June brings a new Maker of the Month – this month we will be featuring Karen Johnson (you may know her by her business name Millie Moth Craft). Karen is an Alcohol Ink Artist and Jewellery Maker, creating all her pieces at her home in Derbyshire.
Karen has a deep love of colour and plants; which is how her Wild Garden Flower pieces came to be created.
She uses beautifully vibrant and free flowing alcohol inks Yupo paper. Karen uses Yupo paper as it’s 100% recyclable, waterproof, tree-free synthetic paper. Working with this type of paper means the ink sits on the surface rather than being absorbed, which allows Karen to use lots of different techniques to apply and blend her work – dripping, blowing, brushing and splodging! The inks themselves are such bold luscious colours but can give the effect of watercolour paints in the way they move into each other, creating a soft, dreamy look.
Karen’s work is often inspired by her own favourite flowers or flowers and shapes in her garden. Sometimes she likes her pieces to be fairly accurate and recognisable and other times she prefers to also invent a flower and have some fun with it! Her paintings are usually a mixture of the two, combined with a strong sky background and wild grassy foreground.
As well as literally blue sky thinking and cloud watching in the summer, Karen loves staring at small details in the garden and can happily sit for hours observing a tiny patch of grass as it moves in the breeze, or comes to life as insects stumble and climb up its length!
Each of Karen’s paintings are varnished with several coats before being framed to seal & protect from UV light (it is recommended that you keep her original paintings out of direct sunlight if you want the colours to stay bold and striking!).
Karen has always had a passion for jewellery and has worked with it most of her life. She uses genuine gemstones and Czech glass crystal beads in her collections - when choosing stones and designs, she asks herself “do I love this stone and would I wear this piece?”. The gemstone pendants she buys in to make each piece are so beautiful - the colours and the markings make each one truly unique, and they are so smooth and tactile! Her collections are costume pieces, which means they are created using nickel free mixed metal alloys, coated with silver plate or metallic colours. This allows her to keep her prices low, making them a very affordable gift (or guilt free treat for yourself!).
Karen is also a keen gardener and spends a lot of time in her garden, especially in the gorgeous summer months! When she’s not heaving plants around she likes nothing better than to just sit with her black cat, Dizzy, reading a good book and drinking a strong coffee. She’s also a Jazz Singer and has been since 2005, regularly performing with her trio at private events under the name Karen Lake.
Artist, Jewellery Maker and Singer… Karen is a woman of many talents!
If you are looking for a bespoke piece, Karen always welcomes commission enquiries for her paintings, jewellery and jazz!
To celebrate being Maker of the Month, Karen has decided to offer you something special! In store, there will be 20% off all Karen's hand painted pendants and also if you buy anyone two of Karen's framed prints, you will get a small framed print for free! You will be able to take advantage of these offers throughout the whole of June!
Last little thing, we want to apologise for not having a Maker of the Month for May! We decided with the website being under construction for the first week of the month that it would be unfair for whoever we featured!