Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Moo Crew Feature 10/21

Our featured shop this week is Authentic Arts by Jenny Hoople.
Jenny's jewelry is truly original and, as she describes in her profile,
clearly made with the beauty of nature in mind.

A quick jewelry montage to get us started ; ) The one that looks like a bunny is Bunnita, my little helper.

1) Tell us about your work and what drew you to it.

A few years ago, I saw job's tears for sale in Johnny's seed catalog. The description said that it was a natural bead, so I thought I'd try it out. I ended up with a whole tin of seeds, but they were so light that when I made a necklace with them, the clasp kept coming around to the front. So they sat, unused, in my basement for a few years. This July, my mom and dad were visiting and my mom, as usual, wanted to stop by a craft store. While I was waiting for her, I kept walking up and down the bead aisle thinking about what would go well with the grey job's tears. I bought a few things and made a necklace. My mom liked it so much that she asked me to make her one, and since I had materials left over, I just tried to come up with as many different designs as I could. Well, when I got done with that, I had to buy more materials and really, I couldn't stop making necklaces! A lot of things were coming together in my life, bringing me to this, so I jumped on it and started selling them. I decided to use knotted silk because I like its history, it's more romantic! I choose "natural" materials (stone, bone, wood, shell, silk) because even when altered by human hands and arranged and strung by them, the beauty of the processes that formed them breaks through and dazzles me. It's so fulfilling to finally be able to use my creative side (B.A. in fine arts, millions of crafty hobbies) as a part of my livelihood.

Close-up with job's tear seed (and denim lapiz lazuli, dyed quartz)

2) What is most enjoyable about your work?

Getting to play with so many beautiful stones and gems (I was a geology minor in college and a frequenter of the mall 'science' store in highschool)

3) What is your biggest challenge?

Marketing, of course. I feel like I do everything that people suggest and still I don't sell things online. I know I
have a good product because they sell pretty quickly in the gallery, but on Etsy? Not at all!

4) How are you inspired?

I'm inspired by my materials, mostly. It's like a fun game trying to come up with interesting color/texture/size/etc combinations!

And my workspace is...The coffeetable in my living room! I sit on the bean-bag chair. Please note the neglected fishtank and my small helper under the table :) Also of note, this is right after it's been cleaned!

5) Apart from creating, what do you enjoy?

I'm happy that canning/gardening season is coming to an end! It was a huge challenge to do that and take care of my bunny and fish AND make jewelry! I also love painting, knitting and many other crafts which I'm not selling on Etsy, yet...

6) What is something you've always wanted to try, but haven't yet?

Approaching another gallery/shop to carry my work, the one I'm in now fell into my lap when I met a friend of my cousin at a wedding and she loved my work and said she was going to recommend me to the boutique she works in.

7) What is your most cherished handmade item?

I most prize a baby quilt that my grandmother quilted for me. On one side is a giant green and pink puff-the-magic-dragon and on the back is a sweet little fabric with bunnies and puppies and kitties that I remember making up games with during nap-time as a little one. I hold this quilt in such high esteem, that I broke down and gave it to my little brother who also remembers it as HIS baby blanket. We have promised to give it to the first one of us who has a baby.

8) Tell us your top five!
Music: John Denver, Juanes, Iron and Wine, Belanova, Dar Williams, Johnny Cash
Books: Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Secret Garden, Twilight Series, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, The Maytrees by Annie Dillard Movies: Anne of Green Gables, The Big Lebowski, The Princess Bride, Kung Fu Hustle, Harold and Maude
9) Besides Etsy, where can your work be found?

Poppy in Columbia, Missouri ( www.poppyarts.com )

10) Do you have any current or ongoing specials?

Free shipping in the U.S. always!

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