Recently Andrea has been experimenting with the addition of color layers.
She cuts final pieces on a gridded mat with old school tools - a blade and metal ruler.
...but a brand new venture is the use of an electronic cutting machine to speed up the design process:
I feel like it's slightly cheating though, as handmade and craft have always been such important elements of my work and something I could never abandon. Although the machine helps with samples, it doesn't feel quite personal enough for a finished piece. It's a tool, but not a replacement for the human touch.
I asked Andrea what she enjoys most about her work.
As cheesy as it might sound, art is part of who I am - it's something I couldn't separate from myself if I tried. For me, art is a meditative process; it's an outlet, a focus, something that grounds me and allows for personal expression... and basically a way of letting the crazy out!
And also about her artistic training.
I feel my work has naturally evolved over a number of years. My degree in embroidery involved experimentation with a variety of materials and techniques. This opened me up as an artist to more clearly focus on specific areas of interest and personal creative flair. By being exposed to an array of methods and processes I was able to see the importance and beauty of simplicity. My work with paper has only begun quite recently, but I love the modesty and versatility of the medium.
There is a soothing repetition in your designs.
Patterns have been a constant theme with a focus on gradual formations to create rhythmic forms. My practice largely concentrates on the production of 3D drawings. Paper cutting and origami are key methods and the freedom they allow ensures the pieces form organically.
How did the name A Mad, Rare Hen come about?
My name wasn't an instant thing. I initially found it a challenge to settle on something I felt fit my personality and the way that I work. I stumbled across A Mad, Rare Hen whilst enjoying a few 'lemonades' with friends and playing around with an online anagram generator. Andrea Hamer was no more: the new title suited me perfectly - quirky, unique, and thoroughly apt.
What are your plans for the future?
Currently I'm focusing on expanding selection by making a sample a day! So keep an eye on my page for the latest pieces - there may be some straight line geometrics soon. I'm also working on a website which should be up and running shortly.
Best wishes to A Mad, Rare Hen and to all an enjoyable weekend!