|Izze Bottle Cap Bead Embroidered Cuff|
Tell us a little about yourself and what you sell.
I worked for many years as a financial analyst for EDS in Indiana and North Carolina before moving to Oregon and working for Sequent Computer Systems. I "retired" when my daughter was born and began pursing my love of creating whenever I had a spare moment. I began making jewelry after a friend's bracelet caught my eye and she offered to teach me how to make it. An obsession was soon born. I ultilize purchased materials from other artists such as pin back buttons, hand painted bottle caps, and art stones. However, my true passion lies with bottle caps. I'm completely enamored how this little piece of metal manages to convey its advertising message, while also packing a signficant artistic punch. I'm working towards a couple one of a kind pieces that use 100% recycled materials.
|Scale Maille Bottle Cap Earrings|
When I'm creating, the cares of the world just melt away. When I quit my career, the biggest gap I found was the lack of focus. With finance you hone in on a problem/task and it drives your day. Mom's the world over understand that the day is filled with multiple tasks and interruptions and it's a rare day when you can trully loose yourself in a project. Creating fills that gap and leaves me, not with a boring paper trail, but a wonderful piece of wearable art at the end.
|Metalwork Wire Wrapped Stone Necklace|
Actually, it wasn't a conscience decision it was more of a pull from the materials themselves. When I moved to Michigan, I missed the Oregon microbreweries we had come to love. I was delighted to learn Michigan has a thriving microbrewery business and as I enjoyed my first Oberon, I looked at the cap and couldn't imagine throwing the little beauty away. A class with Mary Hettsmansperger sealed my fate when she used a bottle cap as the foundation in one of her pieces. I've been creating with them every since and looking for more and more ways to repurpose, reuse and salvage materials in my pieces. I still create with other materials but my bottle cap jewelry pieces are my love and my best sellers.
What is your favorite thing about running your etsy shop?
Like many others, my favorite thing is the people I've met and the connections I made. I met a lovely women from Belgium name Sigrid. She has a daughter a few years older than mine and we've shared many experiences. Early in our friendship she sent me a box of champage crowns, the most generous gifting of bottle caps I've ever received. I cherish these and have been slowly creating pieces with them. I've also been astounded by the artwork created on our team and in the larger community. It's inspiring and humbling. I've met so many wonderful people all of whom are willing to exchange information, art, bottle caps and stories.
|Monkey Quilted and Beaded Embroidery Cuff|
I honestly don't know. Something just grabs me, like that Oberon cap, and I can't let it go (sometimes to the detriment of housework and dinner). Even at it's most frustrating, creating is the thing I'm always pulled to every day. I actually have to work at stopping so the rest of the work gets down. I'm not someone that marvels at a beautiful sunset and immediately sits down to create an awesome interpretation. I usually start from a material, problem, or technique I want to master and work hard to make it fit my design. It can be frustrating because I don't always have the end thought out but the trial and error led to my best work. It's how my bottle cap cabochons were created. I wanted to use them like all the other cabs in my artwork and I wanted them protected at the same time. Most of my customer's don't realize they are bottle caps at first.
|New Belgium Reversible Bottle Cap Pendant|
As I sat down to write this piece and had to shove stuff out of my way to get to the computer, I realise my space is not the most inspiring. Literally every surface is covered. I've always worked that way, but even I have to clear things off occassionally. It's easiest to work when you clear things away after every project, unfortunately I'm just not that focused. Fortunately, I'm inspired by the problem/process and not my surroundings. I'm not one that see's a beautiful sunset and immediately sits down to create an awesome interpretation. I usually start from a material and work to make it fit my design. It's how my bottle cap cabochons were created. I wanted to use them like all the other cabs in my artwork and I wanted them protected at the same time.
Thanks Christine for sharing with us today!
See you in a couple weeks,