Joe Earley is a creative based in Rochester, Kent who runs Soil and Solder out of his home workshop. Soil and Solder is a small self-established business making Geometric terrariums with recycled glass.
Are you working from home, and if so, do you have any advice to stay focused?
I've always worked from home, so I've been lucky enough to have everything I need here. Also, the places I get my materials from are still offering next-day delivery! As for staying focused, it's very easy to get distracted by all your homely comforts, but self-discipline is key, and saving your Netflix for after 5 o'clock is the icing on the cake! I'm surrounded by my plants and records so I listen to music, try and come up with interesting new ideas and attempt to keep up with social media (so I don't lose the attention of my audience!).
How are you staying connected with those around you?
Instagram has always been my strongest promotional tool; I chat with friends on zoom here and there, and get out on my bike when I can. But I've always enjoyed my own company, so it hasn't been awfully bad.
Do you have any uplifting book/music/podcast recommendations that you can share with us?
I'm currently reading 'The Secret Life of Plants' by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, it's a pretty philosophical way to look at my plant life!
As for podcasts, Trailer Park Boys is pretty darn funny. My Dad Wrote a Porno, Ricky Gervais, Jon Richardson and The Adam and Joe Show! All comedy based, so they're good for a smile in these difficult times.
Have you been able to use this time to expand your creativity, and if so, how?
I'm definitely being more experimental! As my main income comes from selling at markets, without the time constraints, I'm able to use the time to make bigger pieces. I've always enjoyed making eye openers and show stoppers that get a reaction.
What are you personally doing to stay positive in this current climate?
Spending as much time in my garden and with my plants as possible. Sowing some vegetables, taking cuttings from my plants and experimenting with different propagation methods, and making my terrariums bigger and better - until I run out of space. I've even considered moving the kettle into my workspace...
We've got to do our bit to stop the spread of this virus, stay home, stay positive, find something new to enjoy as it could be a long ride. Help and support those not so fortunate who are alone at these times. Do all those things that you haven't had time to do, and imagine the pub beer garden in the sun when this is all over.