Samantha Braund: Muse Personality

Samantha Braund - Serena 500

Date started working in metal clay:

I started working with metal clay in March 2009. I got hold of one of Irina Miech’s metal clay books and loved the medium from that point on.

Certified: (what clay, year and with whom)

I still haven’t embarked on getting certified in metal clay. I am mostly self taught, and muddle through with my own way of doing things, however, the amazing metal clay community are so helpful and informative such as the Yahoo Group, that resources and help is there if anyone ever needed it.

Accomplished at what media in addition to metal clay:

Watercolour painting and drawing are longstanding hobbies, plus I love making digital art using photoshop.

I create a lot of wire sculpted jewellery, which is a very ancient artform in it's own right, dating back to 2000BC. Wire is a fascinating medium to work with, The tensile strength it takes on, allows me to bend, form and weave it into an infinite array of organic forms, while securing the gemstones in place. This was where I started to uncover my innate freeform style which has translated into my metal clay work too

Website and short bio:

I had a very turbulent and abusive upbringing, leaving me isolated for long periods during my childhood. Family set ups like these often leave a person feeling voiceless, with no rights of their own. Creative and artistic expression became a necessity and a lifeline for me.

I worked as a Doctor for many years, spending all my freetime dabbling in the arts. Then in 2004 I took my abuser to court and won the case, and this seminal event served as a catalyst to a whole host of positive and negative experiences including ill health. Again art came to my rescue, and saved my sanity.

Now I nurture my artistic skills and listen to inner self and use my creative outlets to express all that I couldn’t when I was helpless. Devoting myself now full time to my creative life has been an empowering experience and I cannot feel grateful enough to the powers that be for this.

What is your inspiration now?

My inspirations are subconsciously influenced by my experiences. I am drawn to themes found in childhood fairytales, fantasy and folklore, in particular to strong female archetypes such as the Ancient Greek Goddesses, and Mermaids. I like my work to exude a dreamy otherworldly quality wherever possible. The natural world, especially marine life, coral and invertebrates are also a constant source of inspiration to me.

Do you have a muse?

My current muse is a mythical warrior princess or queen. I am really into armour, at the moment, both medieval and an organic fantasy style as seen in science fiction. I have many sketches and ideas floating around and am trying to combine my metal clay work, wire work and polymer clay into making something along those lines.

What is currently on your bench/workspace?

I am finishing off some commission work at the moment and hope to clear the decks for more exciting projects to take place.

What project/direction are you working on now?

There are several projects in the works, and I am also about to embark on a university Arts and Design Foundation course, which will give me time to experiment in ceramics, woodworking, metalworking and glass amongst other media. This will be the first time I will ever have had any formal education in the arts. I am excited to bring any new skills learnt into my current work and to see where it will all lead.

How much time do you average at the bench per week?

This really varies, my course will impact my studio time I expect, even though I am doing it Part Time. When I am absorbed in a project I never seem to leave the studio at all, lol…

What's the average time you spend on a piece?

I am horribly impatient with my work unfortunately, so every piece I work on takes up to a week maximum. I hope the course will force me to calm down a bit and let things simmer a bit before rushing to finish it off.

Do you sell your work? and where?

I do sell my work both online and offline. I have an Etsy shop where I sell mostly my wire sculpted pieces. I used to reserve my metal clay pieces for shows, but I will be introducing those into the online shop too this year. I am also honoured to have pieces at the British Museum Grenville Shop, they have just sold my Greek Goddess necklace collection, and they are looking at selling another collection there for Christmas.

Where do you get your new ideas?

Most of my ideas come from staring at my Pinterest Boards, lol!! I have Gothic Fantasy, Mermaid and Secret Garden themed boards that I am really into right now. There is also a vast catalogue of Natural world images I draw from.

Do you keep a sketchbook and how do you organize it?

I have lots of sketchbooks, some for painting in, and others I keep doodles and zentangles in. Zentangles are a great form of creative meditation, so when I am stuck in a rut, I often start there.

Are there places or things you avoid that zap your creativity?

Any family related drama is like Kryptonite to me, lol. My creative energy disappears periodically, so I try to avoid that. I think overall a Fear of Failure is something I find crippling, it can halt me from even starting a project.

Do you have a ritual before you begin to create?

I usually have days of allowing an idea to filter through onto my sketchpad, and then I usually draw some otherworldly sketch for a project. I then tone it down through further sketchwork, and work on constructional ideas. Often then I turn to polymer clay, to either try out aspects of my idea or to create drying forms for my metal clay sculpture … and it grows from there.

What do you collect?

I like to collect woodland seeds and pods, seashells and starfish, and I also have a few natural crystal clusters. They all sit on my work bench.

How do you rejuvenate your creativity?

I love going out to the theatre, and visiting galleries and exhibitions, outside of walks in the woods near my home. I find hanging out with my husband rejuvenates my energy levels to be honest, we laugh a lot and can be silly together and he is my best friend.

What would your perfect creative day be like?

Being in my studio, putting my ideas into practice and everything coming together seamlessly, with an endless supply of cups of tea on tap.

9 Responses to Samantha Braund: Muse Personality

  1. Wow Samantha I am so proud of you for turning something so negative around into beautiful art to share with the world. You are an inspiration. Thank you Tonya for sharing these Muse personalities.

  2. Thank you, Samantha, for sharing your story with all of us. You are a very brave and talented woman! I love your work, and look forward to seeing your metal clay pieces on your Etsy site!

  3. Thankyou very much Tonya for asking me to do this :)
    I hope that my story is of help and serves as some inspiration to those that find themselves in similar situations. Don't be afraid to shine and be heard!!

  4. Thank you for sharing your inspiration and ideas with us. It is always interesting to hear how artists and truly creative people produce their work.
    You make some wonderful pieces Samantha

  5. i really enjoyed reading about you! i love the female strength that shows through in your work; it's very forceful, but gentle at the same time, and that really inspires me. also, you are open about your life, and always going forward, something i really respect. thank you for sharing yourself here!

  6. Wow, your work is beautiful, and I can really relate to you as a person too, because art saved me as well. Thanks so much for inspiring me today. :)

  7. I think I am afraid of failure. AND IM A BEGINNER!! I keep buying beads and "thing" so the studio will be ready for it when Inspiration Hits", but its not healthy, I dont think. I keep putting it off, and what I DO create is half hearted,half finished.I have a bif ISSUE in my ,life that will be over within a year finally, and can you believe its been like 33 years since I was physically/emotionallynjured in the Service, Yes I am a woman.I admire you soooooo much, and wish that I had 1/10 your talent. I was a Photographer in the Service. Bujt somehow lost interest in all the furor over leaving and such. My book…ladies. Sorry! Wish me luck. Yes the other, THAT WAS PART OF IT IN THE NAVY! Good luck with your wonderful Class and the Museum pieces to sell as well. Sincerely, Sandy

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