Monday, February 23, 2009
This week's featured artisan is Pinka of Pinka's Productions. Pinka's shop is filled with interesting little Indonesian glass charms and pretty, simple bracelets crafted from seed beads.
Tell me a little about yourself and what you do.
My legal name is Veronica but I've been going by Pinka my entire life. It's a nickname that my sister gave me as an infant. I even have relatives that forgot what my real name is!
I've been a stay at home mom for the past 5 years after a work related injury took away my ability to stay on the computer for more than a few minutes without being in agonizing pain. Though I enjoyed my previous life as an accountant, I actually find myself happier as a mom and getting to see my son grow. Sure, just like any other family with only one income, it would be nice to have a newer car (mine is 16 years old) and some new clothes every once in a while, but you give up what you have to in order to make ends meet and still save for retirement.
I've been crocheting ever since I can remember. My brother taught me how to make the basic chain after my mom taught him for his boy scouts badge. I took many breaks in between, but at about 18 years old, I started to teach myself how to read patterns and play with different types of techniques. I also took knitting a bit more seriously during this time as well but didn't enjoy it as much as crochet. Since my injury has taken so much away from me, I can only make small projects and my family and friends can only use so many beaded and bead crochet necklaces, bracelets and rings - which is what lead me to open my Etsy shop last year.
What 3 words best describe your work?
Amusing, humble, pleasant
What inspires you?
Color. I love to play with color. I have been playing and learning how colors complement each other for the past year. I used to have a really hard time trying to find colors that contrasted but did not clash. It still takes me a while to apply what Iʼve learned, but my sense of color is getting a lot better. When I see a natural stone or bead, I try to imagine what colors would go well and how much. Maybe the smallest amount of color in a certain bead would look wonderful as the background. So I try to imagine what a finished piece will look like as Iʼm picking and choosing my supplies.
Sometimes it can something as simple as a technique that I get excited over or something that I see in a magazine or on TV. Itʼs really hard to say exactly what drives me to create but I just love to do stuff with my hands. Iʼve never been an idle-hands type of person so if Iʼm not beading, Iʼm crocheting or knitting. I guess it can be called "itchy hands" because even when Iʼm driving I feel that need to do something!
What makes your work unique?
I know that my work is not unique. Someone, somewhere in the history of time has made something exactly what I make so I cannot say that what I make is completely unique. Itʼs just simple bead crochet or beaded jewelry that Iʼve made in colors that I think work well, with beads that I enjoying working with and a bit of pride that I like to put into all of my projects. I would hope that someone would think my work is unique enough for them or special enough to enjoy. I know that my work is done well because I wouldnʼt be selling it otherwise.
What role does your work play in your life?
Because my son is so much of my life right now, my work is just done on the side when I get a chance. My son starts kindergarten later this year and I know that Iʼll have to find a way to reinvent my career as an accountant again or as a jewelry artisan. Since Iʼve already put so much working into my jewelry making, I would hope that I can continue on this path. I did enjoy the challenges of accounting, but playing with color and beads is so much more fun even if I do seem to work more at this job than I did at my last.
What role would you like your work to play in your life?
I would hope that with enough time, patience and experience that Iʼll be able to pull jewelry patterns together with more ease. I also hope to take some of my designs to the next level and look at getting them published. I know that Iʼll never be able to make the kind of money I did in accounting, but if itʼs enough to support my beading/crochet/knitting habits and maybe pay for a cartful of groceries every once in a while, Iʼll be thrilled.
How do you see your work and/or your business evolving in the next five years?
As my last child starts going to school, I'll find myself with a lot more free time. I would hope that I can get my business off the ground and get some sales and inventory moving. I hope that in five years that Iʼll not only have a presence on the web through venues like Etsy, but also in various art fairs that are available in my area.
Where can we find you on the web?
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.