29 Mar 2012

Featured: Nicola Baker

This week's feature is hosted by the lovely Nicola Baker.  
Specializing in paper crafting, it is easy to see why Nicola's work is popular in galleries. 
If you are looking for some beautiful art for your home, Handmade is the way to go!

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Nicola and I live in the North East of England in a place called Durham with my husband and our two young sons. 
Durham is a lovely city, but what has struck me over the years is that all of the shops are the same and what they sell is generally the same. In fact not just in Durham, in most of the UK. That’s why over the past ten years I started to make more and more of my own pieces of art – it’s just lovely to have something different in your home. So, initially from making things for my own house, I started to sell my work in shops and galleries. 

Now that can be pretty limited to just where you live so I feel why can’t anyone, no matter where in the world have some lovely pieces of art, whether that be a gorgeous handmade paper bowl, some fabulous mixed media pictures for your home or as a beautiful gift or lovely individual handmade cards? That's why I decided to open my Etsy and Folksy shop's. There are so many beautiful shops on there, it's inspiring to see people doing something they obviously love and creative and actually making a  living from it. 
My Blog shows people snippets of what's new in my shop, information which I have found which may be useful, and features some amazing artists in the North of the UK.
Are your products inspired by what is currently popular or based more on your personal style and interests?
My products are inspired by textures, colours and techniques I have discovered mainly while travelling. My house is my canvas; sometimes I'm guilty of creating art that I would like to own, but hopefully that resonates with other people too. I love working with paper and experimenting with different materials and mediums in conjunction with it. It's exciting to see how an idea can develop organically by adding different elements; it can take on it's own life. For that reason each piece is an individual work of art. 

What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Getting to grips with social media. I know how helpful and important it is to promote your work, but until I opened my Etsy shop I didn't even have a Twitter account! 
The world is our marketplace now and there's never been a better time to sell your work. The goalposts have changed – leaflets and business cards aren't as important as a good web presence and Twitter account. 

When you're having a crap day, what do you find motivates you? 
Sometimes I have to take a break from it, whether it be for five minutes or for the rest of the day. I usually go and work on something else or catch up with my admin if the juices really aren't flowing! Some days a field trip is in order – to the library, an art gallery or just a walk to check out architecture, surroundings and just to clear my head and thought process. I feel if I keep working on something and I'm just not feeling it then it shows in the end product. If you are making something just for the sake of it then it usually shows and as a maker you view that work differently. I just want to be the best I can be and to make the best products. I keep telling my 6 year old never to give up, just keep trying and you will feel so proud. So I've got to try, really! 

What have you found to be the best piece of advice you've been given? 
Know your market, be patient and keep doing what you love.

How can we find you?
(click the links)
Tell us what your guilty pleasure is?
Anything sweet and delicious. If eating out I very nearly always have to have something sweet to end it!

Thanks for taking the time to share such an inspirational post with us today Nicola! 
I don't think we have ever managed to pass up on that dessert cart :S

Be sure to check out Nicolas shop and snap up your own beautiful work of art.
And if you click this link you can see our work on Nicola's blog too :D

Happy Thursday Everyone


  1. Very pretty work and great advice!

  2. Thanks for commenting Jess, we're glad you found it helpful :D
    We hope you're enjoying our feature thursdays!x

  3. I am a recent follower of Nicola on Twitter. I enjoyed reading about her and appreciate her remarks about social media in particular. This is an exciting time to have places like Etsy and Folksy to showcase and sell. Nicola has lovely, original things.

  4. We agree! We think Nicola is going to get a really good name for herself. Her bowls are beautiful and she has a lovely use of colour.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Luella :)