Lori Hooks of adornmodern.etsy.com has been making jewelry for over 10 years, but metalsmithing for 2 and a half years, which is a medium near and dear to my heart. Lori told me that she began by making jewelry for friends and family for birthdays, weddings, and other occasions. I had to know how she came to metal work and she said “I had wanted to try my hand at metalsmithing for years. When I finally took a class, I couldn't believe I waited so long. Most of my current designs are in sterling and copper, but I am trying to incorporate more stones and beads again.” I can attest that once you pick up a hammer it is hard to put down.
Tina Lewis of tinalewis.etsy.com is a favorite of my sister—she is a sucker for anything having to do with pottery. Luckily, Tina’s work is impeccable. She has been working with pottery since she was a teenager, but has had her own home studio for about 3 years. Tina told me “My sister and I learned pottery in high school from a local potter in our neighborhood. She was a great teacher and went way beyond the ceramics offered at our local public school. I am inspired by all the wonderful potters and ceramic artists in Austin, Texas and the World.”
Ebits eco-friendly jewelry is one of our great duos. Will and Elizabeth O'Connor of ebitsjewelry.com have been making jewelry for 12 years. Elizabeth told me that out of a tragedy came a new way to connect with the world. “I was injured in a car accident last summer, and was unable to work. So, I started spending more time making jewelry to keep from getting cabin fever, and I started selling it online and at shows.
Pauline Jacobson of coralreefdreams.etsy.com has been making jewelry for 3 years, but has been in the art world for much longer. “I have been an artist/crafter since childhood. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art, and in 2001, after a 30-year career in graphic design, technical illustration, and cartography, I began a new career as an artist, mostly doing watercolor painting and photography. I began designing and making artisan jewelry about 3 years ago, and became hooked, so now that's what I do full time. I feel like I have found my calling at last!"
You never know where you will find you next great inspiration as AJ Kosarek of AJthePurple.etsy.com found. She has been knitting for over a year, and drawing forever, and told me that her handmade creatures were inspired by another crafter. “I came across some knit creatures and decided I needed to learn how to make them. Luckily a friend and my mother-in-law were both willing knitting teachers.”
And finally there is me, Megan Russell. My shop name is demiduval.etsy.com where I sell my metal work. I have been creating functional items out of steel for 9 years, but I came to the craft by accident. I answered an add in the paper to be an artist’s assistant thinking I would answer phones and fetch dry cleaning. When I arrived at my interview I was asked to work with large machines and hammers. It all worked out well. As it turns out I like to hit stuff.
There are many more crafters who will be out tomorrow, so stop by and check everyone out. We hope to see you this weekend. Have a great time at SXSW!