Thursday, January 21, 2010


This week we have a jewelry artist who does some very nice work. Come and meet

Here is our interview with the artist, Christina -

Briefly describe what you make?

I design and make jewelry and beaded bookmarks. Most of my earrings and necklaces are made with gemstones and semi-precious stones, as well as glass, shell, and pearl, and I mainly work with sterling silver. I use the same quality materials to embellish my silver-plated hook bookmarks.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

My favorite materials to work with are natural stones. I love the unending variety of colors and patterns in Ocean and Crazy jaspers. I love the swirls in Banded and Botswana agates. I love to take out my magnifying glass and look at each little bead I buy and admire the whirls and dots and splashes. I take photos of my jewelry with a macro lens
so buyers can see all the little fine details, and hopefully appreciate them as much as I do.

How long have you been creating craft?

I got off to a pretty slow and unsuccessful start early on. My first attempt at creativity was an 8th grade sewing class and I didn't do too well there. It was too much math/measuring for me. My freshman year in high school I tried again, taking a Home Ec. class in sewing, and I made my teacher cry. (She retired soon after so I don't think it was just me that stressed her out...) I started doing cross stitch in college and kept at it over a ten year period. And then once I had children my creative efforts went into making things that they could help me with like candles, soaps, and ornaments.

How did you get started?

A few years ago my ill father came to live with me, and I and my family cared for him until he passed away in 2007. During the year that he lived with us I spent a lot of time assessing my life, my needs, and my interests and desires. After that year of very emotionally intense care-taking, I felt a strong need to do something creative. Without any real thought I decided I wanted to try my hand at making jewelry and within a month of his passing I was in a craft store buying some beads and wire. I've been making jewelry and bookmarks now for just over two years and love everything about the creative process. I also think of my dad when I think of my jewelry business, and how happy he'd be to see me doing what makes me happy.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I had such a difficult time choosing my shop name! Etsy was the first place I considered to start my shop in so I did quite a bit of looking around to see who was selling there. I went through so many names while trying to decide if I was a cute cottage, a serious studio, a fancy aerie. I finally decided I was a down-to-earth shop and the name Leaf and Tendril soon followed. I think the name suits me because it's natural and organic, no muss and fuss.

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

I'd like people to know that I really care about the quality of materials I choose. That I take a lot of time and thought into putting each piece together. And that even though I fret daily that I'll never sell another thing again - I thoroughly enjoy what I'm doing and hope that some of the energy and fun carries into the earring or bookmark I'm making, and then onto the person who buys and uses it.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

I'm still new to the business of being an artist so I won't give business advice. The advice I will give is this: YOU CAN do this - design, create, innovate, sell - without a degree from a fine arts school. You don't need to have started when you were a teenager, or even be a 20 something. You don't need a whole lot of money and a beautiful studio to go with it, although that would be nice. You just need to set a little of your very valuable time aside, and while doing that, listen to your inner artist. She/He will tell you what to do, and then you'll figure out how to do it.


Great interview - nice shop. Come visit it!


jazzy said...

Great advice! Good luck with your shop :).

Renaissance Austin said...

Wonderful interview! I loved it. Yes, the inner person will definitely speak and show you the creative way! And the shop is beautiful!


Hilary said...

I love the name of your shop.
I am on my way over there to take a peak.