I met Liesan a few years ago through the European guild on ArtFire. Our ArtFire shops are gone, but not our friendship, even if it's still only online.
You know I'm a librarian, so Liesan's art of bookbinding is particularly appealing to me. I own some of her beautiful books. This one is one of my favorites. Yes, she also made the polymer clay masks. It's so gorgeous and it's MINE!
Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.
My name is Liesan, I live together with my partner Remco in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. We share our home with an elderly kitten and a lot more stuff than we really have room for.
What's your craft/art and how did you get to do it in the first place?
I am beginning to feel comfortable about calling myself a bookbinder, but I'm not entirely there yet because I have so many basic skills to refine before I am worthy of the title. I can't remember how exactly I got started (and I'm only 33, so we can't really blame it on the age of my brain), I do know we had a short bookbinding course in highschool and I was instantly charmed, but it took almost 10 years for me to seriously pursue the bookbinding craft.
Aside from bookbinding I regularly pick up other crafts and art forms, sometimes to combine with my bookbinding and sometimes just to play. I am passionate in particular about traditional crafts like pottery, woodworking/carpentry, embroidery, smithing, weaving etc. ...
I think this is one of the most asked questions - where does your inspiration come from?
I am a material girl ;)
By which I mean that most of my inspiration comes from materials, from textures. I love big conceptual ideas and deep layers of meaning in art, but in reality my own best work "grows" from touching and looking at material. Even my art projects start that way.
Also folklore, myth, legends, fairytales and fables and even religion (although I am not a religious person) inspire me, but I think most people wouldn't notice that in what I make.
Tell us a fun thing about yourself.
I am much too serious natured to think of something fun about myself on command.
Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?
At the moment I crochet in front of the TV, do some loom beading (thank you very much Catrin *evil look* Well, you are most welcome, dear Liesan *big grin*), I draw and paint and am practicing calligraphy. I also sew when something needs to be repaired and I bake (which used to be a craft long ago).
As soon as we move to a bigger house (something we plan to do, but we're not yet actively looking), I plan to include pottery into my "actively pursued crafts" and I would love to make some stained glass windows for our new home.
|Hand bound book covered in real tree bark|
Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?
At the risk of sounding arrogant I can't say there is anyone, of course there are plenty of people I admire, but related to my craft there is not one person in particular who inspires me.
|Grey business card holder|
If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your craft/art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?
Do I get a space to put it with that? Because I actually really need a very large board shear, my dream machine would be the Ideal 1110.
I think I could manage to afford it in a few months, but sadly we have no space to put it, so I'm stuck with its smallest tabletop model ... oh well.
Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?
I do, although I just moved shop and some of these places are still heavily under construction. My main shop for international orders is Liesan's Studio, prices there are in US dollars. I also have my craft/art website at Liesan's Attelier, I plan to sell from there in the future and prices are in Euros.
If you really want to use Etsy (I prefer you didn't because selling on Etsy costs me a lot of money ;)), I will also set up shop again there in the near future - here.
Note that not all three shops will have the same items.
Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?
I also have a personal blog where I talk a lot about crafting and a little about other things. It is bilingual (Dutch and English) and sometimes articles will only be in Dutch, but if you like to get to know me, you can visit there.