Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mmmm Frobscottle with artist Kylie Parry

I am always on the lookout for cool, interesting and unique things to share. When I came across Kylie Parry’s jewelry I know I had stumbled on something unique.

Miniature works of art and you get to wear them. Bingo we have a winner!

Kylie parry is a potter, illustrator, and art teacher, living in a cozy Wisconsin town. She creates ceramic jewelry, functional pottery and colorful illustrations that celebrate the natural world. Bits from nature, castaway hardware, vintage scraps and other found treasures are used to create her designs. She is inspired by the weathered and rustic look of pieces from our past, and her travels to different landscapes around the globe.

Kylie, what was your first love illustration or ceramics? Tell us about that progression from one to another.

I grew up loving to create, regardless of media. For Christmas, my parents would give me a big cardboard box filled with art supplies- pipe cleaners, pastels, felt... My hands were always busy. My school papers were always doodled on. My third grade teacher said I would make a great illustrator. My 6th grade teacher said the same. Sometime between then and now, I started to believe them. I took my first ceramics class in college. I fell in love with the “magic” of the process. I found ways to incorporate my drawings into ceramic forms. The idea that my drawings can exist on something that is functional, something that is used or worn in everyday life, by common folks, appeals to me. I am constantly experimenting with new ways to marry illustration and ceramics.

I like that your ceramics are sweet without being silly. What is your process when working with ceramics?

Designs usually start with a sketch. I tote a sketchbook around everywhere. Ideas come from nature, the places I’ve been, and the things I found while there. When I have a head full of ideas that I want to try, I get out a block of clay and start. My ceramic process is a cycle. Sketch, create, fire, glaze, fire, celebrate and sketch. I enjoy every step of the process.

Had you always want to be an artist?

Being an artist has always been a big part of who I am; however, I didn't always want to be one. In middle school, I wanted to be a zookeeper. In high school, I had big dreams of becoming an ecologist. Instead of becoming an ecologist, I agreed to marry one. I graduated college with a degree in art education and a tree hugging man that I love. I now consider myself an artist and a teacher. And I still kind of want to be a zookeeper.

I love your ETSY shop. What is your secret to success on ETSY?

I love what I do and I think that comes through in my customers “etsy experience”. My artwork and almost every aspect about my etsy shop has evolved and improved since I first opened my virtual doors. I always strive to be better, whether it be new designs, better packaging, improved photos or a new look for my shop. Becoming a buyer myself has helped me understand exactly what I feel is important in the etsy experience.

What was your favorite childhood book?

The BFG by Roald Dahl. Still is a favorite too. Mmmm frobscottle.

What are you working on now?

This summer I am doing a few art festivals and I have been frantically preparing for these. As far as new designs, I have been working on a hand built ceramic plate series that showcases some of my drawings. I also am in the initial stages of a new children's book about a boy with a wild imagination and a pair of red goggles.

Kylie, I love kids books. I see red goggles being the next “need to have” items for kids. By the way please keep me posted on those plate. I think I may need a few of those.

Please checkout Kylies sites at:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trials and Tribulations, Heartaches and Pains

Trials and tribulations, heartaches and pains is a line sang by Mavis Staples in the movie Graffiti Bridge starring Prince. They may have visited me this week but have been shooed away by perseverance and long hours.

Of inspiration one percent, of perspiration, ninety nine. Thomas A. Edison

I've been working on a new idea. I have tons of filigree like sketches that I've been trying to turn into jewelry. Well, I think I've finally figured it out.

I began with copper wire shaped it using a template. I then flattened each piece with a hammer and anvil. I soldiered each piece together and then soldiered the entire piece for a uneven and more organic feel added the "globes". The globes are made with flat back glass beads, vintage illustrations from various books and sheets of copper tape. I added a patina and finished them by embellishing them with beads and creating a neck piece. I re-patina the entire piece for an overall look that is cohesive.

They'll be on Etsy soon enough but I wanted to share.

Thanks Troy - Cerulean Gypsy