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Friday, October 10, 2008

Jewellery (Jewelry!) Artistry! by Jen Mckeogh

Today I'd like to feature a fellow Etsy artist that I've just "met" by chance, by responding to her call for artists to feature in her blog. The Etsy forums can sometimes be a daunting place where one never knows what will happen, how people will respond to you, whether you'll be a thread-killer or fomenter. I replied to a thread by Jen McKeogh of North Star Jewellery from County Donegal, Ireland. Within a matter of hours, she had sent me her list of interesting and thoughtful questions, and within days, I was featured on her blog, Doyle Jewellery Design. Her communication has been warm and engaging, and so I am delighted to return the favor.

I asked her to reply to her very own questions (that's kind of cheating, but....!), so I reprint her answers and showcase some of her very lovely jewellery designs. Please visit her Etsy shop!

1. What is the name of your Etsy shop and what do you sell?

The name of the shop is and I sell my handcrafted jewellery which is made from a wide variety of materials such as freshwater pearls, semi precious gemstones, crystals and glass.

2. Where are you located?

I am located in Co Donegal in Ireland

3. Do you have your own website/store outside of Etsy?

I have a website and I also have a blog.

4. How long have you been doing your craft/art and how did you get started?

I have always been very creative and have been painting and drawing since being old enough to hold a pencil. I got interested in jewellery when pregnant with my daughter. I got a bad case of that whole nesting thing but a bag of very strangely shaped knitted squares later and I knew that knitting needles and I would never be friends! So I turned my attention to the fascinating world of jewellery and beads and have never looked back. I have been making jewellery for 4 years now.

5. Who or what inspires you to create?

So many things, nature definitely, words from a song, a piece of music, the colours in a restless sea of dancing waves...the world is full of inspiration if only we open the eyes and the heart.

6. Do you listen to music when you work, and if so what kind?

All the time! Anything from heavy metal to classical to old 50's classics- all depends on the mood.

7. What do you like least/most about your craft?

I like most that there are endless creative and learning possibilities in the world of jewellery making. I love to push at the boundaries of my skills to see how far I can take a new technique, and the thing I don't like would be that I have to outsource all my materials as supplies are quite limited here, and what there is can be quite expensive.

8. Describe your workspace?

Its a newly renovated room just off the kitchen, and its all mine! I have my office in one tiny corner and the rest of the room is totally devoted to my jewellery making and painting. Its filled with light most of the day and it has the most beautiful view from the window. i look out over miles of rolling green hills and forest and farmland, no urban jungles to spoil the view!

9. What is one of your best moments as a crafter/artist?

When you make something for someone and that moment when they try it on and turn to you with that look that says 'I am so happy with this' - that gets me every time!

10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting their own craft business?

Being self employed is a tough road and you've got to be prepared to work really hard to get where you want to go, but believe in yourself and your talents, keep your faith up and you will do well. Art/crafting as a career is incredibly rewarding. Aside from being your own boss and not having to get up at ungodly hours of the morning to commute a million miles to an office, I totally love what I do. How many people do you know can stand up and say that?

1 comment:

Doyle Jewellery Design said...

Hi Louise
Thank you for such a lovely introduction and also the blog feature- it has also been a pleasure for me to work with you on these features! I wish you all the very best of luck for the future,
Northstar Jewellery Design

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