Monthly Archives: June 2010

Derya Aksoy

Name:  Derya Aksoy

Website Link: www.jewelera.etsy.com

Where are you located? Orange County, California

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in the most beautiful city, –for me- in the world; Istanbul, Turkey . Istanbul is where two continents meet and has thousands of years of history. It is a city which never sleeps, where time goes faster and I never stop missing it. Right after graduating from Fine Arts College I followed the man I loved and moved to USA after our wedding in Istanbul. I was 22 then, and that was about 7 years ago. Since then I lived in Atlanta/GA, Appleton/WI and now Anaheim/CA. America is so huge, and has many different cultures under the same roof. Even though it was hard moving around just when you feel like you adjusted to the new place, it is also culturally enhancing.  Yes, I had back pain for a week after shoveling the snow in our driveway in Wisconsin the first time in my life, but I’m happy to say now that I did that you know? I’m a person who likes to learn new things by reading, but prefers to the actual practice too. Last but not least; I always start my day with a cup of Turkish coffee!

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? Why? Because I believe creativity was the ingredient added to my soul, genes and blood when I was being created. The women in my family were also very creative and artistic, especially my mom. She used to sew all my dresses, even school uniform and I grow up seeing her doing all kinds of craft from making flower bouquets out of dough to decorative painting. I have been drawing, creating with my hands and dreaming about being an artist since I was a kid. I used to make my own paper dolls, clipped house ware images from my mom’s magazines and made furniture by folding card boards to decorate a whole house for them!  That took me to study fashion in high school, then Set and Costume Design in College.  I never tried jewelry making until I moved to USA and got bored out of my mind at the first year. It felt like time slowed down and the streets were so empty compared to Istanbul with 18 million population. I was jobless, no language and no driver license, no family and friends. I always believe lack of things pushes people to be more creative, and with my mom’s suggestion I ordered some beads and basic beading supplies from the internet and started playing with them. I remember trying to make earrings first, and thinking ‘wow, it is a lot harder than I thought!’ Soon after I found my way around it and couldn’t stop!

What materials and methods do you use? I’m constantly trying to discover some new techniques and materials to create new and fresh look for my jewelry. I’ve never been interested in doing something traditional, not that it is a bad thing, but I’m just passionate about going against the rules and putting something out there that you don’t see alike around. I love people’s reactions when they see my designs and go ‘what is this made out of?’ or ‘how the H did you think of that?, it is really cool!’ Currently my butterflies/wings collection would be a perfect example for that, where I transfer butterfly images onto organza fabric to create them! I’m also proud of my cotton plants collection; I love my little unique cotton balls. I also used photographic prints, wool, electrical wire, plastic grocery bags, plastic bottle, raw silk, wallpaper and such materials in my designs so far. My studio is like a chemical lab most of the time. I love reconstructing vintage jewelry or include vintage components to my designs as well. Those make unique additions to my creations and a one of a kind features.

Where do your design inspirations come from? My biggest inspiration source is my surroundings. I’m a big fan of nature and I believe the most amazing designs/creations are already in the nature only not made by people. I mean look at the amazing patterns on animals, or color combinations on flowers, the veins on the wings of a tiny bug, there is no wrong, everything is so breathtakingly beautiful! My maze towards nature is definitely mirrors on my designs. The other one I would say is the culture I’m from. What I observed visually and emotionally when I was growing up definitely show themselves through my creations. I don’t plan to do so but that just happens, I believe that is same for all the other artists.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? For the last year I had a studio space in Artist Village, Santa Ana, which I loved. But then I realized I’m more productive at late nights so having my work space at home was more convenient. Now I’m back to working from home again, in my craft room where I have all my mess spread all over most of the time. I was never one of those well organized craft people!

Where can your products be seen? My online shop, my blog, and flickr (if you like to see more behind the scenes action), and my facebook page.  My work also can be found at Terrain store in PA .

Upcoming events: I will be in Long Beach Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival at June 27th Sunday   One of my favorite craft shows of all times!

Magazine articles or press:   I’ve written step by step instructions on several of my designs for jewelry magazines in the past years, a recent one will be in Handcrafted Jewelry magazine this year (more details will be in my blog once the issue is out). Also some recent features of my jewelry in these wonderful online sites:  Craftzinepapernstitchblog,   designspongeonline, collegecandy,   scoutiegirl

Who are you a fan of? I’m a huge fan of people who are willing to be open to share from themselves! Sharing would be in any kind, I share through my work, you may share a smile, or another one may share his knowledge, no limits! We are all unique and special and have different talents, skills etc. Why keep everything to ourselves? As you keep sharing, it becomes epidemic and that gets bigger and bigger, and from that huge thing it becomes there is always a good chunk of slice or two for everyone, it comes back to you. Some may see these as cliché, but things become cliché for a reason, it is the truth.

