Designer of the Month: Welcome, Tina Cox
Welcome back to Designer of the Month. This month, I am very pleased to interview Tina Cox. Tina has been designing for a number of years. She brings to her patterns some truly innovative ideas, as you can see by the featured photo (pattern found in the February 2007 issue of Parchment Craft magazine). So, without further adieu, lets give a big welcome to Tina.
CEP: Tina, welcome to DotM, I am happy you have agreed to answer some questions for us. I like to start out asking a pretty simple question, how did you get started in Parchment Craft? Was there anything specific that drew you to this art?
Tina Cox: Hi all. I started parchment craft in 1995 … I did not do any hobbies before I started parchment craft but one day I happened to pop into an art shop I was walking past, “just to have a look!” I saw a beautiful card done in just white work which left me mesmerised and I wanted to learn how to make that. At the time there were not many tools or patterns available so I only bought, well, everything!!! “Just to have a look!” can get very expensive I realised there on because I would pop into other art and craft shops to only see (of course) if they had anything else I could use to learn the craft. For a year and a half, I tried to learn as much as I could on my own, then finally found a tutor near me and passed my Pergamano tutors course in 1997.
CEP: Was there any specific inspiration for you to start designing your own patterns?
No there was nothing specific I can point at but I realised very early on I was not good at reading instructions and wanted to do things my way from the patterns that were available, either change the colour or change the border or make the project in white work rather than colour … and of course, when mistakes were made, the pattern needed drastic alterations to hide the holes or blob of colours!
CEP: Many of your patterns seem to have a mix of traditional and modern elements in them. How do you get the ideas to mix the two?
Tina: I started with the traditional techniques in parchment craft but a few years down the road card making was becoming very popular and I loved the paper punches, rubber stamps, embellishments that were in the market. I wanted to decorate all my parchment projects using the other tools available in the card making world. I bought every butterfly and flower punch that was available at the time!!! When I design, most of my patterns consist of the basic techniques in parchment craft but jazzed up for completion with embellishments such as ribbons, gems and lots and lots of glitter powder.
CEP: It would be lovely if you could explain a little about your design process. Do you start with the border and add to that, or what?
Tina: I normally start with what my main object will be. So, for example, if I am doing a pattern pack with a butterfly theme, I will design my butterfly first than frame a border around it and the main card. At the back of my mind while I am designing the butterfly, my brain is constantly thinking of ideas of how I will put it all together, for example do I want just one butterfly or maybe 3? Do I want to paint the butterflies or do them using various white work techniques. What sort of mounting and laying methods shall I use today? Does this card really need a ribbon? How many gems can I add to this project? But my last thought churning in my head is always, It needs glitter.
CEP: What has given you the most pleasure in parchment crafting?
Tina: All the friends I have made through this craft and the finished project. There is a great satisfaction in seeing any of the creations from the beginning to the end. It never amazes me what can be achieved from a piece of paper that most people see as just tracing paper. When I show a finished project to my friends and family and see their smiles when they get one of my cards or gifts made from parchment paper, it is a treasured gift for me. It makes me want to continue and do better. Through parchment craft I have met some of the most amazing people.
CEP: Finally, I will close with one last question. If you could give one piece of advice to my readers about parchment crafting, what would that be?
Tina: Please, please, please don’t give up. Parchment craft gets better and better through practice. Today what you think you will never be able to do, 2 years into the future, with practice, you will do without thinking and create some of the most beautiful projects you will treasure, look at and say “I did it.”
Thank you so much, Tina! For those of you that may not know, Tina has been really busy creating new pattern packs, which you can find here, so I really appreciate her taking the time to answer these questions. Do keep an eye on on that space for new work!