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!
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: Craftzine, papernstitchblog, 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.