What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
Jewelry, specializing in resin and fine silver designs.
How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
I started selling on etsy in September, 2007. My jewelry habit had gone from a pastime to an obsession, so I either had to start selling my pieces or stop making them. Someone mentioned etsy at a jewelry class I was taking, and once I saw it I was hooked. I started posting items that day. I also sell my jewelry at art fairs and a couple boutiques in Minnesota.
Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?
Generally speaking I just sit down and start creating. I get inspired by the things around me and what's going on that day, so I tend to create based on my mood. I sketch designs out all the time but rarely use them. I like to be spontaneous and let the materials dictate what I make.
What are your favorite materials to work with?
resin and Precious Metal Clay (PMC)
PMC is completely addictive. I come from a clay background and loved working with clay, so finding a material that acts like clay and becomes silver is truly amazing. I'm also getting into fused glass. I took a great class at the Bead and Button Conference in Milwaukee this past summer on plaid glass. It's such a unique look and the possibilities are endless! That's definitely something I want to play with more.
Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your etsy shop?
I've recently started a blog, which I really enjoy - http://sbjewelrydesign.
Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
I'm a librarian, so I love to read. I also love hanging out with my partner and our 2 dogs, walking by the Mississippi River, biking, watching movies, and traveling. I also write. I'm in the process of creating a children's book. I spend my days surrounded by kids and books, so writing my own stories seemed inevitable.
Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
Definitely! I had a booth at the Twin Cities Pride event last year and designed a whole rainbow jewelry line. I have a rainbow necklace that I wear all the time and I love, and I wanted to be able to make something like that for others. My goal was to create something that was fun and elegant at the same time, and that people could wear whether they were out or not. I think having these designs at my non-queer events helps me to connect with queer customers. One day I would like to put together a juried queer art show, to showcase the work of queer artists.
What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I really enjoy connecting with artists, and it's so great to find a group of people that you can be completely open with. I've been part of other arts organizations that are more conservative, and for me, art is all about being honest. Being queer is an important part of my identity that I don't want to have to hide. I am so excited that there is this incredibly talented, vibrant group of queer artists on etsy, and that I get to be part of it!