Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Feature ~ Iris Willow Jewelry

Welcome back to Friday Feature. This Friday we are featuring Iris Willow Jewelry. Iris is a jewelry designer living and working in the Mission in San Francisco.

1. What is your shop name and URL?
Iris Willow

2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
SF Etsy Team

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 make handmade enamel jewelry in my studio in the Mission in San Francisco. My jewelry begins as copper sheet metal, that I cut, shape, file and drill holes in before sifting the jewelry with powdered colored glass enamel. I then kiln-fire the jewelry at 1500° to fuse the glass to the copper. I sometimes screen-print organic and geometric designs in enamel or use fine silver rivets to combine two enamel pieces together, which allows for movement of each piece. My jewelry is finished with handmade sterling silver ear wires or sterling silver or gold-filled chains. If you want to see me in action, I have a short artist's video on my website outlining my process here:

I began experimenting with enamel while living in Santiago, Chile while studying with a local jeweler. I fell in love with the many colors of enamel I could apply to my jewelry, before that I had been working mostly in silver, copper and brass. It was exciting to have so many colors to choose from! Upon returning to San Francisco, I continued my experimentation and set up my own studio and have been creating new pieces ever since.

4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
1) Travel is a huge passion of mine. I have traveled to 28 countries outside the US and have lived in Italy (studying art), Thailand, Laos and Chile (teaching English).
2) I was named after a flower, a tree and the Greek goddess of the rainbow and this is also the name of my business.

5. What inspires your creations?
I'm inspired by my travels and the colors and patterns found in nature and throughout my beautiful city. I'm also inspired by the colors of the enamels and how the interact with each other.

6. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
My biggest challenge is getting traffic to my shop and driving sales. I'm new to Etsy and am just learning the ropes. I'm hoping that joining the SF Etsy group will help me develop some strategies to use etsy more effectively.

7. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite item right now is my brand new Lower Half Necklace in the Curves Pattern in dark gray over sparkly copper. I have been playing around with screen-printing patterns in enamel and I love the way this super long necklace turned out. It's perfect to wear over a sweater as the weather starts to turn a bit colder.

8. If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy?
I really love Jo Boyer's ceramic pods - they have such beautiful textures. I'd like to hang one on my wall in my studio.

9. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
You can find out more about my work on my website: which hosts my blog, a gallery of my work and a list of upcoming craft shows and stores where you can see my jewelry in person. You can also follow me on twitter @iris_willow or instagram @iriswillow to see photos of my jewelry in process.

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, visit Our Team Page about joining SFEtsy!

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