Friday, October 2, 2009

Featured Artist: Theresa Kwong of Studio 618


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I'm a practicing licensed architect and jewelry artisan/ metalsmith, using traditional metalsmithing techniques to create modern metal jewelry and Judaica gifts.

My inspiration comes from my past experiences in life, my cultures, my environment, or a specific moment in time. Sometimes interesting techniques will challenge me to come up with different designs too. My work keeps evolving, with fresh ideas all the time.

1. When and why did you start crafting?

I took a class in the local bead shop back in 2005 and was instantly hooked. The piece I made in class gave me a feeling of accomplishment and total freedom of expression. It is so strange but I never had any interest in jewelry before that. Haha!

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?

Besides the satisfaction of “I made it myself”, I find the crafting community to be a warm and supportive group who eagerly help each other. We all know how hard and passionately we work towards our dreams. Since we often work in individually to create our art, it is great to have a larger community to tap into for support, exchange of ideas, motivation, inspiration, and much more.

3. How did you find out about Etsy/Artfire and why did you start selling there?

I found out about Etsy from a friend and joined July 2008. Then I saw Artfire’s button ad on Craft Cult and opened up shop there December 2008. Although I sell at local fairs, I’d like to have a wider audience that these two venues can provide. It would be a dream to be able to sell full-time online and not having to do physical shows. That, would be totally awesome!

4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop or you dislike the most about selling online?

I find marketing to be the challenging, especially I’m just not comfortable pushing my wares. Since I make jewelry, it is extremely important to create unique pieces and to market them and let people see my work. Joining teams on Etsy and Artfire is a great way to “work around” this because we promote each other’s work. I’m on the Twitter committee for Artfire Jewelers Guild where I tweet about our members’ shops and other committee members can tweet about mine.

5. Do you rely on Etsy/Artfire to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?

Oh, how I wish I can – but I’m working towards that goal, where I can rely solely on Etsy and Artfire income.

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than Etsy/Artfire & why?

No, I don’t have any retail presence at this time. I do participate in local fairs, and would enjoy the indoor shows more so I don’t have to deal with weather issues and transporting/setting up my canopy and such. The fees of fairs are getting quite high and with the current economy, I’d be ecstatic to make enough to pay for expenses only. I see each show as an investment (paying fees, my time away from production, gas mileage) and hoping that I see at least an equal return. I do enjoy meeting other artists at each show.

7. Where else can you be found online?

I can be found –
http://studio618.blogspot.com
http://studio618.artfire.com
http://studio618.etsy.com
http://twitter.com/studio618
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Studio-618/131484845570

Artfire:

* I was given an Artfire code for the main post and the sidebar. The sidebar code works fine, but this one just will not load. Please visit http://studio618.artfire.com to visit Theresa's Artfire shop. Thank you. - Jessica

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