Monday, February 8, 2010

Jamie, thank you for taking the time to speak with our readers, I came across your Etsy shop and was instantly drawn to the stones and designs you incorporate with your jewelry.,... so lets begin ….

DM: What is your artistic medium?
JP: I am a metalsmith - working predominantly with sterling silver, 14k gold, and copper.

DM: Where can your art be seen?
JP: Currently in my etsy shop, I also use facebook and have my blog.

DM: When and how did you first become interested in your medium?
JP: Well I have always loved jewellery, from the time I was a kid, but more so, I have always really loved creating things. About 5 years ago I discovered a shop down the street from the place I was living that sold gorgeous gem beads. I swear it was love at first site, I picked up as many strands as I could afford ( not a cheap hobby I tell you!) and the rest is kinda history...

DM: Once you decided to pursue your art, how did you start off, trial and error, books, classes, videos, formal schooling?
JP: After discovering the gem shop, I almost instantly started experimenting and making intricate beaded designs. The thing was, I was never quite happy purchasing pre made components. I really wanted to learn to create them myself, and I had so many visions in my head that involved the use of a torch and hammers and all sorts of glorious tools.

One day picked up the local paper to find an add for an evening course in soldering and metalwork basics and it was a no brainer - I signed up instantly! I learned the basics of metals- how they are composed and perform under strain and heat, safety and which tools I needed to start out with and from there it was a passion of mine. From my first time lighting that torch I knew it was my way of expressing my creativity, something that I had tried through many other venues but always got bored of. Within a month of my class I had bought 75% of the tools I own today and was teaching myself all sorts of things. While the class was a great way for me to get my feet wet, I would say that I really have taught myself everything I know today!

DM: Out of what you tried, was there any particular thing that you would recommend to someone just starting out?
JP: Some people pick up things because they want a hobby. Being a metalsmith/jeweller isn't for the faint of heart. Its hard work, the learning never stops and be prepared to have the hands of a metalsmith! ( goodbye manicures!) It takes determination and drive to create you own unique ideas and execute them in the manner you dreamt of. If you are serious and passionate about learning metal, then jump in and take a stab at it. You may hate it, you may love it like I do!

DM: What do you enjoy most about working with your medium?
JP: The ability to dream about design ideas and plan each and every step in my mind and then bring it to life. It is amazing the things my mind can come up with when I just let it be free to create!

DM: What do you find the most frustrating?
JP: Probably the most frustrating thing is feeling the competitive vibe to sell jewellery on etsy. While most people could learn how to solder and make simple designs, I feel like it is important to create my own vision and my own direction with my pieces. I find for some it isn't about coming up with something all their own, but rather executing someone else's vision. It can be disconcerting to constantly see the sales of others and not apply it to you own work, however I just keep building my pieces like I see them in my dreams hoping others with see my heart and soul in them!

DM: Where do you find your inspirations for what you create?
JP: Mostly I am inspired by my surroundings. I live in British Columbia Canada and the base of a mountain and a five minute drive to the ocean - lucky I know! It truly is astounding here - full of trees, clean oceans and snowy mountains. It is hard not to be inspired when I am encompassed by constant beauty!

DM: Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations.
JP: One of my favorite creations is my Climbing Lotus Necklace, it signifies the courage of something that can rise from dark places and be confident in what it is. It was made to be a vision of strength and a reminder that good can come from bad. Technically speaking, it came together exactly how I envisioned it, step by step, layer upon layer, until it was like I dreamt. You can't ask for more than that when you create things.

DM: It turned out amazing !

DM: Have you ever experienced artist block and how did you overcome it?
JP: I think every artist at one time or another has had slow spots, where visions seem incomplete, and ideas don't come to life. I generally keep confident in the fact then when I am in the zone so to speak, I usually am overwhelmed with creativity and ideas, and that keeps my positive.

DM: What is the biggest mistake you have ever made as an artist? What did you learn from it?
JP: Wow, this is a tough one. I am not sure if I would call many of my decisions mistakes, rather than good learning experiences ? I have always been the type to say that mistakes happen for a reason and people are better in life for having made them and moved forward. I can honestly say the one mistake I make currently is to not set up enough boundaries for myself. Because I work from home, it can be hard to let myself have days off. I feel if I am not at my day job, then I should be working away on jewellery. I feel guilty not squeezing work in everyday. I am working on creating a better timeframe for myself so that I don't burn out, and that I don't feel forced to create on days when it just may not be in the cards.

DM: Would you please tell about your studio set-up?
JP: Currently it is a corner set up with my soldering equipment and drawers of tools on one side and my silver and other metals a work space on the other. I dream of my own studio room where I can have a corner for each process - hammering, soldering, polishing, photographing etc - one day!

DM: When is your favorite time to create?
JP: Any and all times! I feel best when the house is empty and I am all alone in my thoughts though ( and also don't have to worry about disturbing others with hammering and sawing lol)

DM: What advise would you give someone starting out in this medium?
JP: Be patient, try something new, and if it doesn't work don't get discouraged. Step away, take a break, then re evaluate it and try it again!

DM: Are there any artist that inspire you or that you admire?
JP: While I admire many artist friends of mine for who they are as people, I do my best not be inspired by them. That may sound strange. but at the end of the day I don't want there to be any confusion about my work and were the idea came from. It is important to me to form my own ideas, from my own inspiration and work from there. I want my designs to be 100% heart and soul from ME.

DM: Tell us a bit about yourself.
JP: Well, my name is Jaime ( yes I am used to people telling me that its a boys name - not so!) and I am 26. I have been making jewellery my whole life, but seriously for 5 years. While I am a girly girl who likes pretty things, I prefer to shop for tools rather than clothes, and I own about 5 pairs of shoes - total ( I know I swear I am a girl - my friends are ashamed lol). I love to read, sing classic rock in the car when no one is around and I think there is nothing better in life than a really good laugh till you cry moment. I have always been a "DIY" kinda person, and enjoy the challenge of teaching myself something new. I built my workbench by myself and had the blisters to prove it - and yes it is still standing! I am a Daddy's girl who got her creativity and patience from him, and am just like my mom, whom I credit with my business sense and independent streak!

DM: Anything else you wish to share?
JP: Creating with my hands feels like nothing else to me. I could stand at my bench all day and all night and never get bored of the different directions I could create in with one piece of scrap metal. Until I starting smithing I honestly wasn't sure what I "wanted to be when I grow up". It took stumbling into it by accident to come to the conclusion that I never had a choice in the matter - it just happened. Sometimes life just happens!

DM: Wow, Jamie, what a wonderful interview, it was great peaking inside your world, I can feel the passion in each of your answers, I am sure our readers are going to love this one !

Again, thank you for the interview and we all wish you the best of 2010 !

Till tomorrow, keep creating !
Tina aka Daily Muse


WonderfulWire said...

Wonderful interview! Enjoyed it very much... lovely and innovative pieces... not to mention you a very sweet smile Jamie! Keep going, your work is wonderful! :)

MaryL :)

EyeDesire said...

Bautiful jewelry and beautiful face of Jamie!

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