“A little about me;
I’m Saffron Johns, 31 years old and grew up in the beautiful mountains of Wales. I moved from the UK to Bulgaria about seven years ago…… quite an adventure. Other than Otherworlds I love being close to wildlife and its peace. I also enjoy gardening which can be a nice break for my busy mind, a few hours of watching and being in nature how wonderful and magical. I aim to work towards a more self sufficient way of life with gardening, animals and natural building.
In the beginning;
I always expected that everything had much more to it than first met the eye, I would imagine that things came to life or held hidden secrets. It made me happy coming up with stories and magical creatures anything was possible and anything still is! I really enjoyed designing things, anything really from strange shoes to album covers and I really enjoyed making automata paper models, practising origami and drawing animals and comic books.
I knew I wanted to do something creative and went to Hereford Art College as soon as I could. Here it was possible to have the time and access to facilities to try out many different art processes, mediums and techniques. I began making little imaginary characters and creatures from all sorts of materials. I also loved drawing and split my time into 2D and 3D works. I stayed on in Hereford collage to do my Higher National Diploma in design crafts, it was on this course I really started to refine my work and also when I discovered coloured wire. After wire was introduced to me I knew instantly that this was my material, I started out with just a spool each of black, white and red wire and over the years I have collected all the coloured wires under the sun. In 2005 I received a BA Honours in Contemporary Applied Arts and I have been working away at creating Otherworlds ever since.
Materials and techniques;
Otherworlds is brought about using mainly coloured wire, found objects and inks with a variety of ever changing processes and techniques.
Wire is the main material I use in my 3D work but I am willing to use anything really to create an effect I am looking for. I have been using wire for many years but I only learnt to crochet about four years ago and knitted a little before that. I taught myself by watching videos and from crochet books, crocheting is very enjoyable and I find it very versatile for creating different shapes and for creating a bulky wire fabric. The wires I crochet with have to be quite thin 0.2mm is my favourite up to 0.5mm which is the thickest I can crochet. It is wonderful technique that allows many more possibility’s with wire.
I am always looking to add other elements and interest to my work. Recently I have started to use semi precious stones and precious metals. I am currently experimenting with putting little lights in my work and also trying out different mechanisms to create movements, sort of automata pieces which I hope will bring some of my Otherworlds pieces to life even more. I love frames and containers and I collect many things to make my work with. My large dreamscape drawings and 3D picture backgrounds are drawn using pens, inks and pencils.
I call my body of work Otherworlds, detailed creatures, moments in time and treasures from the worlds of imagination and dreams. I guess I have a map of Otherworlds in my mind where there really is a whole world of places and creatures to explore and my work is really about bringing these things into this world we live in. Otherworlds comes in the forms of drawings, sculptures, sculpture pictures and wearable art;
-Dreamscapes; These are large ink drawings which come straight from my dream worlds and I love to create them. I keep a dream book and record my dreams for inspiration for my drawings.
-3D pictures and sculptures; The inspiration for these pieces varies, sometimes coming from a dream and sometimes just a thought or idea. I love to connect drawing with pens with drawing with wire in my 3D pictures….the best of both worlds!
-Wearable art and treasures; For these often I just go shopping in my mind desperately searching for that thing I would just love to find and when I find things like that I will make them. I love the thrill and challenge of designing jewellery.
I love coming up with new ideas and I am always thinking about the next unusual design and the next amazing character and the dreams take care of themselves. I don’t often plan what I make it jumps from imagination into manifestation; I do have long lists of ideas, notes and squiggly drawings so I don’t forget a good idea though. I am always pushing myself towards the next level of everything; it is just so wonderful to create”. [From the artists’ website/ Du website de l’artiste].