Workshop: Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova
from Slovakia to Ireland
Nice to meet you Miriam. Who are you?
Hi, I am a self-taught visual artist using paper as my medium. Originally from Slovakia currently living in Ireland. I have always been a creative person with many hobbies in my life. I stumbled across paper art quilling in 2015 and fell in love with it, more like addicted to it. I find it very therapeutic how the paper shapes and come to life.
You are currently living in Corlea, in Ireland. How did you end up there?
I met my Irish husband in the USA while working in summer camps and we traveled together a lot. After my university degree, we decided to find jobs in Ireland. At first, we stayed with my brother in law but not long we found this little traditional stone cottage and it was meant to be. Without even reviewing the house from inside we agreed on the sale. I just love the feeling of rural area and cottage itself.
Do you happen to be home sick? What do you miss most from Slovakia?
Very easy, my home mountains The High Tatras. In Ireland there is only hills (which they call mountains, they are nice but to me too small) and nice cold dry winter season with snow and skiing, skating, snow ball fighting and all sorts of winter fun.
Dobrý deň !
“My ideal world is blue, calming and timeless…”
FROM FURNITURE DESIGNER TO PAPER ARTIST
Can you tell us how you use today your skills-set into your current artistic creation?
At university, I always enjoyed building models. There will be 3D models of architecture or furniture and most common materials for student was mostly paper. I can see now it never left me. Perhaps therefore paper quilling appeal to me and now some of my work its like little paper cities your eyes can travel through…
How is paper so special to you?
Paper is always around us, its easy accessible and affordable to experiment. Over the time you start understanding different texture and thickness and start to appreciate it. Many times, it’s the paper itself that inspires me, and I do respect it. Mostly there are no sketches, I just follow intuition.
FROM MIRIAM'S WINDOW
What do you see from your window / desk? What do you hear? What do you smell?
I see my whole world – my garden, my kids playing in the playground, my dogs and lovely neighbors’ horses and cows. I hear nature, birds signing, horse neighing, kids screaming, dogs barking and tractors … smell, usually whatever is in blossom, sometimes its farmers spreading slurry (country smell).
Are you an animal lover?
I love Rottweilers, we used to have 2 – Woody and Misty, now we have 1 female – Zola and we have also small noisy companion – Dusty. And we do have a cat – Rainbow which is a necessity if you are living in the open countryside.
Tell us about one that represented a milestone
I dream of a giant installation on the wall over the reception desk of a well-known hotel or office…
Must be my 1st group exhibition with Meath’s Art Group in Building of Public Office in Trim. It was first time I really realize how my work looks in nice exhibition space. I created my 2 most favourite pieces (so far) for this exhibition, ‘Bloom’ and ‘Pixels’. They represent what kind of work I really like to do and developed further.
BEHIND THE SCENES
An afternoon with Miriam in her workshop
For me “paper” echoes with… a white big space calling for action…
A few weeks ago, I got opportunity to work on your beautiful luxury wrapping paper. I had the chance to feel this quality wrapping paper and created lovely piece … So follow my lead for a step-by-step tutorial!
I cut the strip from wrapping paper and then I cut them into curve shapes using blades and designed template from the card paper.
I create small and big circle from white card paper as my boundaries and glued to the bottom base. Following by gluing each strip of wrapping paper in between these circles. As gluing each piece, I hold them in gentle curve.
Following a gentle curve, I keep gluing each strip until I return to the starting point and strips joined into the swirl.
I cut off areas around circle inside and outside… And voilà!
IF MIRIAM WAS A PAPER
If paper was an emotion, which one would you be?
Surprise – I got full set of grey shades papers. Until I started cutting them into strips I realize they are white inside and it lead me to whole new body of work.
Photo credits @Ana Dorado