Name: Gale and Brad Bez Shop
Name: Fatal Attraction and Jewlgurl (Chloe Jewels)
Shops Link: http://fatalattraction.etsy.com
Location: On the Banks of the Mississippi River (one hour north of St Louis)
Ships to: Global (and universal, when Sir (Virgin) Branson gets it in the air - wink)
What do you do?
We (my art partner/hubby) collaborate on most of our artwork and jewelry output. I design, choose the materials, prep the components and take care of any beading. Brad does the torch work and much of the cold joinery. We both finish out the pieces. We laugh, saying “We would be wa-a-a-y up that stinky creek if either of us lost the other.” We’re utterly joined at the hip when it comes to our jewelry making and we like it this way!
We work in several areas of jewelry design. Many of our Fatal Attraction found object pieces are Steampunk, Industrial, Gothic, Neo-Victorian inspired, while our nature referenced Chloe Jewels Collections are made with precious metals and gemstones.
Brad has worked in the automotive industry (www.auto-alchemy.com) for 30 some years. He’s translated his formidable metal working knowledge into the smaller form of working with jewelry metals. He’s an amazing wizard when it comes to figuring out how to make things. To this day, there isn’t a design that I’ve taken to him that he hasn’t been able to make. Although, he has ‘stress-tested’ a few of the pieces, by throwing them across the room. Not every day or project is a smooth ride, right?
I’ve worked as a professional artist for 30 some years (in between and around raising two daughters). The creation of art has never been far from my hand at any time. Lots of non-profit arts volunteer work over the years, have served as art show curator and hung those shows, taught art classes, done arts PR/marketing work, worked with state Arts Councils, choreographed for our local town theater group and I’ve been a chanteuse all of my life.
How long on have you been on Etsy?
We’re still newbie-babies at Etsy. We opened Chloe Jewels Mar 21, 2008 and then opened our second shop, Fatal Attraction May 22, 2008. We’ve worked in mainstream arts and jewelry for a long time and have always worked in the Steam vernacular (before it was termed Steampunk), using found objects and recycled materials to make jewelry, sculpture and room installations. So, although we’re new at Etsy, we’ve been on the art scene for many satisfying years.
Is this a job or a hobby?
A fulfilling, challenging and lovely job! If we didn’t make art, we don’t know what we would do…it’s such a large part of our day to day existence.
How did you get into your art?
We’ve always made stuff with our hands! It’s in our blood………
My Mom says, when I was just a tiny tot, I carried a little cloth bag of pencils and crayons everywhere I went. Anything that wasn’t moving was fair game as my art canvas. Early on, my parents recognized and nurtured my burning flame to ‘make’ stuff. They made sure I had the opportunity to develop my knowledge and love of the arts.
Brad has always had a superb eye for design and beauty. His father (with whom he turned wrenches, at a young age) taught him about visual proportion, mechanical invention and quality of materials, Brad says his seminal arts experience came when he was in High School. He had the opportunity to see a touring show of the Russian Imperial Eggs created by Faberge and his Parisan Ateliar of Artisans. Brad was profoundly impacted by this experience. He says, “I’ll have to live 5 lifetimes, working as a jeweler before I come anywhere near the expertise of Karl Faberge, but what an excellent goal.”
What do you love about SteamPunk?
It’s so raging OUT OF THE BOX! Wide open to interpretation because of the many layers and references where Steampunk artists draw their inspirations. I love art work that’s impossible to classify in a neat and tidy package - let’s make those art historians work for it - heh!
Do you have any words of advice for Etsy shop owners?
Do and make what you love. Your creative vision will shine through, touching your buyers, in good profitable times and in slower economy times. Don’t contrive work to fit the market - create your own niche with your own unique artistic voice. Diversify your art jobs, when you can. This will help you get through the slow times.
…..and remember, the pendulum always swings back bringing fortune with it‘s movement. Just try to hang in there for the long haul.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Shop Name:FetishGhost & RedGateCeramics
Location:Northern California (specifically Stockton)
Ships to:Anywhere that's interested.
What do you do?
I'm a semi-retired technical foundry artisan, a jeweler, a ceramicist, and a gentleman's gardener (it's like a Batman thing except with pruning shears).
Most of my personal studio activities has been focused on creating works to for the FetishGhost collection and for RedGateCeramics. RedGate is really more suited to my local markets, catering to regional galleries and framers markets with a distinctive high quality body of domestic ceramic wear.
