My Name is Katherine Bertram
I sell as Firecracker Studio
Who’s your biggest critic and supporter? My husband Matt
What was your first piece and/or idea that made you keep creating? When I found out I was pregnant with a little girl I launched into making her clothes. She is 4 now and just starting to fit some of the dresses. I then wanted to make something that my son would like so I made my first bird cushion.
What lead you to where you are today? A lovely friend called Libby offered to sell some of my creations on her table at a market. She has been an amazing encouragement and I have been hooked ever since.
Who are your favourite artists? and what inspires your work? I love the work of an American painter called Michael Cutlip. His patchwork design and smash of colour is a wonderful inspiration.
What other areas would you like to explore or expand into? I want to utilise vintage embroidery more and am interested in exploring fabric design.
What advice would you give other artists/illustrators starting out? Just have a go. It isn’t easy, but it is better to have tried and put yourself out there than to never know if you could have succeeded. One of the best pieces of advice is to have your work space always set up. If its packed away it will never get used.
How has your creative style developed over time? I have streamlined what I have made and realised that up-cycling is something that comes naturally to me and something that I really believe in. Hence many of my items are made from the wonderful items people keep starched at the bottom of the wardrobe or at the back of the cupboard.
What do you love most about working with your medium/material? I don’t need a huge space to sew. The results and possibilities are always changing, and I can do a little, in between looking after the kids.
How hard is it as an artist to balance creativity with business? It is always tempting to mass produce items that sell rather than those that you actually love to make. However it is important to find a balance as well as believing in your artistic endeavour and believing that there are those who will want to pay for the unique rather than the mass produced.