Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Eclectic Figments: SuperMom and Artisan!

Figments…err…Eclectic Miscellany…errr…Kathleen (!) is a working mother who loves to create unique pieces of jewelry in what little spare time she has, selling them online in a venue for handmade arts and crafts called Etsy, which has been in the news lately.

Kathleen is a “mild-mannered” (?) software support consultant who sheds her disguise in the evening to become: SuperArtisanMom! She is a mother, wife, cook, housekeeper, crafter, scrapbook creatrix and more! She also loves to travel, read and go to the movies.

Kathleen grew up in a house full of books and handcrafted objects. Both parents were very creative: her mother painted, sewed, did silversmithing, read, did needlework and was a children's librarian; her father taught theatre and acted in and directed shows. Not surprisingly, all the pixie dust flying around settled on Kathleen:

I love to create fun, wearable pieces of art and these Figments are the result.

This is Spirit of Fire, one of Kathleen's elemental based pieces.

Another is Pele, part of her wonderful Myth Cycle group. The central piece is a fiery lampwork bead and the entire piece is divine!

There are many members of the Myth Cycle group and some that are distantly related, like the Thunderbird, out of Native American spiritual beliefs.

For the Cure is a necklace for breast cancer awareness. The proceeds from the sale of this piece go towards the treatment of and search for a cure for breast cancer.

Kathleen is also an active Etsian and is a member of multiple Street Teams:

The INCrowd, a group of Etsy artisans located in Indiana. Enter "incrowd" in your Etsy search to find them.

EarthPath Artisans Street Team (EAST). A group of people who walk similar alternative spiritual paths, focusing on beliefs in the world of Nature. Enter “EAST” in your search to find EAST members!

etsyBEAD street team, Etsians who create beads or beaded jewelry.

Tranquil Beading Oasis (TBO), a group of jewelry and bead artisans. Enter “TBO” on etsy to find the creations of these many talented artists.

Since we are both member of EAST, one of Etsy's Street Teams (Yay, EAST!), I had often seen Kathleen's lovely jewelry in our forum discussions, admired her range of styles and wondered what sparks her inventive fires. Here are her answers to some of my nosy questions:

Q: If you had to pick ONE piece of art or book that continually inspires you, what would it be? And why?
A: Inspiration....hmmmmm....probably a small watercolor that my brother did MANY years ago called "Paradise Lost". Eve has pulled the apple from the tree (a sparse tree, no leaves, just a trunk and one branch) and the tree and apple are bleeding. She has her hand to her cheek as if to say "Oh no, what have I done?". Adam is slumped against the base of the trunk like a rag doll. It is very simple yet says so much....

Q: One movie that is your absolute, bottom line favorite - and why?
A: Movie...I don't think I can name just one...I love "While You Were Sleeping" but "Stranger Than Fiction" ranks right up there and I can't leave the original "Pirates of the Caribbean" out of the running either.

Q: Favorite element and why?
A: Element - Air - it is all around us, within us, cushioning an protecting us, sustaining us and giving us life.

Q: What do you hope to learn to do in the next year (2008) that you do not know how to do now?
A: In the next year I would like to learn lots of things....make lampwork beads, work with stained glass, make anything pottery related. WILL I get to any of these? I don't know. The local center for the arts has pottery classes and I may try to take one in the spring, if I can find the time! Between working full time, being a mother and wife, doing housework, spending time online, making my jewelry, doing shows and working with other local craftspeople to promote our crafts and handmade items in general I don't get much free time!!!!

You would need to check out Kathleen's Etsy shops, Figments and Eclectic Miscellany, to truly appreciate her range and depth of inspiration. Do so, at once. You WON'T be sorry!

And don't forget to BUY HANDMADE! These are gifts that show the recipient that you cared enough to give more than money; you care enough to make sure they have something different. Many handmade items are unique or very limited editions!

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