It's my affair with FetishGhost that's drawn the most attention though. My work is firmly anchored in the past. I use a mix of traditional preindustrial silver smithing and jewelers skills to create my Gothic SteamPunk designs, eschewing any premade or mass produced parts or findings. I've been dancing with this muse since 1988 and I'm hooked on the thrill of discovery. Something new is always bound to happen. I love the subtle, but lately I've come to enjoy going rather operatic with my designs. I think I'm feeling my age again... 40 and feeling Feisty!
How long on have you been on Etsy?
I really still rather new to Etsy. My first post was in January of 08.
My mother-in-law had been running Beadserroneous.etsy.com for a few months before she turned me onto Etsy. It's suited her quite well. She's is a very accomplished studio artist out deep in the Ohio woods and as any smart son-in-law has learned, I value her input.
Is this a job or a hobby?
My life on Etsy is just one part of my professional life as an artist and designer. I found the value a long time ago of a diversified revenue stream. Juggling several projects helps keep the cash flow going.
With that said... The amount of effort spent on getting up and maintaining my Etsy stores has proven to be really time intensive, and quite honestly, it's proven to be quite a bit more engaging than I was prepared for.
Even so, Etsy is quickly proving to be one of the best promotional and sales opportunities I've run across.
The work I create for FetishGhost is for a niche market.
With Etsy I can reach out to my potential markets worldwide and establish new contacts.
(I just wish description writing would get easier).
How did you get into your craft?
I was encouraged into the arts by the small Iowa community that I was raised in. There was a lot pride in the ability to think with one's hands and there was a high value on the ability to create beauty. I guess they saw I had an aptitude or merely an interest in art, either way I was shipped off to Memphis Academy of Art begin formal study in drawing, sculpture, and the jewelers arts when I turned 17. It all kept growing from there.
What do you love about SteamPunk?
Gosh... I think it would have to be the fresh open-endedness of the movement.
I realize that for a lot of crafters, SteamPunk is simply about commerce and sales...but for me it feels like a Renascence of the Constructionist movement and a resurgence of the craftsman aesthetics that propelled the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements of the early 20th century. Designs that explore our sense of beauty and the mechanisms of time seem to fuel this movement. It's really something very special.
We are still at the moment where everything is being shaped and defined. It exciting to be standing at the edge of a Tempest again! Who's got the popcorn?
Do you have any words of advice for Etsy shop owners?
Meet your neighbors and have more fun!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Shop Name: 19 Moons Jewelry & Accessories
Shop Link: http://www.19moons.etsy.com
Location: Pittsburgh and SF
Ships To: Everywhere on Earth
What inspires you? The recycling of everything in the Universe. Chaos and organization dancing together and the enchanting patterns that creates. Weird in manifestation and origin. Goats and tea are also nice.
How long have you had your shop on Etsy? I opened my account back in early 2006 but I didn't start selling until Feb. 2008! A big gap, I know :)
Is this a job for you or a hobby? I guess it's in between those two- I'd rather call it a passion than a job or hobby because it's too fun and self fulfilling to be the former and too consuming to be the latter. Altered art is something I've done most of my life- specifically jewelry in the past 10 or so years.
How did you get into your craft? I've had an appreciation for discarded treasures since I was little- always picking up things off the ground or street or wherever when they caught me eye. In the 1990's when I was going to art school I started seriously recycling objects. I made a robot out of a weird portable t.v., parts from a remote control car, some scrapped velvet and a video player- thus the "Hugh Grant Machine" was born. Repurposing came into my jewelry initially with using little gears, bolts and telephone wire along with beads.
What do you love about Steampunk? I like the idea of technology appreciated for its beauty as much as its function. This is aesthetic banner of SteamPunk, influenced by the design of the Victorian through Art Nouveau periods' developing industry. I also like the science fiction aspect, like the future as seen through the lens of the 1800's. As a kid I had a record of the Time Machine by H.G. Wells. The story both scared and fascinated me (and sometimes induced laughter- Morlocks EAT Eloi!). It was my first exposure to Sci-Fi & Steampunk roots, later embodied by Dr. Who with the TARDIS, and others.
Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? I'm pretty new to selling on Etsy but I can give a couple pointers. One important thing is to take really good photos. Try different kinds of lighting and backgrounds, keep the work in focus but feel free to be creative. It is hard for people looking at images to get a feel for what a piece is like, so you have to give them as much information as possible. Also I like to do design shows & craft fairs often so people can see my work in person- I can promote the Etsy store that way too.
