Ask the Artist - An Interview with Julie Durkacz

Tell us something about yourself?

I am an artist, craftswoman and music maker.

What does your partner/friends/family think of your work?

They are very supportive of what I do. My friends are artists, musicians and designers so we share an interest in what each other is doing.

How would you describe you work?

It is a mixture of design and art. I use my woodworking and design skills to inform and build my art.

What's it like to be a creative person?

I feel that it comes through in everything I do whether it's in my painting and decorating business or working out how to fix something.

What was your first ever design/creation of , do you still have it, if not where is it?

I have a memory of using the contents of my nappy to adhere purple wooden bricks to the wall next to my cot. My God Mother thought this was wonderfully creative.

What's your favourite colour?

All colour.

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from?

Mostly from nature and wood and whatever I am currently reading.

What was your first commission?

Years before I even thought about training as a cabinetmaker a friend who is an artist commissioned me to make a wooden box as part of a piece for an exhibition. Having no formal woodworking knowledge I made it up as I went along and although it was quite 'rustic' it worked well as an art piece.

What's your favourite creation or design that you have made?

My favourite piece is usually what I am working on at the present moment. I have just made an artists book from a log and a table to display it on. I made the table using only sticks and logs I have found and scavenged over the last three years. It is quite an eccentric table and has a lot of personal meaning for me connected to how I acquired the wood and what was happening in my life at the time.

What is it about where you live that inspires you?

I do love Glasgow, where I live, but my inspiration comes from the countryside and nature of Scotland.

What is your favourite day of the week and why?

What I'm doing changes a lot from week to week so I don't have a favourite day of the week. My favourite days would be the ones spent in the workshop or days when I go to buy wood.

What's you favourite tool of the trade and what do you use if for?

My No. 4 Clifton plane. I use it for sizing, dressing and chamfering wood.

What are you working on at present, what's next?

I am planning another book made from a log and table to display it on which I will exhibit in the summer. I will be making a series of these which I hope to exhibit as a collection.

When you are not working what do you like to do?

I go hill walking, reading and visiting friends.

What's your favourite film?

Depending on my mood it's either Now Voyager, I know Where I'm Going or Blades of Glory.

What are you reading at the moment?

The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda.

What's the best piece of advice you have been given?

"A greet is as good as a holiday".

If writers get writers block, what do designers/artists get?

The creative urges come in cycles, I look on the seemingly unproductive times as incubation.

If you could be anyone in the world who would it be and why?

I'm quite happy being me but if I could experience life as someone else for a moment or a day it would be either as someone who is extremely psychic, an astronaut ,Bhudda or an extra terrestrial.

Do you have any tips for budding designers/artists?

Be yourself, be true to yourself.


Buy Wooden Notebooks and Sketchbooks from Julie Durkacz.


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