Monday, February 16, 2009
This week, I'm happy to feature Tracy Owens Chasteen of Polished. Polished offers gorgeous vintage-inspired jewelry, handcrafted from materials ranging from traditional Czech Republic glass beads to Ming Dynasty pottery shards.
What 3 words best describe your work?
I think the words whimsical, bold, and colorful would describe a variety of the pieces I've made. My pottery shard necklaces are fairly bold because I often combine chunky beads with the large pendants to create a real statement piece. I also love to boldly combine colors. Other pieces I make are whimsical because they incorporate woodland and forest animals, tiny flowers, or adorable little charms.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by everything around me, including my messy desk! It all depends on the day. Sometimes I'll be reading a copy of InStyle magazine and I have to stop to make something that I think would be perfect with a featured outfit. Sometimes I'll see someone wearing an interesting color combination and I have to get to my work table to make something inspired by their creative fashion sense. And other times I am simply inspired by something I need...the perfect pair of black dangly earrings, a whimsical hair accessory for a night out, or a bold necklace that I know nobody else will have.
What drives you to create what you do?
I'm often driven to create by my customers. They have given me some of the best ideas! I have been creating or crafting ever since I can remember, so its just a part of my normal day, but these days I'm often driven by the urge to make a sale in my Etsy shop. I find Etsy to be such a supportive community -- both with buyers and other sellers. Whether sellers are sharing their best crafting or business tips or buyers are asking for custom designs, I'm always driven to get back to my studio and make more. The wonderful thing about being online is that there's often an immediate reaction: I can post my latest designs and get comments on what I've done through the various social networking sites or through the Etsy forums or by a potential customer who has very specific questions about an item.
What makes your work unique?
Often its really just how I put my materials together that is somewhat unique. Many of my "parts" are one-of-a-kind--like the pottery shards--but I haven't invented any techniques or styles. I really just try to create jewelry that is a reflection of what I'd want for myself. I feel lucky to have found a niche in making what I like--and having other people like it too!
What role does your work play in your life?
My work in making jewelry plays the role of my creative outlet. Some people are great in the kitchen, some make amazing music, but I like to play with beads. It is how I close out every evening...me, my beads, my tools, and a head full of ideas. When I don't have a specific idea, I just look through all of my supplies or try to stay organized. Having jewelry design as a creative outlet helps me leave behind the stress of the day, keep my calm, and get a peaceful night's sleep.
Where can we find you on the web?
Shop - http://polishedtwo.etsy.com
Are you an artist or craftsperson? Would you like to be featured here? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here with a link to your shop, and I'll be in touch about future opportunities.