Anything else you would like to add? For info on 19 Moons' upcoming shows, galleries and a mailing list please see my other website: http://www.19moons.com/
Monday, June 9, 2008
Shop name: JewelryByTiki
Shop Link: Click Here
Ships To: Everywhere
My name is Kathryn, Now I call myself SteamPunk Granny. If I were younger I would be the hottie wearing all the cool dressings of SteamPunk! The other day I was in a Antique shop and there was a black flapper shirt that would be Great attire for SteamPunk, it was beautiful!! The only reason I didn't get it was I am to old and the size I grew out of 30 years ago. My husband says if you like SteamPunk Style who cares...Wear it! Oh ya, sure...I live in a area in the Midwest, Northern Woods of Minnesota that people don't even know what a style is..they would lock me up.
I was inspired with gears before SteamPunk was even a word. Just totally love gears and collected them long time ago..I collected Many things, really anything different and weird. Vintage jewelry was my biggy for collecting for a long while so My OldVintageLady Etsy shop was easy to set up...most of it was Mine and the things I didn't want to list I am able to add gears and other metals and WaaLaa...SteamPunk or what I consider SteamPunk...I believe SteamPunk is the attitude of the expression of the Artist. What is weird I made a SteamPunk piece before I even knew what SteamPunk was..and it was Hyla that bought it. Hyla and I were in another group and she kept talking about this SteamPunk thing and at first I just ignored her and then finally one day I looked into it and WOW, I love it!! That was the beginning, now it is hard not to do anything else but SteamPunk but go out of my way to make sure my shop carries all kinds of art. The weirder the art the quicker is sells in my JewelryByTiKi shop. My first shop was InteriorGlassDesigns which is Stained Glass and opened that in May of 2007. I have been doing Stained Glass for over 30 years and developed a technique in metal work that I can now use to do custom work on Jewelry. JewelryByTiKi shop was opened in July and I did only magnetics...Did not sell At All!! So changed the theme of jewelry all together and it begin to hit...now, I am satisfied with my sales and just love the people that I meet through my shop, they know I am weird and appreciate it!
As for advise...love what you do and create what is in your heart is shows just like your Aura.
This is my job...Full time job...I love making art and Etsy...Now the team... SteamTeam also. Definitely some Great Artists in the team...very talented
What I like about SteamPunk is....EVERYTHING...the colors, which is none. Metals, black, the industrial look, textures, it really is wide open depending on the way it is put together.
I grew up in a junk yard and now I get to use all the things from my child hood...JUNK! Just love junk..What is weird with this SteamPunk, I have some pretty UPITY Professional women friends that drive over 180 miles to come to see me in the woods and they by allot of my jewelry that never even gets to get to Etsy. We are talking 60 years old to 80..Guess what they buy...Mostly SteamPunk!!
Kathryn's 4TH Shop: KatrinasTreasures
Posted by Hyla at 5:57 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Shop Name: Allie's Adornments aka Allie's Antiqued Adornments
Shop Link: http://AlliesAdornments.Etsy
What inspires you? I have always had a fondness and love of art. My favorite places are galleries and museums and I am inspired by the craftsmanship of items that are well made and endure. I’ve been heavily influenced by antiques, especially those that were handed down through my family. I find that a well made piece of furniture can be just as beautiful as a painting or piece of sculpture.
I subscribe to publisher William Randolph Hearst’s belief that in order to properly appreciate beautiful things, they must be utilized for the purpose in which they were created. Eat off of the good china and silver, use the good crystal, and let them bring you joy every day instead of the once a year that they are brought out of the cabinet.
How long have you had your shop on Etsy? July 1st 2007
Is this a job for you or a hobby? Hobby
How did you get into your craft? After inheriting some gorgeous buttons, I found them too pretty not to want to look at over and over again so I started making jewelry as a way for me to wear and enjoy them as mini pieces of art. That something as small and simple as a button can be so incredibly detailed with wonderful craftsmanship never ceases to amaze me.
I make some funkier styles of jewelry, using elongated pennies, taxidermy eyeballs, and foreign coins; elements not always thought of as jewelry in the traditional sense. However, my fascination remains with antiques especially the tiny buttons because of their history.
Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? I would suggest to fellow Etsyians that there are 2 necessary components to selling online if they are serious about being successful. #1 is that networking is vital. It took me almost 6 months to get in the forums and join a street team, but once I did my sales & exposure more than doubled. #2 Would be to advertise. People aren't going to magically find your product because you posted one listing on the internet. Re-newing a listing on Etsy is one of the cheapest ways to advertise. For 20 cents you get a few seconds on the front page of the website & move to the front of the search. Buyers aren't going to search through thousands of listings for yours that was posted months ago.
Anything else you would like to add? Enjoy what you are doing/making/selling or don't do it. Life is too short to waste time doing things that don't fulfill you.
Posted by Hyla at 8:22 AM