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17/10/2014 / katnewman

Friends on Friday – Laney Mead of Izzybeads

You’re going to love this interview today. Laney is not only a talented lampworker, she is a writer, an artist, animal lover and a dear friend to boot! Her lampwork makes me smile, from her cute and crazy characters

And her beautiful drool worthy flowers that just get better and better.

And a post about Laney would not be complete without a special mention to the king of her castle, Gordy. He’s a brain damaged and very special cat who has captured the heart of so many people.

You can see her lovely work in her Etsy shop here:

And you should definitely stop by her blog, she’s also taking part in Blogtoberfest:

So here she is, enjoy 🙂

Tell me a bit about what you do. Include your ‘inside’ age for us, actual age is just a number, as we know!
I am Laney and I make lampwork glass beads, sculptural ones, flowers and fun animals. I also write for Cat World Magazine about my little brain damaged cat Gordy and one day will write the novel I keep threatening to do. I crochet in the evening as I can’t stand the television but its on so I sit and fiddle with my wool. I also draw, used to do much more fine art but now its more a doodle, usually designs for glass beads.

My inside age…ummm…definitely younger than my actual one although the back ache, knee clicking and sore eyes from too much time either at the torch or on the laptop would tell you otherwise!

What drives your creativity? As in what is it that makes designs come out of you and into being?
Nature. I love flowers and l love animals, I also love puns and plays on words. I only have to hear something on the radio, a butterfly land on a deep green leaf, or the yellow hues of early morning light flicker across the fields, the cows lean over the gate chewing the cud or my dogs rolling in mud…colour plays a huge part in my creativity too.


What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Neil Diamond.. September Morn!

Do you come from a creative family?
Tricky. I suppose I do. After reconnecting with my mum after 20 years it appears we both write, both love poetry, but whereas she sews and does exquisite embroidery and Black-work and I can’t sew a button on, I draw and play with glass. My maternal Grandmother knits, I crochet, my brothers are both very good with their hands, one re-sprays cars, custom and expensive – think Ferrari and bigger! My other brother (they are twins) builds models from scratch, no kits, he draws the boat; its mainly boats, and creates amazing models to scale. My father used to build remote control aircraft and is an amateur painter too, he loves to paint in oils and his pen and ink drawings are fantastic, he has an eye for detail. My son has always doodled and was doing Zentangle long before it was fashionable and my daughter could dress for a cat walk from a charity shop as she has the ability to create with clothes. My husband built my studio shed from a scribble he did on the back of a cigarette packet one morning so he is very creative with construction and practical things, so yes I suppose I do in a way.

Name up to 5 artistic influences in your life.
I don’t think I have any influences other than nature and old master’s paintings, I love the work of the impressionists but I change my mind on which one I like most depending on my mood.

What colour are your bedroom walls, and why?
Magnolia. I like it, its soft and warm and a background to the huge amount of canvas’s I have on the walls that I have painted and drawn throughout my life. I did used to have bright colourful walls but now its magnolia.

Who are your favourite artists?
I don’t have any. I love art so am very changeable, I have favourite writers, poets, even glass artists, although not many bead makers, more the large sculptural stuff, but again I change my mind depending on what I am looking at. I love colour so anyone that uses lots of colour would catch my eye.

Do you have any body art? Where and why?
Yes. One tattoo that I designed myself, its essentially the hand of Fatima on my upper right arm, but I researched the design and found that fish used to be in the original details, being a Piscean I wanted fish in mine and symbols to represent my children and my husband, the eye is deep blue as are the eyes of those three.

Who in your life do you like to create for? What does your creativity mean to them?
Myself. I truly believe that art comes from within and if you make for someone else in mind you are compromising on your creativity. I do give lots away to family and friends as gifts but then as friends they like what I do and as family they have no choice!

Is there anything you haven’t tried yet that you would like to?
I would never say never to most things, after years of struggling with depression I try and push myself to try new adventures when they arise, you never know when its your last day and I have spent too many days being sad to waste them, time is precious and opportunities rarely happen twice.

Where would you go to on a weekend city break, if you had the choice?
I can’t think of anything worse than a city break, I am country girl at heart and am happiest in the middle of a cow field, in the rain, with my dogs up to my knees in mud. I hate the bright lights and crowds of cities, I am a country bumpkin and proud of it.

When was the last time you took a walk just for the sake of it? Why, and how was it?
I walk everyday with my dogs, I love to walk if I miss my daily walk for any reason, and its most rare, I truly miss it.  I love to see the squirrels in the trees, the leaves turning colour through the seasons, the frost on the ground and the sparkle of sunshine on the river, as well as all the animals we meet, the swans, the ducks, the cows, sheep, other dogs, birds of prey, badger, squirrel, fox…..the list is endless I am lucky to live here in the beautiful countryside of Hereford.

What thing about you is the least known?
I am terribly shy. There I said it! It takes a huge amount of effort for me to be sociable, its not a natural thing for me I much prefer to be at home with my animals and not see a soul outside of who lives in this house. I volunteer at the Community Farm for adults with learning difficulties once a week and I love it but for me people with ‘problems’ suit my nature, I am bi-polar and struggle being amongst people that are dynamic and loud. In my teens I had a hard time making friends, I still do, the internet is great for me as I can be chatty but still in my own safe bubble.

To join in on Blogtoberfest and to view the other folk taking part follow the link below
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