Friday, 19 February 2010

This week's Creative Genius is....

Claire from Black Cats Whiskers
Claire spends all her spare time creating beautiful beaded pieces and fabulous jewellery items. Here she tells us about what inspires her and how much she enjoys being part of the creative community.

Firstly, Tell us abit more about yourself and your craft?
I'm Claire aka blackcatswhiskers, I live in Horley near Gatwick with my hubby and 4 cats and I like to think I design fun and affordable jewellery. I didn't begin making jewellery until the end of 2008 (seems such a long time ago) when I saw a beaded watch in a local shop and thought 'I can do that'... and the rest is history. I work full time so have to play at being a designer at the weekends or in any available time that I can find. It is fair to say that my jewellery making is pretty much taking over my life at the moment as I am making frantically for a little gift shop that is going to stock my jewellery and for the craft fairs that start early in March. I do need to try and find a better work, designing, relaxing, doing everything else balance but i'm sure most crafts people can relate to that. Whats that? a 48 hour day? Ooooo yes please.

What is your favourite item you have ever made?

It would have to be this charm bracelet watch. It was one of the first I made and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately I cannot get the watch faces like this anymore which is a huge shame. If you would like to see more of Claire's favourite piece see the link below

What do you enjoy most about your craft?
I just love the beads, I spend hour upon hour browsing for new ones and I love to sit by my bead boxes picking my random bead selections for my charm bracelets, its great deciding which colours go best together. I have recently started using gorgeous acrylic flowers and butterflies in my designs so I often think of the colours of the flowers in my garden when i'm pulling a piece together. It's great to be able to mix my two passions.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I get my ideas from lots of places, i'm always on the look out for something a bit different and I also get lots of ideas from talking to people and special requests. Other than craft, what else do you enjoy? I love my garden! Before we moved to where we live now we lived in a flat above a high street and I had absolutely no gardening experience but I had to learn fast as we moved to a house with a 70ft garden that was a mess. I had to literally start again, it has been hard work but it has been lovely filling it full of pretty flowers, tonnes of roses and flowers with a gorgeous scent like lavender. My parents have always had a lovely garden so I take alot of my inspiration from them, I often come home with a cutting or something from their garden when I go to visit.

What are your views on the handmade community?
I think its amazing, it astonishes me how much talent there is out there. I just wish sites like folksy where more widely known about, I had certainly never heard of it before I myself started crafting. I think we need to take every opportunity to shout about handmade. Something unique is so much nicer than mass produced.

Who is your favourite handmade artisan?

This is a really tough question because I have bought some amazing things since joining folksy in December 09 from people like cinnamon jewellery, mollimoo, digtheearth, pussy galore, sweetscentedsoy and rubyanddig. At the moment though my favourite would have to be sugarmiceSarah is amazing, and is currently making me some specially requested charms for my jewellery, I can't wait to get them. Nothing seems like too much trouble, I can only imagine how much time it takes her to perfect all those little cupcakes she makes! .Take a look at

Is there anything else you wish to say?
Just a big thank you to everyone on folksy, I am a relative newcomer to crafts and to folksy but I have never been made to feel as though I don't have a worthwhile contribution to make which is really nice x

If you would like to find out more about Claire and Black Cats Whiskers follow the links below:
My little shop link is
My blog is (please come follow me! x )

Next week Creative Genius will be interviewing another fantastic artisan.Make sure you don't miss out, click and become a follower now!


  1. Great interview. I love the charm bracelet watch, so pretty :D

  2. What a brilliant interview. Beautiful things....
    Dottie x