Tuesday, March 26

Montage Maker interview - Annie from Osmosis

Hi there, I’m Annie and am the face behind osmosis designs.

I design a variety of ‘things’ to be cut and sometimes engraved by laser out of either coloured acrylic or bamboo ply. Each piece is assembled and finished by hand. My designs are mostly for jewellery, but I also make bamboo display trees, trinket boxes and clocks. Another line is a series of cut shapes with a grid of holes, which are used for cross-stitch. I sell these both ready made and as DIY kits.

I’ve been selling my work for 15 years, the last 5 as osmosis. Before that I was doing freehand machine embroidery, which I used to embellish a variety of gift items.

My creative endeavors are a huge part of my life as they focus on my longtime passion for making. All work and no play makes Annie a dull girl, but that’s OK as I have many other loves, including cinema, the natural world (I once worked at London’s natural History Museum), an eclectic musical taste, my iPad and, how can I not mention, my beloved Bedlington terrier, Arrow.

I’ve been a part of Montage from day one in our Fremantle store and it’s been great to watch it develop and grow! I love the opportunity to work in a team with every Montage shop we run. It is such change from designing and making which can be very solitary. It’s also a chance to spread the word of buying local hand made as opposed to mass produced imports. I’m passionate about this and try to do so myself whenever I can.

I think making is in my DNA! Even before I sold my work seriously, I tried my hand at many creative endeavors, from painting (with the occasional sale) to stage costumes, knitting and many textile & mixed media techniques. 

The hardest thing about working for myself is self-discipline & to be honest, I’m still hopeless at that!! I always want to work on the next project before I’ve finished what I’m doing. As for doing the paperwork – don’t ask!! 

My main problem is that I have ideas galore and can never decide which is the best idea so I’m inclined to chop and change too often. The ideas come all the time without me trying. I see a new medium or technique and before I know it, I’m thinking of ways to incorporate it in my projects. I love a wide variety of styles and creative media and I’m never happier than when thinking of a way to incorporate things in new ways – for example, being able to design things in wood or acrylic that can be embroidered into by including holes in the surface… mixing the hard and smooth with the soft flexible stitching is very exciting for me. Stitching also allows me to introduce a range of colours into the laser cut objects. Colour is yet another passion of mine.
My favorite part of the making process has to be the designing. I’ve always loved doodling and many of my designs originate from simple sketches. I think it is my design ideas that keep my work original.

The proudest moment for me was the very first time I sold something I had created. It was a small painting and the customer wanted it enough to part with her own money to own it. I was blown away by what that meant. I still feel that amazement with every sale I make. I guess this is the best and nicest gauge of success, though money is useful too!!

E: osmosis@iinet.net.au 
FB: www.facebook.com/OsmosisDesigns    
WEB: osmosisdesigns.blogspot.com.au/