Who is making these Jewels of all kind?
I am Noortje Kuhlman, or Eleonor for friends who find it too hard to pronounce the Dutch short. Teadrip Catcher was my name on social media, still is on Instagram and Twitter (and the nickname on Facebook). I live and work in the Netherlands but you’ll often find me in Castlerea, co.Roscommon, Ireland where I create most of my bronzed sculptures.
When I was 4-6 years old (maybe even younger, I don’t recall) I started sculpting and painting.
I want to create a beautiful world. Got my first camera at 6yo, I still love to take pictures ! I learned to look at things in a different way.
As a teenager I often created different things during some classes at High School (yes, I do remember the science course where I finished my sculptures instead of… ).
I didn't visit Art School. My creative skills were definitely stimulated when I was a child. My father was a photographer who also built all the cupboards in the house. He taught me how to take pictures (including developing them) and how to use a screwdriver and drill. Using nails was just too easy and not good enough.
I watched my mother sewing, knitting, crocheting and embroider lots of pieces. Nobody really taught me how to do it, I just copied. That's the only copying I ever did 😉
I visited the artist Gussen Wie whenever I could. His works and life were my true inspiration. He taught me to never quit creating.
I’ve made many bears, in all sizes, using all kind of material, the real teddy bear material, felt, leather, cotton which I altered in a wooden look… Or I knitted a shawl or jumper.
Next I made characters out of air dry clay. The last one I never finished in the “proper” way. Jim ended up as a ball player, transformed with a fabric hardener. I knitted his shirt, made him some trousers and a hat as well.
Fabric hardener ? There are a few brands on the market. I prefer to work with Pretex© because it does not need an additive to make it work. How does it work? You soak the fabric into the fabric hardener and form it around a frame.
You'll never know exactly how it will end up. It depends on the fabric and the drying time (summer or winter makes a huge difference!). I prefer not to use a hairdryer. Using the “overnight” dry, the natural way, works best. When I think the sculpture is ready to be bronzed, I use different kinds of paint to get the natural bronzed look.
As my hands (and arms, clothes…) were always dirty with clay or paint it was obvious I didn’t wear that much jewellery. A friend asked me to take a jewellery class with her. Me? Jewellery? No way! But she was short on people attending her class so I went… the beginning of my jewellery making! As with my bears, characters and all other things I’ve made I just can’t make the same thing twice. That’s why I still love to make OOAK (One Of A Kind) jewellery. I like to make “different” things. I use all kinds of material. Proper gem stones, polymer clay, silver, art clay silver, but also toys which I transform into jewellery.