Monday, July 14, 2014

Makers Part 21

John Muir, the 19th century Scottish/American naturalist was an early advocate for preservation of wilderness in California. He wrote: "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." My next maker's connection to the natural world is manifested in her choice of materials - stone, wood and metal.  Christina Brown lives in California and makes beautiful jewellery that comes from and reflects the natural world she loves. In doing so, she gives her wearers a direct connection to that world.  You can buy her jewellery at Feeling Charmed on etsy and keep track of her listings on facebook, pinterest and instagram.

Can you tell me a little about your background? 

I live in Los Angeles, California with my husband and rabbit, Pilot. I have a full-time job working at a University doing nothing especially creative. That is why I take so much pleasure in making my jewelry. It gives me an outlet for all the creativity I have bottled up inside.

What do you make?

I make bracelets and necklaces.

What attracted you to this particular medium? How did you get started?

I have a love for all things fashion. I was looking at bracelets online one day and thought, I could make those. Once I started creating I just could not stop. I love the creative process of picking out beads and accents that complement each other and stand out in fun and one of a kind ways. I love pops of color, unique beads and fun charms. I was initially making bracelets that I could wear and enjoy. It wasn't until I started getting compliments on them that I realized I wanted to sell them so that others could enjoy them the way I do.

How long have you been making?

I have been making bracelets for about 2 months and just recently started making necklaces.

How does your practice fit in with your everyday life? Do you have your own studio space and when do you work and where?

I work whenever I can get a free moment, usually in the evening after work or on the weekends. I don’t have a studio space at the moment but I would love to have one eventually. Right now I just either work at my living room coffee table or my kitchen table. My bad part about that is that I usually have a complete mess everywhere. I always find beads in my carpet.

What are the best and worst aspects about working with this medium?

The best part of working in this medium is the variety of materials that are out there. I am always finding new beads and charms to buy. My newest discovery has been organic, all natural beads. I love the authentic, earthy feel that they have. I feel the organic materials match my esthetic and fit with the direction that I plan to head in. I do not have a worst part.

Who or what inspires you?

I find my creative inspiration all around me. When I first started making bracelets and picking out the materials for them, I always went for the earth tones. So I thought I should stick with what I like and take inspiration from the earth, sea and sky. I enjoy the mix between taking the blue from the sky and joining it with the wood from the earth. I feel there is a harmony there and that the elements work together to form a balanced, beautiful creation.

Do you get creative blocks? If so, how do you deal with it?

I do get creative blocks sometimes. When that happens I just start mixing different beads, accents and charms together. If one combination does not work I move on to the next. It is a trial and error process but through that something I love will eventually emerge.

What other mediums would you love to explore? 

I would love to start knitting sometime in the future. I think it would be great to design and create scarfs and bags.

What do you hope to do next with your practice?

I hope to keep designing and creating new pieces for my shop and get my name out there as much as possible.My next goal is to start attending fairs and selling my products. I am looking forward to getting the face to face contact with customers. I think it will really help to have people be able to see my products in person, try them on and feel confident about what they have purchased.

Thank you Christina! If you make or collect I would love to hear from you.