Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Spotlight On: Karen and Rich of Grin, Grimace and Squeak!

Rich and Karen live across the Pond, in a quite village in the Cornish coast of England.  Both artists in their own right, they got together and a mutual love of costume resulted in their wonderful masquerade designs, from hair vines to beaded masks all of which can be found in their shop, GrinGrimaceandSqueak!

Silver and Seaglass Headband

Tell us three other things about yourself.
We are mad as two balloons, both really quite shy though we like good company and we are constantly on the lookout for new things to try, be that a new material or a jam recipe.

I'm not quite sure how mad two balloons are, but it sounds lovely. What’s your medium and how did you get into it?   We work in enamelled wire and glass seed beads for the most part though we also use resin and sea glass. Like most crafty types, we have piles of different materials and it wasn't until there was a party to go to and nothing to wear that a coil of purple wire got turned into a mask. It worked so well, we tried it again and got hooked! Asides from it being beautiful, it has so much potential- years on and we're still designing new ways of working with it ;)

Sea glass masks that sounds absolutely endearing.  What's your favorite thing the two of you have come up with? Oooh, tough one. Can we have two?

Purple Ladies' Cat Mask

Yes, since there are two of you.
It would have to be our cat mask because it represents a change in how we worked around the human face shape and the horned jester, because it was the first to have three dimensional horns.

Horned Jester Masquerade Mask

From where do you take inspiration?
We work a lot from nature, be that plants, birds or just times of year- we have simple party pieces but it's also nice to work on a theme, create something with a personality of its own.

Name one piece of art you wish you’d created and why?
We'd love to have created Darkness from the film Legend , brilliant :)

That's probably the most interesting answer anyone has given as of yet.  And a brilliant film. What are you doing when you’re not crafting?
We spend a lot of time out walking, taking photos – which is probably as well since our other great passion is cooking.

If you had to give up your medium and pursue another, what would it be and why?
Actually, there are lots more mediums we want to try, just don't have the space to use.....yet :) We see our work getting more theatrical as time goes by, we'd like to create in sheet metal amongst other things but could use a little more elbow room and new tools for that.

Tell us about a time you were making something that came out better than expected and how it happened.  That would have to be Le Cyrano, one of our mens masks- getting from a paper design to a 3d wire sculpture can take several attempts and lots of adjustments but that time, it worked perfectly first time around and was the subject of much astonished staring for quite some time :)

Who is one person living or dead, famous or not, who you wish owned one of your creations and why?  Eartha Kitt, the original Catwoman, very cool lady who had a wicked sense of humour.

Mayqueen Masquerade Mask

She'd probably look smashing in one of your masks, as well. How would you explain how to do what you do to an eight year old?  Actually, our work has only become complicated because our designs have evolved to much- the basic process of bending wire to shape and wrapping more wire strung with beads around that frame is pretty simple.

What’s your favorite part of said process?
Standing back and admiring it afterwards, at which point we magically forget how much swearing was involved and think it would be a great idea to do make another one.

One random thing you think people should know.
Monkeys peel bananas upside down- apparently, it works better because you don't squash the fruit by snapping the stalk like most people do :)

Your shop address/facebook/Twitter/blog/website. Etc.
Our UK website where we also offer rental:
Our Etsy shop:
Our blog:

If you could go anywhere on Earth at any point in time, where and when would you go and why?
We'd go back to prehistoric britain- to see what the landscape looked like then and to find out what language we spoke back then because nobody knows ! Oh, and there were deer the size of elephants.

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