Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Feature -- Elements & Artifacts

This week's featured Etsy shop is Elements & Artifacts, where you'll discover exquisitely crafted jewelry. Pendants like this Ophelia Above necklace just make me swoon! The detail and artistry you'll find at Elements & Artifacts are truly impressive.

And of course I love the fact that a poem is quoted in the item description!

Why "Elements & Artifacts," you ask? Owner Alicia explains, "Elements & Artifacts is a series of themed jewelry and artwork that is based on various myths, legends, histories, cultures, and customs. I tend to release my work as collections with over-arcing themes, while also including items that reflect the seasons and elements for that particular time of year. For instance, every year I reinterpret the months of the year (in Latin), the pagan sabbats, and various symbols that reflect the four seasons."

Enjoy the interview!

1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?

Right now my jewelry has a strong focus on ornate wire work, hand-forged wire and earwires, textured metal, and sparkling gemstones. The wire work is a path that I started just over six months ago, and it has been an incredibly inspiring and intensive experience for me. I love the added challenge inherent in some of these techniques; it allows me more exploration when it comes to expressing the concepts I have chosen for my collections, and I find it more rewarding on a personal level.

The art prints and note cards in my Etsy shop are all reflections of my interests, much like the jewelry collections. I have done fine art since I was old enough to hold a pencil, and I spent the first half of my college education on a fine art scholarship before I switched over to doing graphic design.

At any given moment, I am brainstorming for upcoming collections. My creative process involves an ever-rotating medley of research, reading, and sketching ideas in my idea book. There are times that ideas for collections will percolate for as much as 2-3 years before I ever start the actual work on the jewelry. A good example of that is my upcoming Artifacts of Egypt collection, which began as a tiny seedling of an idea almost two years ago and has slowly grown into its current existence.

Alice in Wonderland Tears necklace

2. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.

My entire life thus far has been about creative expression; I have a never-ending drive to be making something. Creativity infuses my life through fine art, classical ballet, fire dancing, graphic design, and jewelry design. I love spending time with my husband and taking care of my beautiful 18-month-old daughter, and I have a strong desire to travel all over the world.

When I am not working on items related to Elements & Artifacts, I am often doing freelance art and illustration of things like tattoos, t-shirts, logos, perfume labels, and packaging for art supplies. You can find my work on things like Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils and art supplies like Pentalic, Prismacolor, Canson, Strathmore, Bee Paper, and Connoisseur Brushes.

3. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?

SFEtsy, of course.
TeamBPAL, a collective of artists and crafters who are fans of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab artistic perfume oils.

4. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?

I think my biggest challenge is not having enough time! The time I have available comes nowhere near the number of ideas I have, and there are times when I think I may burst if I can't get my ideas recorded or expressed in some way. I often wish I could stop time for hours on end while I work at my jewelry table.

5. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite?

Luciernaga. It is a whimsical wire-wrapped firefly pendant that was painstakingly sketched and prototyped until it was, to me, perfect. It is dedicated to my beautiful daughter, whose face lights up with wonder and magic every time she hears The Firefly Song.
The wing design of this pendant was inspired in part by Cynthia of Green Girl Studios, whose pewter pendants have been a long-time standby in my own work, and by Sesame Street Episode 4165 which features The Firefly Song and has brought countless moments of joy to my daughter and, in turn, to me. Luciernaga is but a commemoration of that magic.

6. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?

I've just barely dipped my toe into metalwork, and I do have a strong interest in PMC and casting.

7. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?

It would have to be the moment I bought a bench block, jeweler's hammers, and wire, and began taking lessons on how to do ornate wire-wrapping. It may seem small, but it was a pivotal moment for me. It opened doors that were previously closed because I knew that once I learned the techniques, I could create original designs that are purely my own.

8. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?

My art blog offers a series of insights about my artwork, as well as announcements for new Elements & Artifacts releases, contests, and sales.

My portfolio shows a handful of pieces in each of the three categories I work in: art, jewelry, and design.

Elements & Artifacts also has a Facebook Fan Page.

We are always looking for new SF Etsy artists and artisans to feature here on Fridays. If you are interested in being featured, please check out our google group to sign up!


Royal Redneck said...

thank you so much for sharing! I am so impressed to hear how much thought goes into each of your pieces!

Leaf and Tendril said...

Just had a chance to take a look at this interview. You do such pretty and diverse work Alicia!

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