Thursday, July 7, 2011

Member Spotlight - JSW Metalworks

Tell us a little about yourself (name, where from, where you are now, your Etsy shop).
I am originally from Washington, DC. I have done a lot of traveling and have lived in many places including Israel, South Africa, and Canada. I moved to NYC in 2007 and am now based out of the Hudson Valley (NY). My etsy shop is:

What is your professional background?
I studied Biology and Psychology, but am now working in the talent management industry. I am a self-taught jeweler.

What led you to your current craft?
I attended several Renaissance Faires while living in upstate New York and was drawn to some of the jewelry that I saw in the vendor booths. I decided to try it myself and haven’t looked back since! My craft has since evolved to working beyond chainmail, exploring different techniques, uncovering the beauty of different metals.

How do you feed your creativity?
Whenever I see a piece of jewelry that attracts me, I make a mental note. I
incorporate aspects of it in to new pieces, whether it’s the color, pattern, etc. I also work around components that I find, letting the piece “speak” to me and creating something beautiful around that.

How do you deal with a creative block?
I wouldn’t describe it as a creative block. Instead, I am almost overwhelmed with the ideas that exponentially multiply in my mind as I’m creating. I simply take a break and do something else, whether it’s cleaning, reorganizing, or hanging with our pets. Apparently, I can’t keep still!

Describe your work area.
My work area is wherever I decide to sit myself down and produce jewelry. This can be anywhere from the train, the bus, my living room or my actual designated work space at home. This allocated work space is overflowing with supplies, lots and lots of metal, and finished pieces ready to be photographed and added to Etsy or packed away for local stores, home shows, or craft fairs.

Favorite time of day to work?
I’d like to work at my craft all day, but I do have a full time job, so I tend to work on JSWMetalWorks when I have time. This generally means working super early mornings, late evenings or nights, and weekends.

How did you end up on Etsy?
I saw several news reports on the Etsy boom prior to establishing JSWMetalWorks. Once I started my own company, it was a natural progression for me to join.

Other than your supplies & materials, what do you want with you on a stranded island?
My family (all pets included), my closest friends, and good tunes.

Any guilty pleasures?
Nutella, marzipan and pretty shiny things. :)

Words of wisdom for aspiring artists?
Follow your dreams. Find that one thing (or many things!) that you love doing and stay on that path, always developing your craft as you go along. Listen to all the feedback you get, incorporate some of that information, but, most importantly, go with your gut.