This weeks Creative Corner interviewee works with a materials I’d love to be able to master. It really does fascinate me. I hope it fascinates you too and you enjoy this weeks interview with Heartlands glass.
Hi, my name is Mark Jones and I run Heartlands Glass. I’m 51 and have been involved with Stained Glass since the early 80’s.
Tell us a bit about your business.
Heartlands Glass was started in July 2012, we used a spare bedroom that we quickly outgrew. We moved to a new house and I nabbed the garage as a studio, which we have now outgrown too.
What made you start your own business?
I started Heartlands Glass with my wife after being made redundant in 2012. It was an easy choice, working for myself doing something that I love just made sense to me.
Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I first learnt this craft from my father in 83, he had a small business making copper foil art. I went on to take classes in leaded light (stained glass window) construction and design with one of the UK’s leading artists in Birmingham in the 90’s.
Explain your creative process.
When working on a commission, I take the brief to the design phase and draw out a plan for the design. Working to the plan, I first choose glass, then cut it and shape it to the design. Depending on the construction method, I make the piece utilising one of three techniques, Copper-foiling, leaded or fused glass construction.
Describe your typical day.
My typical day starts with tea, lots of tea. If it’s a design day, I’ll spend it in the office on the computer, if it’s a construction day I’ll spend it in the studio, bent over the workbench or the kiln. My studio has been called untidy, I think of it as more of ‘well used’. Music is a must for me when I’m creating.
What’s your biggest seller?
My biggest seller…. That’s a hard one, it depends on the time of year, last Christmas, my biggest seller was the little stand up Penguin and the Robin, made in fused glass.
Use the coupon ‘CREATIVECORNER’ in my nuMONDAY shop to get free UK P&P on all orders over £20
What have been the high and low points of running your own business?
The high points along the way have been attending craft fairs and markets, I get to meet customers face to face, something that online sales miss out on. Seeing someone’s reaction to something I have made is pretty good, When I come across a low point (excluding having to do my own tax return) I’ll let you know.
What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
If I were to give advice for someone thinking of starting their own craft business, it would have to be ‘Just Do It’ . Make sure you can get help with social media (if you can’t do that yourself) as it is a huge part of business today. Have fun along the way, no point doing this if it’s not fun. Don’t be scared to ask for help, join groups for crafters, there are lots on social media, you will get help and support from them and they are free.
What are your aspirations?
I aim to keep making things that I love, I’m not looking to be a huge name in glass but if it happens along the way I’ll try and take it one day at a time.
Where can we find you?