Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creating Success Around the World with Terrie of Terrie Smiling

Welcome to 
Creating Success Around the World
The worldwide blog hop tour that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the world.

Click here to learn more.

Today let's welcome Terrie from Terrie Smiling! Terrie is joining us today from Hongkong.

Janelle: Welcome to Creating Success Around the World Terrie! You're my first guest from Hongkong and I'm sure our readers are all excited to meet you. Tell us something about you, and about Hongkong. 
Terrie: My name is Terrie.  I’m a working mum with hubby and 2 children. I live in SAR Hong Kong, a fascinating city of east meets west has own autonomy –  a Special Administration Region of China  – a former British Colony back to 1997. Hong Kong is a tiny spot with a population of more than 7 millions.  Urban is with high rises  but we do have stunning landscapes in a short distance suburbs. I live with family  in an urban apartment. Just behind our building is a lush hill.  I love going up in the morning for a walk before work.  I have a small studio in the south of the island. It’s only 40-min bus ride from urban. There’re beaches and greenery everywhere.  Some people said Hong Kong has the brilliant views as Scotland. Yes, we do have mountains, sea, trails and beautiful views around.

Hongkong sounds lovely! From all the commercials and marketing material I've seen, they make Hongkong sound like just a shopping destination. It's nice to hear a resident talk about the views and the landscape. Let's talk about your blog. What kind of projects do you like working on?
I love handmade crafts particularly of  natural materials and fabrics. I love nature. I think everything can be the “ingredients” of crafts. Sand, stones, leaves, branches, seashell, a fallen feather… Imagine the simply look of  a stone tied with a weed  at the  corner of somewhere you may find lovely.  I first done my craft in my teenage, I cut a bamboo stalk and sanded it and lightly burnt it over a fire to make it  a bit dark look, then it’s a flower holder. When I’m older my hobbies changed. I love ceramics. Some ten years ago I started learning throwing and hand build. Have done quite a lot stuff.  My works are free from my hand just do whatever I like. So the shape or thickness may not be so fine but I love to do in my own way.


In the recent 2 years I indulged myself in wool felt. Wool has natural tendency to shrink and entangle through fabrics like silk, gauze, lace, shibori. It forms wide variety of amazing surface textures. I find felt a creative medium not only able to make warm clothing, even for practical handbags, fashion accessories, 3-D home decoration... so versatile!

I also  like making tote bags and eco-print and dyeing.  I want to do this to do that. My plate is full. I like to  make stuff with may own made stuff, such like a  fabric  bag with  a ceramic button an my painted acrylic bird, a nuno felt book  of ceramic knob or a nuno felt scarf of my own dyed pattern.

Your plate does sound full! I love that bag with the owl. I think it's great that you share so many of your projects with us through your blog. Yours is the first blog I have seen about ceramics and nuno and eco dyeing. What inspires all your creations?
A few years ago I saw a very pretty pouch made of wool in a Cambridge market.

The seamless and softness attracted me the most. I was wondering how it’s made. When I back to Hong Kong I searched from library and bookstore for reference. But not much I found. I searched internet and knew it’s “wool felt” then I  got fountain of info. Two years ago  I decided to follow an artist in England for the technique of wool felt to make pictures, handbags,  hats and vessels.  I’m really into this sort of art. The more I encountered the more I find the versatility of wool. Amazing is that an elegant seamless gown can be made with the skill of nuno felt – agitation of wool and silk.  You can make it without a needle and well fit. This drove me to pursuit the skills and joined a workshop in Holland this spring taught by a renowned Lithuanian.  This paves the way for exploration.

My Tiger also inspired some of my works. He was very energetic and  ran up and down.   I made some ceramics with his acts.  I used his hair to make a hat pin and a box just like wool felt stuff.  All his funny and naughty acts in the first year were captured in my book published 3 years ago.  He was sadly passed away of heart stroke just in Aug.  He's gorgeous and we miss him so much.
Terrie's Tiger, and projects inspired by Tiger.
 Your work is beautiful Terrie! Do you sell them?
All my creation are generally for interest. I’ve made hundreds just for fun and giveaways on friends’ occasions.

Gifts Terrie made for her friends.
 Since I’ve made too many, I approached Oxfam - a charity organsation helps against poverty. I offered to sale my handmade items and all proceeds go to the poor. I sold  quite a lot of my pottery and wool stuff in a art market for 2 days. With the generous support of my friends I raised some money and helped the less fortunate. It’s my great  pleasure I can help people  with what my handmade creation while I  enjoyed myself in the process of making.

Terrie with her friends at the Oxfam charity sale.
 What a generous thing to do! I'm sure a lot of people enjoyed your sale. Can you tell us about mistakes you've made in your crafting and lessons you've learned from them?
Errors cannot be avoided in the process of creation.  I’ve made quite some and learned from trials and errors. If possible I’d redo every piece of my unsuccessful stuff to other usage or alter it to other piece. Just like recently I tried to make eco-print on a fabric but found prints on nylon are not strong I then painted it with acrylic. A nice scarf was made without waste. I’m going to break an ugly ceramic plate to pieces and do with them to make a mosaic floor.

Projects made from Terrie's 'mistakes'.
That's a great way to turnaround an unsuccessful project. And speaking of success, what does success mean to you? Can you say you have achieved it already?
Yes, I’m success in a certain extent (quite a bloat!?). I’ve made the very elegant nuno felt gowns. We should appreciate ourselves when compliments flowing in but we should not just stop and satisfy. Way towards success is long and without ending. We should pursuit and explore. Hong Kong is in Asia and the tropical weather is hot and damp but we do have a short winter.  What I want to achieve is bringing in Hong Kong the remarkably eclectic and the versatility of wool felt skills. I want more people to know such wonderful medium not only for winter but adorable for all seasons clothing and art.

With all you have already achieved, what's next for you Terrie?
Blogging is a very good platform for interaction. Via this we exchange skills, ideas and share fun. My blog needs  fine tuned. I’m indeed an IT blind. I want to make my blog more user friendly and trying to get it nice and attractive. I’ll continue to run workshops of  wool felt and  particularly the skills of nuno felt. This have been making  people here lots of  "ahhhhhs and ohhhhhs” !!

You definitely deserve those oooohhhs and aaaahhhs Terrie. Thanks so much for taking some time off your busy schedule to join us here today!


If you want to see more of Terrie's work, you can visit her at Terrie Smiling

Be sure to check out the other interviews from my co-hosts:

Australasia - Jill @ Creating My Way to Success
South America - Dolly of Marya Mariah
Asia - Me! :)

And now, it's your turn! Join our blog hop by linking your blog to our link party below! After linking, make sure you visit a few other links because that's what this hop is all about :)

Do you want your to be interviewed and featured here? If I see your link below, you just might be! I am always looking for talented bloggers from Asia for my next interview feature. I'm sure my other co-hosts are too. Leave your link and hope to meet you soon!


Jill said...

How fabulous Janelle - Terri looks amazingly creative - her work is beautiful and I can't wait to head over to her blog and see more!

The first blog I'll have visited in Hong Kong too!

Thanks for another great interview Janelle!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Terrie said...

Thank you Jill and Janelle for the feature. This is a good platform to know you all and share ideas.

yaga said...

OMG! her stuff is SO cute!!