Friday, 1 August 2014

Materials and Techniques: Made By LT

There are lots of talented artists out in the handmade community. Every fortnight I talk to a different designer about how they make their pieces. Today I am talking to Lisa from Melbourne, Victoria. She hand paints and decorates jars and bottles for storage and display. The colours are so fantastic! Her store is Made by LT and she is a fellow member of Handmade Cooperative.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Lisa Trovato and I am the owner of Made by LT. I am by profession a Child and Adolescent Psychologist but have taken some time out to raise my son Connor who is six years old and my daughter Isabella who is 18 months old. I am married to a lovely Dutch man, Rudi, and we live happily in Donvale, Victoria. I have always been interested in creating things and throughout my youth dabbled here and there. Prior to having children I painted abstracts using oils on canvas, many of which are still hanging on our walls at home. I love expressing myself through colour and I think a splash of colour goes a long way! 
Made by LT was born after many months of experimenting, researching, dreaming, obsessing and chatting to people. I decided to let my creative side come to the forefront (instead of my analytical side!), and  'Wild Jars' are my current featured product. 'Wild jars' are for functional use and display, made especially for those that don't want "run of the mill" pieces. I also create hand painted and distressed Mason 'Ball' vases and bottles. This is just the start of things to come as my head is full of designs and concepts. For me it is all about producing quirky pieces of art that are enjoyed, functional and get people talking.

 What materials and techniques do you like to use?

My passion at the moment are my 'Wild Jars' - handcrafted for bits and bobs! They are animal topped trinket/storage/display vessels if you like. The glass jars are genuine 'Ball' Mason jars imported from the USA. I love the intricate details on these jars, close up the jars are really quite beautiful. I add a gorgeous animal painted in a knockout colour to create a unique functional piece of art sure to get people talking. I  also hand-paint and distress reclaimed bottles and Mason jars (made into vases).

What challenges have you faced in the creative process?

A big learning curve was the technical side of things: What paint actually adheres to glass (not many by the way!). Challenges have been many from paint that just doesn't cure or adhere to turning up to school pickup with spray paint on my eyelashes! As a lot of my work involves using an enamel based paint, I have to work outdoors, luckily my workspace is a large covered balcony but is is still cold in winter!
The other challenge was finding a wholesaler of the genuine 'Ball' Mason Jars. Luckily I found one prepared to give me samples to practice on, advice on 'what is selling', tips on how to package fragile goods and encouragement that what I was making was actually pretty good.  

The creative process involves a lot of trial and error, if something doesn't work the first time, sleep on it and try another day. Don't over analyse or complicate things. Don't give up no matter how many emails or phone messages you never get a reply to. Most importantly believe in yourself and your product, be patient and if you are having fun keep doing it!
So my motto would be "Keep trying, keep it simple, keep having fun and laugh at problems"

What drives you to create

I go to bed with thoughts of what I want to create, I dream about it and then I set about making it a reality. I am slightly obsessive in this way. I am just starting out in terms of selling my product (instead of making them for friends!) but have decided to throw caution to the wind and pursue something that challenges me and brings me happiness. I believe being creative is good for the soul.

What is coming up next?

I am aiming to get my work out there so to speak. I can really see my products working well in styled photos of interiors (children's bedrooms for the 'Wild Jars', living spaces for the painted bottles and vases) so that is my next mission, to make that happen. I hope also to keep expanding my line with quirky unique products.
All images provided by Lisa of Made by LT.

Enjoyed that? Read more Materials and Techniques interviews. If you'd like to contribute your store, leave your link in the comments.

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