Shopping blog featuring products made by people not factories.
Beautiful lampworked glass by Jill Symons
As a glass artist, I am fascinated with the play of light upon glass. The beauty of glass beads is the simple power of glass itself; the power to transmit light. My approach to glass beadmaking is as simple as slowing down and letting the glass release the color, allowing the glass to speak.
I am constantly awed by the fluidity and form the solid glass takes. I draw inspiration from the glass itself and the way in which it seems to tell me what to do next. Drawing on a background in design, a passion for photography and a love of glass — ideas spill into dreams of what could be — always posing the question then of what else is possible and is there really a limit?
I remember the first time someone referred to my beads as ‘work’. My mind instantly denied that such joy could come from something called ‘work’. I have been making glass beads since 1999.
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I am a jewelry maker that uses vintage beads, charms and buttons. I love a good story and try to find pieces with a unique history to incorporate into my work.
Shopping at Estate sales and hunting for the materials to work with is half the fun!
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I was a Marketing Director for more than 10 years before I became a mom. I always found myself lingering at the creative’s desk, hanging around the graphic designers.
I got started in jewelry by making it for friends and family who urged me to start selling it. I signed up for Etsy and it all took off from there. Now I sell in several boutiques and do home parties as well.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
I named my studio/shop the “Mom O Matic” in a cheeky nod to the Automats of the early 1900s. Where women sat behind vending machines and dispensed treats to patrons day and night.
As I was already dispensing goldfish crackers and sippy cups to my two smallest patrons. Adding jewelry, just became another treat to add to the mom machine.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I make the jewelry alone, but I hardly work alone. My awesome husband often puts the kids to bed so I can start my work at night. He also pulls morning duty when I’ve done a late or all nighter making jewelry.
And of course my kids help me too. They both like to sort buttons and suggest color combinations.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I sell at www.momomatic.etsy.com. I’m at the Hammer Boutique in LaGrange, IL www.hammerboutique.com. And will soon be in a boutique in Western Springs that I can’t talk about just yet since I’m still working on their delivery!
I’ve done a few open houses at my house and that’s a blast. It’s hard to make the stock I need for everything so I’m looking into partnering up with another crafter for my next show.
You can usually keep up with me by becoming a Facebook Fan, I do my best to keep that updated.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
Too many to list! I’m sure most of of my Etsy income goes back into supplies and other seller’s work. My top three would be…
For organic baby rattles and yummy work – www.etsy.com/shop/littlealouette
When I used handcrafted supplies I often turn to Metamorph as she has beautiful work.
I decorate all my Etsy packages with vintage papers, retro plastic charms or vintage paper bags. I’m often going to Hey Yo Yo for these.
If you are in the Chicagoland area you must check out Uncle Fun, that’s another great stop for vintage doo-dads to decorate packages with.
What inspires and motivates you?
Talking with other artists, finding new supplies and looking at vintage magazines. The colors in an old romance comic book might inspire a new necklace.
What do you wish I had asked you?
How do you do it all? Other moms ask how I do it and the honest answer is that I don’t sleep much. I’m up late, there are times when I should be playing a board game with the kids and instead I’m bending wire into earrings. You do your best to balance what you can and be kind to yourself the rest of the time.
Thanks Lotta! And if you want to be interviewed next, please go to DIY Interview.
White dappled milk jug
Handmade from English stoneware clay it’s distinctive bulbed shape was created by working with my potters wheel. You can still feel the gentle texture of throwing rings where my hands have drawn the clay upwards. details »
Olive Linen Rose with Lavender/Eggplant and Olive Semi Precious Jade Nuggets/ Statement Necklace
An olive handmade linen rose with Czech eggplant/purple glass seed beads in its center. These beads were neatly hand sewn on top of a fabric covered button. I also used semi precious nugget stones which have been wired into a brass chain to form a cluster. details »
Mini Steamer Trunk
The inspiration for this little box comes from the old flat top steamer trunks.