Thursday, July 24, 2008

Meet Elements By Dawn- Featured WIST seller

You make beautiful handcrafted jewelry, why did you start making it?
Like most women, I love adornment! The history of personal adornment and jewelry is as old as time. The ancients used jewelry as symbols of status, currency, and to ward off evil or to bring the wearer luck.

I’ve constantly been drawn to contemporary forms, simple and clean lines, and texture. I knew I wanted to express this passion through jewelry. I began doing research and experimentation with various metalworking and wireworking techniques. After countless hours of trial-and-error, research, and a few workshops, Elements by Dawn was born in June of 2006.

Are there any special techniques you use that you'd like to share?
I must confess: I have a love affair with my hammers! I would be lost without them. They have become an extension of my hand, adding dimension, texture and facets to the metal. I suppose you could say that forging metals is my special technique.

How did you end up hearing about Etsy and joining?
I learned of Etsy through a women’s business forum where one of the members had a shop. Her name is Debbie and she is the owner of Soapylove Handmade Soaps (thanks, Debbie). Since I wasn’t ready to open my own ecommerce shop, Etsy was an excellent starting point. So, in August 2006, I opened an Etsy shop (http://elementsbydawn.etsy.com/) and have been enjoying the Etsy community ever since.

What's the toughest part of running your own Etsy business?
Since there are thousands of sellers on Etsy it can be a little challenging to stand out from the crowd. Just like a standalone website, promotion is essential to success.

The best?
The best part of Etsy is its community. Most of the users are friendly, helpful and supportive of fellow crafters and artists. The community is networking at its finest.

Like most artists, you've probably made a TON of kick butt art- is there a piece or two that are your favorites? Why?
A piece that I am very proud of is my Fine Silver Geometric Bracelet. It’s my favorite because it is 100% handmade! The links, the clasp and even the jumprings were all made by me. I also love the design of alternating oval and round links. It’s very art deco.

I'd love a list of where else you're at on the internet- do you have a blog? A website? Forums or other internet groups?
I do have a blog. It can be found at http://www.elementsbydawn.blogspot.com/. The blog has morphed into an amalgamation of business tips, jewelry-making tutorials, current projects, personal experiences, and fun activities.

I also have a budding website at http://www.elementsbydawn.com/. My goal for the website is to host a blog on the site (rather than through Blogger) and have ecommerce up and running by fall.

Speaking of locations, do you sell your artwork in stores? Where?
Currently my work can be found in Philadelphia at VIX Emporium, on CircleCircleDotDot.com, and on display at the RAM’s Wustum Museum in Racine, WI.

Can you tell me something I (probably) don't know about the city where you live? Odd and interesting facts are a bonus.
Kenosha was once an automobile manufacturing city, producing such makes as the Rambler, and hosting Nash Motors which later became American Motors Corporation (AMC). We’re the fourth largest city in Wisconsin. OK, not very interesting or odd, but I love my town!

What does "home" mean to you?
Home is where I feel comfortable, welcomed and at ease. Home is more of a feeling rather than a physical place. I mean I have lived in several states and localities, but none of them ever felt like home until I moved to SE Wisconsin. (And who shares your home? Loved ones, pets, friends?). My husband of nearly 13 years and our two children.

Tell me something that I don't know about you! I love funny stories- do you have one you'd like to share?
I’m quite boring really. Probably the oddest thing about me is I have NO sense of direction. Honestly, I can get lost in my own backyard! I have discovered some really off-the-beaten-path areas because I was just simply lost. My husband keeps threatening to buy me a GPS…but I doubt it will help much.

How did you come up with your business name & what does it mean?
In Elements by Dawn, an 'Element' refers to the shape, form, mass, line, texture, pattern, light, and color of a design. My goal as an artist is to truly express the many facets of design. In each piece I try to focus on just one of those facets, to give it a life of its own and to showcase that facet and make it the “star” of the design.

Is there something you'd like to learn how to do someday? (Arts & Crafts related). Oh boy, the list is l-o-n-g! However, on my short list is: bezel setting, mokume-gane, and enameling.

I'd love to know what you'd like to "get" out of being a part of WIST!
I love WIST! I really enjoy communicating, promoting, and collaborating with fellow Wisconsinites. The artistic diversity of our group is really quite unique, but despite our different talents we all share a love for our state and a respect for each other’s craft.

I also love quotes! Is there a quote or saying that *you* love? Does this reflect your life and/or business philosophy?
One of my favorite personal quotes is from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “When we combine a warm heart with knowledge and understanding, we can learn to respect other’s views and other’s rights.” So much of the world is torn today because of intolerance and misunderstanding. This quote reminds me to not pass judgment too quickly and to try and see the world through someone else’s eyes.

What inspires you?
What doesn’t inspire me? I love the clean lines of the art deco period, the interesting knots and patterns in tree trunks, the colors of the sunset and butterfly wings, the movement of ocean waves, the scales of snakes, cracks in the pavement, architecture, the smell of old library books, brightly colored beetles, treasures in Grandma’s jewelry box……the list is endless!

1 comment:

f2images said...

Insightful article on Elements by Dawn! I'm originally from Kenosha, and my heart will always have a place there. Lovely items .... really like the silver geometric bracelet. ;)