Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Interview with Carmen of WolfMoon Studios

This week we have an interview with Carmen on WolfMoon Studios. You can find Carmen's jewelry shop on Etsy at: http://www.wolfmoonstudios.etsy.com
Read on and enjoy!
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What got you started making jewelry?
Carmen: While attending OSU back in the mid eighties, I started working in an Import store on campus that sold jewelry from all over the world and also had a bead counter. One day one of my coworkers was making bracelets for the store and then handed made me a bracelet with seed beads and fresh water pearls which she made just for me. It just melted my heart. So one day we were kinda slow and my boss noticed the bracelet bowl was running low and asked me to make some. Never doing it before, it took hours before I was satisfied with it, I put it the bowl and it sold that day. I was hooked.

E: How long have you been doing your craft?
C: Off and on since the mid eighties.

E: How did you get introduced to Etsy?
C: A little over a year ago I began making jewelry again. (Its something I turn to when I need to heal from something ) Well, beads stores have changed since the mid -eighties and there is such a wealth of resources now that I never experienced before, so the ideas flooded my mind. I started selling my work at the hospital I worked in, to support my habit of course. One of my coworkers said I should check out etsy and sell stuff there. So here I am.

E: I think a lot of crafters/artists start selling their work to support their habit.

Now that you’re selling your jewelry do you have a different outlook on what you make? Meaning do you approach designing in the same way? or do you still pretty much work in the same manner?
C: I really had to think about this question for a minute because in some ways it's both. I'm still chronically disorganized, so that will never change. And I get excited about my work very easily, which has always been there. But after having some repeat customers I kinda focus on them. It's always personal when I'm making something, but when I see a certain stone or get an idea I'll think, oh miss Tony or Dr A or miss T or whomever it reminds me of will inspire the continuation of whatever it is. And I'll be thinking of them while making it. And they love it as much as I love creating it. It's always a labor of love but that directs it to a specific person.

E: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
C: From endless sources, I can get inspired from classic novels I read, nature, other artists, photographs, to how I'm feeling on a particular day. I love spanish-moroccan style art and designs and art noveau in particular.

E: As an artist myself this is one of the most interesting questions to ask other artists. Everyone has a very different take on applying their life, experiences, and loves into their work. Do you sit down with something specific in mind to make? or do you typically just let your fingers work and watch the creation emerge?
C: Well it always starts out that way that I have something specific in mind but it always takes a left and maybe zig zags a bit and sometimes its close to what I originally planned and at times it entirely different, and much better

E: What is your personal favorite creation?
C: It would have to be the Sultan Goddess, which I sold at Comfest this year, and Vineyard

E: What makes these pieces stand out to you? Is there something in why or how you made them, or is it just their physical appearance?
C: Great question Erica.
The vineyard piece is the best example because my intent was to use these yummy garnets that I bought at a gem show and use them in a piece that was inspired by this wonderful, and kinda nutty woman who frequented my booth at comfest, bought several items and managed to barter the price down on my favorite piece. She was getting her PHD in business and had a wealth of ideas for me. She went home and brought gorgeous pieces of jewelry that she herself designed and were made by a jeweler. I told her I'd show her how to assemble them herself but she refuses. Her enthusiasm was infectious. So I told her I was going to make a series dedicated to her.

So the idea was to make a few simple briolettes as the front focal piece and crown them with some tiny peridot. It looked so lovely the 3 focal brios became 4 then 5 until I basically ran out. I also was trying to keep the garnet brios down and the peridot up, it was literally making me crazy. So I figured I'd finish the piece and try to manipulate the brios later. When I put the necklace on the bust it laid on there the way it naturally wanted to lay, and it took my breath away. It looked like a vine of berries or red grapes was completely astonished. So I photographed it in that way. Since then I've taken pictures of it both ways, (some buyers seem to want it more symmetrical, they don't share my enthusiasm for asymmetry, lol) but if they saw it in person they'd leave it as it wants to go.

E: Is there any technique relating to your jewelry that you hope to learn in the future?
C: Yes indeed. I want to learn to cast, which I plan on doing as soon as I get the funds.

E: Good luck to you, Carmen, in all your future pursuits!

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You can check out Carmen's Etsy shop at: http://www.wolfmoonstudios.etsy.com

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