Sunday, January 4, 2009


Another wonderful member of POE - Photographers Of Etsy is here to to tell us about her work. Please come and meet

Here is our interview with the photographer, Racquel -

Tell us what you make?

Fine Art Photography and Soldered Chainmaille

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

For my jewelry I love working in silver, gold, gemstones and artist made lampwork beads

How long have you been creating craft and how did you get started?

I have always made crafts of some variety ever since I can remember. As a child I was into painting and cartooning. At age 10 I submitted my portfolio to an art college in NY. I conveniently left off my age and won 1 out of 5 art scholarships they hand out each year. Of course when they found out my age (thanks mom!) I of course could not accept the offer. I stopped painting in High School when my AP art teacher decided to break me down and discourage me from pursuing my dreams. This was my 3rd year in the program. Every year at the end of the year we submitted our portfolios to Princeton where you would get a rating of 1-5. If you received 3 ratings of 5 you received a full art scholarship. The 2 years prior I received both 5s and was on my way to my 3rd. Everything I painted or drew in my 3rd year was ripped apart by my teacher and I could not find the will to create any more. I eventually dropped from the class as I could not create anymore. From time to time I will pick up a pencil and do a cartoon but the passion is still not there.

For years I could not create then about 10 years ago while struggling through a horrible divorce I need something to keep my mind occupied. I tried a few different crafts but nothing that I was passionate about. 7 years ago I stumbled upon a bead show and I was hooked. I tried different types of designs but found that I did not like strung designs so I started exploring silver. This is when I discovered the world of maille. After mastering weaves I decided I needed to learn soldering so I set off on that adventure. After many hours and many months (really almost a year) of wasted silver I perfected my craft and it was ready for sale but that was not to last.

With the economy being down and silver being up I had to pack things up for a while. I was going crazy as I need to create to survive. But wait a minute what about that nice camera I used to take pictures of my jewelry? Why could I not create with that? Well I was on a quest to now learn a whole new skill. I bought a ton of books, read many online articles and joined online groups that helped push me to keep growing. After 2 years of practicing and practicing (then upgrading my camera form an XTi to a 40D) I thought it was time that I would try selling my art.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

SM Gemstones comes from Sacramento Mountains which is what I get to look upon every day. Sirius Imagery came from my husband and I combining businesses. His business name is Sirius Group. Yeah, nothing exciting and creative there..

What would you most want people to know about your work?

I take pride in my work and I don’t start selling it until I have mastered the skill. With my photography (while I do not claim to be an expert) I do take pride in letting me alone determine how the image will come out. Even though I have a Canon 40D with all the nice auto features I still shoot the old fashion way in manual, leaving me in full control of the images produced. Most my macro shots are also manually focused allowing me to get closer to the subject than the lens in auto would normally allow.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Learn your trade before trying to sell it. I see too many people who will buy jewelry supplies or a nice camera and immediately start selling their work before mastering it. This hurts all artists especially if you customer is disappointed in the craftsmanship as they will think this is the way it is with all artists. Also once you have mastered your craft charge a fair wage for your skill. Again selling something cheap hurts everyone as customers will learn that our time is not valuable.


You must visit Racquel's photography shop at Etsy, her nature work is fabulous. Please also take a look at her jewelry shop - she does great work.

1 comment:

jessica said...

Great feature, and I especially love the advice to other artists. Thanks for sharing!