Today's interview is with a super-mom, super-craftswoman who creates screen prints, wood cuts, jewelry, and more. My fascination is with littleottoshop's beautifully intricate line work and multiple layer screens. With pieces ranging from $200 18-layer silk screen prints to $34 organically illustrated necklaces, you could find a Valentine gift for your special someone, and a little something for yourself. Enjoy her interview, peruse her shop, then check out her instagram for sneek peaks and behind the scenes fun!
1. What is your shop name and URL?
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
I belong to SFEtsy (of course), Printsy, Printmakers of Etsy, and A Printmaker's Revival.
3. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
I offer hand-pulled prints (silkscreens, etchings, and woodcuts), natural and illustrated jewelry, and embroidered wall hangings for now with plans for expanding my range of hand made goods in the future.
4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I was studying Printmaking at the Academy of Art and discovered, last November, that I was pregnant. I knew that it would not be possible to work, care for a newborn, and keep going to school so I had to make some tough choices. Thus Little Otto Shop was born. Named after my now 6 month old son, this shop was a way for me to be a stay-at-home mother and also continue to do what I am passionate about, which is creating. Although I am temporarily unable to be in the studio and make prints I now have time, between diaper changes and feedings, to be a craftswoman.
5. What inspires your creations?
I love natural shapes and random patterns and it comes through very clearly in my jewelry design. Especially with the stone rings, I try to let the supplies dictate the final product. Otherwise I am tearing my hair out fighting with nature. When it comes to my artwork I love juxtaposing slightly jarring subject matter with pleasing color palettes. (I definitely gravitate towards drawing bones and floating body parts.)
6. How did you get involved with Etsy?
I will admit, this is not my first Etsy shop. I started one back in 2007 that I let fall to the wayside due to school and work obligations. The other is a vintage shop that I list all of my flea market and estate sale finds. I've also been an active Etsy buyer for many years and I use it often to buy gifts for family, especially during the holidays.
7. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite item is the large print titled "Elimination Communication". It is a 20" x 22", four color woodcut that I made in the spring of 2012. I was about 7 months pregnant at the time, with a watermelon of a baby belly, and had a lot of things on my mind. One of which was what my baby was going to look like. There is a great deal of sentiment in this piece and every time I look at it I am reminded of all of the physical obstacles and deep rooted fears I had to go overcome to bring this print, and eventually my little guy, into existence.
7. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?
I have always wanted to learn how to knit and crochet. Growing up my mother was an avid crochet artist to the point where she had made hundreds of snow white crochet ornaments for our Christmas tree one year and it blew me away. I always wanted her to teach me but the moment never came. She did just recently give me all of her crochet needles and want to find some time to teach myself.
18. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
I have a Facebook fan page and an Instagram account where I post pictures and updates about new listings and in progress snapshots of what I'm working on lately (plus a few obligatory baby pictures). The are both under the name Little Otto Shop.
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Our Team Captain about joining SFEtsy!