Featured Artist – Darcy Thompson

Darcy Thompson
Darcy Thompson
Darcy Thompson
Darcy Thompson
Darcy Thompson
Darcy Thompson

Q & A

Q: Tell us a little about your art.

A: It generally starts with someone else’s misfortune, that broken or scratched plate that is no longer useable becomes my palette. I look for patterns and colors that speak to me, and am always on the lookout for quirky and unusual pieces for my jewelry. I found I loved the look of the grout so much in my larger mosaics that I developed my jewelry technique specifically to include a border of grout creating a nice organic contrast to the delicate china patterns.

Q: Why did you start doing what you do?

A:  In the late 1990’s I was working a job that required many nights and weekends and found myself wanting to work for myself. Around the time I needed a present for my sister and her husband and decided to make a birdbath. I had so much fun with it that I just kept going and never looked back.

Q: What makes you different from others in your field.

A:  I cannot make a mosaic out of random pieces, my eye simply will not allow it. Instead I like to meticulously cut up a broken bowl or plate and utilize the pattern as it was originally intended, except with a twist of the pattern being in smaller pieces with the colored grout in the intersections.
Many mosaic artists only use grey grout in their pieces so their grout work becomes almost hidden. I don’t use grey grout, instead I select a color that will unify all the small mosaic pieces and allow the grout color to be an integral part of the piece.

Q:  What are your biggest influences?

A:  I think nature really influences my work, not surprising as I do my best problem solving when out on a long walk. Much of what I create is either designed to be used outside or it includes imagery of plants, flowers or animals so I feel that I am immersed in nature even when working in my studio. I am also a passionate recycler and love reusing cracked and broken plate. The desire to use recycled materials comes from my belief that our everyday items have a second life; the challenge, and fun, is in finding out what that is.

Q:  What has changed since you’ve first started?

A:  My style certainly has tightened up, I have learned so many new techniques, and I am much more confident in working with clients on commissions than I was in my early days.

Q:  Tell us something most people don’t know about your process.

A:  I am self-taught and spend a lot of modifying tools and processes to develop a new body of work. Sometimes I go down an experimental “rabbit hole” and spend weeks, or months, trying out new materials or techniques. My free shaped pieces including my fish and birds were a product of one of these extended research sessions and I am so happy I stuck with the process to allow my vision become reality.

Q:  What is your favorite part of what you do?

A:  I love that I get to make so many different types of pieces. One day, or week, might focus on large pieces and the next it’s finding the perfect small pattern for a piece of jewelry. I particularly love making bespoke jewelry out of cracked or broken family heirloom china, passing it on to another generation in an entirely new form.