Interview With A Blogger: The Noisy Plume, Jillian Lukiwski
Today I’m completely honoured to be sharing an interview with the author of one of the very first blogs I started reading, way back in 2008. I can’t even remember how I first stumbled upon this lovely lass, but I think you’ll that Jillian Lukiwski, aka The Noisy Plume, is a gem!
What prompted you to start blogging?
I started blogging when I opened my Etsy shop, seven years ago. I wanted a way to share my life with the folks who were supporting my metal work and I wanted a way to document our lives, record some of my thoughts and organize some of the photos I was taking. We were living on a remote, United States Fish and Wildlife satellite station in the middle of a rugged patch of desert in Arizona and it was a nice way for me to reach out and make some friendships as well as keep my far away friends and family in the loop with our life happenings.
Tell us about your day job/educational pursuits?
I am a metalsmith, writer and photographer by day (and by part of the night…since it’s really true that small business owners never stop working). My husband and I do not have children so I have a fairly free daily schedule. I wake up and get to work every single day of the week whether I am writing, out photographing the world or in the studio making jewelry. The shortest job definition I can offer is this: my current job requires me to make beauty, find beauty and then share it.
As for education, I am actually a university drop out by way of four different schools! I just couldn’t make it stick and felt a little fenced in by the academic world. I tend to be a bit rebellious and independent in my thinking and can tend to wildly balk when others tell me how do to something or what to think. The funny thing is that I contemplate going back to finish up the last of my degree all the time so I may not be quite the punk I make myself out to be.
Occasionally I travel for workshops in specific metalsmithing techniques I am interested in learning but I have found, more often than not, that those workshops are disappointing — they don’t seem to go deep enough for me. Additionally, I sometimes find workshop atmospheres exhausting. I can feel overstimulated by the hyper energy levels in creative workshops instead of energized by the company of others. I chalk it up to an introverted nature. I have, however, been able to take a few really great workshops wherein I deeply appreciated the teaching and my fellow classmates.
More often than not, if there’s something I have dreamed up in metal, the fabrication of which exceeds my skill set, I teach myself the skills I need in order to actualize the design. Most of the techniques I employ in my current work are techniques I have taught myself just by exploring the medium.
Aside from metal, I would love to be part of a local writers group and I would love to do a few residencies both here in the USA at at home in Canada. I am actively seeking out both these things.
Where’s the farthest from home you’ve ever travelled? Tell us about your experience.
I actually lived in New Zealand for almost a full year. In fact, I met Robert, my husband, in New Zealand when I was 18 and he was 21. We were both attending a little international, non-denominational Christian school there. I don’t have a lot of terribly fond memories of the school but I had a lot of fun seeing the country and getting to know my future husband and best friend. New Zealand is beautiful and for being a relatively small country, it has a lot of wild space to explore. Additionally, the whole country has a sort of small town feel to it. That may have changed now, since tourism there has been augmented by the Lord of the Rings films. Hopefully those wild places I fell in love with on those gorgeous islands remain. It would be a shame if they are trampled now.
While living in New Zealand I also popped over to Australia for a month. That was fun! Hostels were wearying. I think if we did a big trip overseas together we would probably seek out some sort of a farm stay with a family and some good physical work to keep us busy every day.
What skill do you hope to master over the next year?
Great question! I want to keep working on my photography. It’s been blossoming and has produced a few wonderful business opportunities for me in the past few months. Outside of my regular work, I am now working as a lifestyle photographer for a dog gear company based out of Seattle. It’s been quite fun and the company is wonderful. Having specific work to do with my camera has been great for me, I can see myself improving, rising to meet the challenge. I try to shoot every single day to hone my skills, but also to further develop my eye and actually reach as far as I can, creatively, with my camera.
Naturally, I am also working hard with my writing, trying to establish and stick to a daily habit when it comes to pen and paper. It can be hard. There are tremendous distractions every single moment of every single day.
Also, this past year, I have been painting. I don’t expect to master it in the next twelve months, but I am working as hard as I can and playing as hard as I can when it comes to developing my own personal style in what is a very foreign medium for me. I really like painting and since I keep it private and separate from my online presence, it’s a sort of selfish pleasure when I sit down to work on a canvas. By the end of the year, I want to have made a few paintings that are delightful and true enough to hang in my own home or give to friends as gifts.
What’s your current favourite song/band? And what are you reading?
Oh, music. I am truly eclectic. Lately I am hearing a lot of Laura Mvula, James Vincent McMorrow, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (I love hip hop in the studio), Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach is a favorite, Top 40 Country Music, and a little Guns ’n Roses for extra spice. I also have a reggae habit in the morning.
I usually read about six books at once. Right now you can find these titles on my bed side table:
The Light Between Oceans — M. L. Stedman
Seven Gothic Tales — Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen)
The Solace of Open Spaces — Gretel Ehrlich
Dear Life — Alice Munro
Two in the Far North — Margaret E. Murie
The Mists of Avalon — Marion Zimmer Bradley
And Rob just gave me the Ender’s Game series for Christmas, I greatly enjoy sci-fi.
Share three blogs you adore!
- Christina Rosalie is truly beautiful, inside and out. She writes with wisdom and grace and is a truly brave voice for our world. Plus, her sons look like delicious little darlings.
- Brian over at The Blue Hour — gorgeous, inspiring photography.
- I have enjoyed Liivia’s blog for a few years now. There is just something pure, lovely and unfettered about her photography.
Many thanks, Jillian, for sharing this splendid insight into your life!