge deal when the first stop lights were installed. I moved away when I turned 18 and lived in a city of around 200,000 an hour to the south. I hated every minute of living there. The streetlights meant I couldn’t even see the stars at night and not a day went by that I didn’t miss the ocean. I disliked the heavy traffic, nearby crime, and constant sirens. We moved back when my son was 18 months old and I know this little backwater town will always be home to me. Since it’s an unincorporated area of the county, the regulations for home businesses are very liberal. Lots of visual and performance artists live and work here and I find myself inspired by nature very frequently in my work.

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Ifeelcrafty: A day in the studio.

Giselle: One of the hardest things for me, working at home while caring for a preschooler, is that my focus is broken over and over. Some days it seems like my son needs something every two minutes. I check for new sales and customer messages as soon as I get up in the morning, and then it’s off to make breakfast, and from there it’s a constant game of catch-up. I’ve learned to work during the day in 20-30 minute spurts on the non-creative portions of my business, where the interruptions won’t affect the quality of my work. It’s in the evenings after my son has gone to bed that I begin making stamps for orders, creating new designs, or making little beads or sculptures out of clay. I’ve learned that I can accomplish surprising amounts of work in even small amounts of time, and I’ve also developed the ability to slip back quickly into any abandoned task when I return to my desk.

When I became serious about my creative business we turned one corner of the living room into my creative workspace. This is a relief because before we did this, clay was taking over my kitchen counter and dining room table. Now I have a large corner desk with my computer, tools, and shipping supplies. A nearby bookcase holds my tackle boxes full of stamps and I keep my clay under my desk since it’s too heavy for my drawers. No matter how hard I try to keep this area tidy I seem to operate in a creative mess … which is why I have not included a photo. I bake my polymer clay stamps in my oven, and all my ceramic stamps are fired at a friend’s studio, so I’m able to get by without a kiln. As my son gets older I plan to set up a small studio area in our garage where I can make larger pieces and perhaps even pursue my dream of learning to throw pottery on the wheel.

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Ifeelcrafty: A piece you created with your stamps, that is special/dear to you. And why.

Giselle: About a year ago I made my son a special set of plates that were just his size. I chose different animal stamps from my collection and used a set of lettering stamps that I made as well to spell out each animal’s name. He loves them. He knows they’re special and that I made them just for him. They’re such a nice “sandwich” size that those are the plates we always use for breakfast and lunch, and it took some sweet-talking to convince him to share. I’ve recently added some new animal stamp designs to my shop at his request, and I’m thinking he may need a lion and a dinosaur cereal bowl to round out his collection.

Ifeelcrafty: Your favourite fashion accessory & why.

I’ve never liked wearing necklaces much, and I save bracelets for special occasions; but I love wearing earrings. Even if I go out without makeup I still wear earrings. My current favorite is a pair of ceramic earrings I made with one of my stamps. I get compliments on them every time I wear them, and of course it’s especially nice to be able to tell people that I made them myself.

Read part 2 of the interview here !

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I’m sure you’re already hooked by Giselle’s work & don’t want to miss out how she celebrates with her grand family in the landscaped garden of her parents  house. Or her practical advice for pottery beginners – you could easily to start your own business with this quick-guide without spending any money. It might be YOUR new hobby!
So read more about Giselle No.5.

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