Price range: $13.50 – $265

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: Currently my Fluttery Breath of Life necklace is my favorite one. It is bold in some way but not too overpowering due to the sheer nature of the organza fabric and mostly natural tones with just a little pop of bright colors here and there. It simply makes me happy to look at it, and the design itself is so unusual with my unique technique of creating the butterflies by transferring images of many different kinds of moths onto organza fabric.

Fluttery Breath of Life

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Theresa Burger

Name: Theresa Burger

Website Link: www.theresaburger.com

Where are you located? Currently located in Cape Town, South Africa but am relocating to Dublin, Ireland in September of this year to begin a MA degree in Design.

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a 25 year old South African, who grew up in Cape Town. I love life and I am fortunate enough to be able to travel regularly and delight in absorbing foreign cultures and sights. Exposure to such places and people helps with design inspiration and self awareness. The process of designing and making my own jewelry enriches my life greatly and I relish the creative process of exploring these creative energies.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry art? I began my studies in jewelry design in 2005, I enrolled in a design and manufacture degree course at Cape Peninsular University of Technology. I actually decided on studying jewelry through a recommendation from my godmother. Knowing that I was creative and wanted to explore something in a more practical line, she suggested that particular course having visiting a previous exhibition and being amazed by the standard of the students work. Once I began I was hooked, learning the skill of silver smithing is not easy and it is not something that one can just accomplish in a short space of time. Its a skill that demands practice and patience – things I had to learn and am still learning. Ultimately I was looking for the right medium for my self expression and jewelry is such a perfect vehicle for this process.

What do you make? I manufacture most types of jewelry, from rings, neck pieces, earrings and brooches. I would describe my jewelry as being contemporary individualistic items that reflect my creative drive. I enjoy the designing process and my items always begin with pencil and paper, once it gets taken to the bench and one begins fabrication, its a wonderfully rewarding artistic practice. The most important aspects to my designing is that the object is wearable and aesthetically pleasing. The meshing of these 2 elements in a design are essential to all the jewelry I design and manufacture. As far as style goes, I think that is something that needs to consistently develop and grow, I go through stages where my designs are very organic and narrative in nature and then stages where they are abstract and the designs are less literal.

What materials and methods do you use? For the last 5 years I have predominately been working in silver, I also have gold and some platinum smithing experience. My 2008-2009 graduate collection consists mainly of silver, semi-precious stones and resin. The collection revolved around my family tree and each item was inspired and designed around various family members, the tree going back 3 generations. For this particular collecting I used more traditional metal fabrication techniques, allot of hollow construction and piercing. My resin work is a big favorite of mine, I love experimenting with various ideas, I produced a collection of rings where I made the ‘stones’ from the resin in different geometric shapes, using clear resin set holding suspended gold or silver leaf. Currently for 2010 I have been working on a collection I like to call ‘AfricaRich’ – it’s almost like homage to my mother continent before I move. This body of work is more commercial, designs have been simplified for faster production. I have incorporated silver, different woods, bone, animal horn, recycled glass beads and epoxy resin to create vibrant and fun items.

Where do your design inspirations come from? There are many things that inspire me, I believe that it is imperative as a creative person, one must know what inspires you. I agree whole-heartedly with Emma (From Emma Anne Jewelry) that anything and everything has the potential to inspire us. I am very inspired by the beauty of nature but also by previous art and craft movements, a favorite being the Art Deco period. I find what other contemporary jewelers produce very inspirational, especially jewelers who work with using non-precious materials. A lot of my work also centers around autobiographical themes, deriving sources from my own personal experiences. With my current collection it is Africa that is my source of inspiration, the colors, textures and vibrancy serve as fantastic sources.What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have set up my studio at home, in a garage type of a space. Which is not always ideal but as long as I am able to work I really don’t mind. In the future I do hope to acquire a larger studio space to be able to set up another bench. As long as it is quiet and I am able to work in peace, I am happy where ever I may work.

Where can your products be seen? My website,   My flickr

Magazine articles or press: IforOne Blog,   CarrotBox,     Mar De Color Rosa Blog

Who are you a fan of? I adore Mah Rana for her message and the way she sets out to highlight the important role of jewelry within our lives, her work is fascinating. The Australian Julia DeVille, the Dutch jeweller Jacomijn Van Der Donk, who changes the ordinary into the truly extraordinary and Cristian Dorigatti for his bold sense of aesthetic and exciting design.

Price range: $50 – $350

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: This is a silver ring and pendant from my graduate 2009 collection. I chose these pieces because I loved manufacturing them, they were fun experimental items which presented many new challenges for me as both a designer and a maker. They have come to represent a turning point for me as a designer, they signify the confidence and knowledge I gained in the final year of my degree. They contain clear resin and gold leaf and are prime examples of the fantastic aesthetic resin has to offer!

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