Today's featured artist, Pippi Jewelry, makes really amazing wire wrapped accessories. I say her work is amazing because I've tried wire wrapping and I honestly feel it's a true art. It's very tedious to get the wire wrapped just right! Pippi's blog can be found here. Q. Tell me a little about yourself:
I grew up the 6th in a family nine children, and now have two delightful, grown daughters of my own. I have always loved making things with my hands, and have tried many different crafts through the years, but jewelry making is my passion. The jewelry we chose to wear is an expression of our uniqueness, and I love it when someone finds one of my pieces and makes it a part of themselves. I am also a massage therapist and Reiki Master/Teacher. All of my work comes through my hands. When I'm not creating, I love to ride my mountain bike, and back country ski in the winter. I have always been pretty athletic, and love playing outdoors. I also love to sing.
Q. When did you first start crafting?
I have been crafting as long as I can remember! As a child, I would play outside for hours, making dolls out of grass and twigs, and elaborate 'sod' houses for them in the roots of trees out of strips of moss and sticks, with acorn cap dishes. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was aobut 6 or 7, and I still tapestry crochet today, creating pictures with the yarn. I grew up drawing, and filled countless sketch pads and notebooks. I also do acrylic and watercolor paintings. I spent a number of years making quilts, and I still love making picture pot holders. They are so quick to make, they are like candy! Instant (almost) gratification! When my girls were growing up, we used to spend hours at a time making collages, and I made cloth dolls for them in all sizes.
Q. Please describe your art in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?
As I said before, jewely making is my passion. I was first inspired to start making wire wrapped jewelry after seeing and buying some of the jewelry one of my massage school classmates made. After a while, I thought, I could do this. I took a basic wire wrapping class at the local bead store, and took off. Then, when we moved here to Idaho, I spent a lot of time online looking for more. I found some excellent tutorials and websites which expanded my skills, and my work took a whole new direction. My seahorses, which are my favorite thing I make, and my signature design, were inspired by a pair of earrings I made a while back. Everyone who saw them told me they looked like seahorses, and I thought, “hmmm, seahorses...”
Q. How has your work evolved from your earlier work?
I tend to make a lot more sculptural pieces, now that I have mastered techniques for sculpting in wire. But I still have so much to learn! My next goal is to teach myself how to make things with PMC (precious metal clay). Eventually, I will equip my work studio with a torch (all of my work right now is cold forged), and then watch out! I also want to learn how to do granulation and repousee work. I am always hungry to learn more.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration?
Everything inspires me! I am constantly amazed by the beauty of the world! I just try to reflect some of the wonder I see every day in my work. I think my biggest inspiration for my jewelry is from ancient jewelry. I often do Google image searches on ancient jewelry to get ideas. My favorite wire artists are Eni Oken, Iza Malczyk, and Magdalena Borejko.
Q. Where are your products sold (online/stores)?
I sell my work locally at The Loft in Hailey, ID, and in my Etsy store. I also do an annual holiday trunk show. And I usually have a collection of recent pieces on the lowboy in my livingroom, so a lot of times, friends and massage clients will buy things right there.
Q. What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?
Love what you do! Life is too short to be doing something you don't love. Become an expert at what you make, and share your knowledge with others. Take good pictures of your work, if you are selling online. Look at other sellers' pictures, and notice what attracts your attention. Use what you learn from them to make your photos better. Post new items in your shop regularly, and use interesting descriptions for your work. Start a blog, and read other people's blogs. There are lots of people out there with ideas that can help you and your business, and it gives your blog readers a chance to know the person behind the piece.
Q. Describe yourself in three words: Joyful, creative, curious
Q. Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?
Live each day like it is your last, and one day, you'll be right.