Monday, June 23, 2008

FetishGhost & RedGateCeramics

Shop Name:FetishGhost & RedGateCeramics
Shop Link:
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 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!


TotusMel said...

Wonderful piece about an increasingly engaging artist.

Sarah Dungan said...

Great interview, and a really nice philosophy on art and creativity.

Wenchie said...

I'm really curious about the gentleman's gardener thing since it's "(it's like a Batman thing except with pruning shears)"

Callooh Callay said...

Wonderful interview! I love seeing the sketches too.