Saturday, August 23, 2008
Another Glassy Friend--Deb Batten aka FireBird FlameWork aka da Batt
I have to admit, I was absolutely thrilled when my Kiwi friend, Deb Batten, agreed to an interview in this Glassy Friends series! Deb, a native of New Zealand, and I met, online, through the forums on Lampwork Etc. She is an absolutely fabulous glass artist! So, I sent her some questions, and here are her photos, and her answers. First of all, a self portrait.
) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m me… anyone that knows me will know I don’t do short! Lol! I’m well seasoned Mum of 4 with a love for nature, colour, texture, warmth & light. Without them I am nothing. I don’t recall ever not having love art in some form or another – I grew up surrounded by music & colour, a Maternal Grandfather from the Mediterranean saw to that & as a result all of my life has been spent dabbling & working in one form of the arts or another.
2) If you could be anyone, past or present, who would you be and why?
If I could be anyone I’d be anyone, past or present, I’d be Cleopatra VII – Queen of Egypt.
Oh yeah – I know that in reality she was far from beautiful, of mixed heritage, had to fight to regain her throne & died a not too pleasant death. But hey – she was determined, lived somewhere warm & had GREAT jewelry!
Then again I wouldn’t mind being Xena….. all of that wonderful decorated armour…
3) Outside of the glass world, who is your favorite artist?
Yep throw me a toughy! A single favorite artist? Now that could vary from day to day. I adore colour – it rocks my world & I am hugely affected by it. I love the colours of Africa, warm earthy ochres, umbers, rich sienna’s. I love the way that light is different there & shows things in more depth.
That said, for today at least, I’d have to go with a South African artist Salomi Prinsloo. Her use of colour & light is amazing - & her paintings have a depth & flow that are mesmerizing.
4. A place to live is always important. Choose one location. Where would be the ideal place for you to live? Why?
If I was given the chance to relocate myself at this point in my life – I would have to be honest & say that without having visited them, there is no one location that I could definitively choose.
It’s tempting to say that I would set up a home base in Santa Fe, New Mexico – while I explored the rest of the world, primarily North Africa & the surrounding countries. I choose Santa Fe because the architecture & geography appeals to me, greatly….but then again perhaps the winter temperatures would not be to my heat seeking tastes. History holds a huge fascination for me – so it would have to be somewhere relatively old….& warm, very warm. Yep travel sounds grand – enjoy the summers & escape the winters ;o)
4) What is your greatest accomplishment?
Actually that’s an easy one – bringing up my kids to become relatively normal, happy adults…of course only two of them are at that point so far. Can I get back to you on this in another 8 years?
5) If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change and why?
The base line….I’d love to be able to change peoples perception of others & somehow make everyone more tolerant of the differences between cultures & beliefs. I think if that was achieved then everything else would just fall into place. Sneaking in a second one - I’d love for people to realise that this planet is not an endless supply of everything, & the need to replant , restock & put back into the earth is imperative for it’s future existence.
6) What is your favorite piece of art in your collection or outside of it?
OK another toughy – my tastes change day to day & according to my environment. Right now I would have to say that IN my collection is my “Huli Warrior” painting. Outside of it is a fabulous piece by the Artist I spoke of earlier – it is in fact the artwork that made me realise the importance of acting in the moment when you fall in love with an original piece of art. I missed this piece through hesitation &, even though part of me knows that it was never meant to be mine, I will always regret that it isn’t.
7) Choose 1: Fiber Arts, glass, wire work. Which is your favorite? Why?
Ok this one is easy – Fiber Arts, simply because it is so adaptable. I adore glass – but in my heart I know there will always be fiber. Fibers keep us warm, give us privacy & have so many practical applications – yet in it’s various forms can be used to created items of great beauty, be totally frivolous, completely impractical, wonderfully ornate & elegantly plain. It can be embellished & manipulated beyond anything else, used with almost unlimited other materials & in more applications than one person could possible explore in a lifetime. It is the base for so many items & the springboard for so many designs in other mediums. It’s is a fabulous teacher of history also. Yep, I adore glass – but will always be passionate about fiber.
Oh & something that you may not know about me….I name everything. Even my torch has a name, her real name is Venus, but I call her Mischief – that makes me the Mistress of Mischief ;o)
Editor's note: As I have gotten to know Deb over the internet, I have found her to be a wonderful, funny woman with a great heart full of compassion. I hope you get to know her, too. Check out her website. There's a link in the sidebar. Check out her ETSY store. There's a link in the sidebar for that. Now, I want to show you a couple of photos that I asked Deb to send.
When Deb was talking about fiber arts and her love of fiber, she wasn't kidding. Here's a photo of some silk ribbons that she sewed and dyed. I am fortunate to have some of these wonderful ribbons! Take a look!
Aren't these absolutely gorgeous? You should feel them in your hands and on your skin. They feel marvelous! These were hand sewn and hand dyed by Deb!
Now, here's a bead I love that Deb made. It shows her love of nature and texture. I think you should check out her website for more beads! Awesome!
Isn't that bead stunning? Organic, silvered, textured, warm, cool, natural. Deb, you are a most fabulous bead maker!
Thanks, Deb, for doing this interview!