Handmade Blog Feature Rae and Co.
Petal Necklace http://www.raeandco.etsy.com/
Lotus Necklace http://www.raeandco.etsy.com/Today i,m introducing you to creative lady Rae and Co who creates elegant silver with gold accent and tonal semi precious stones.
Handmade Blog Feature: RaeandCo http://www.raeandco.etsy.com/
Hello Rae and welcome to your blog feature! Firstly what inspired you to become a jewellery designer/maker?
That is a really difficult question for me as I haven't ever thought of myself as a designer or artist,maybe because there isn,t any artist or designer types in my family.
But with that said I have always enjoyed taking art classes of any type for as long as i can remember.I have taken classes in everything from web design to looming.
About six years ago I enrolled in a metals class at a local college where i learnt how to cast and solder, from that point on metalwork has been my focus although I still enjoy taking various art classes.
What drew you to making Silver jewellery?
I enjoy working with sterling silver jewellery because of the wide variety of looks i can achieve.
It's very easy to produce bright and polished pieces and aged and tarnished ones.
I prefer a softer slightly worn look.
Your work features alot of abstract whole and partial floral motifs.Such as my favorites "Petal necklace" and "Lotus Flower necklace" how did the use of florals come about? (images above).
Floral motifs appeal to because they allow me to bring nature into my work.
As much as I love this motif i try not to over adorn with it.Though I love floral detail which you can see on my petal and lotus necklaces, I am always focused on simplicity.
Whether a piece is made soley from metal or incorporates a stone , I try not to over adorn allowing the metal or stone to be the focus.
You also use some beautiful agates in your work such as the grey banded agate for elegant earrings of the same name that really showcase them.
As well as the piece "What Lies Beneath the Surface" with a fern trapped inside.
Do you cut and polish the stones yourself and why did you choose Agate?
About a year ago i started playing around with Lapidary tools investing in my own polishing and grinding machines.
I try to use mainly stones that I have cut and polished, but as much as i find myself enjoying the whole lapidary process I am finding that trying to do it all, from stone cutting to metal fabrication has really slowed down my overall production. Now I am using a mix of my own stones,purchased stones and stones that I buy then alter.
As for my choice of Agate it is one of my favorite stones for the colour tones and layers of banding within it.
Of all the Agates my favorite is Dendritic Agate.When I first discovered it I could not believe that such fine ferns and flora could be formed inside the stone.
Gray Banded agate earrings http://www.raeandco.etsy.com/
What lies beneath the surface necklace http://www.raeandco.etsy.com/I also love rough gemstones my favorites being Sapphire,Peridot and of course diamonds especially the brown and black ones which will be in my work and store soon.
The Jewellery range is very tonal in colour, lots of Greys and Silvers sometimes with 14k gold accents.What inspired this colour palette?
It's just who I am.If you was to look in my wardrobe my clothes are the same.Soft dull tones.
I have tried bold and bright colors but it just isn't me.I love a soft worn look.
14k gold disk and initial charm necklace http://www.raeandco.etsy.com/
Can you tell me a bit about your process for making the pieces?
I am constantly sketching, if there is a piece of paper in front of me whether i,m on the phone,paying bills by the time i,m finished it will be covered.
I actually only use about 1/10th of what I draw. Sketching is the start of my ideas.
With the sketch i,ve selected in mind i,ll go to my bench and select stones.I only use what I have and will alter a sketch slightly but not much as i,m aware of what supplies i have.
Then it's back to the bench and my scrapbox fll of metal scraps which i always keep on hand.It's interesting to me how one day something thrown out can have a use the next day.
From this I play around until i,m happy with the outcome.
My biggest obstacle in design and production is detail, i,m obsessed with every tiny one! If a piece is off right back in the scrapbox it goes! Some days production can go smoothly because of it and other days really slow down but it suits me just fine.
Whats the best part of creating a handmade business?
Doing something I love.Building something from the ground up is very,very satisfying.
Actally letting go of a piece can be difficult.I know it may sound crazy but I do worry where it will end up and how it well it will be cared for.
Whats the hardest part of creating a handmade business?
Hands down the hardest part for me is marketing.Finding and reaching out to your target market is not easy and I struggle with it everyday.
It's something that I have to force myself to do. The secound hardest part is being true to myself and what I create earlier in the interview I mentioned that I had created bold and bright pieces but they are just not me.I know it's a popular trend and people like it but I tried it and didn't enjoy it.So even though it's popular it's not something you would find in my shop.
Who are yor favorite etsians and why?
I have to say my favorites change from day to day.But there is one artisan who i,ve followed from the start of my time on etsy. That store is http://www.gallerydarrow.etsy.com/ and is my top favroite store of all time.
What I love about Gallery Darrow is the thought,energy and love that store owner Ro puts in every single piece.If I lived closer to her I would like to think we would be the best of buddies.
She writes a blog titled "Along the trail" where she offers stories behind each piece.She just comes across as such a honest person full of life in both her words and her work.She is a true inspiration as both a artisan and a person.
Her work is simply stunning. We also both have cute Yorkshire terriers.As a side note the "Co" in http://www.raeandco.etsy.com/ is my yorkshire terrier Goldie.Not much of a prodctive help in the studio but a fantastic companion!