Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Liv'n Good

Today's Totally Trendy Tuesday featured shop is lilesj on Etsy. Jill, the owner of Liv'nGood Jewelry (the official shop name) combines silversmithing, copper etching, beading, resin collage, and wire wrapping with the historic allure of chainmaille to create her one of a kind jewelry designs. Her passion for jewelry design found itself as part of an ongoing exploration of crafting which included fiber crafts, glass crafts, and painting... giving her the experience and tools in working with different materials, lines, and perspective - a helpful edge in being able to visualize and create the many finishes and styles Jill now specializes in!

Her designs are lovely examples of texture, pattern and color - some intricate and varied, some simple and classic... with enough variety that you're likely to find something perfect to add to your jewelry wardrobe!

Here are Jill's responses to the interview questions I asked...

My husband and I both love the Medieval and Renaissance periods of history. In fact, we attend a Renaissance Festival every spring dressed in costume and we both think chainmaille is amazing. What sparked your initial interest in creating chainmaille jewelry among all of the other amazing designs you've worked with? My first chainmaille piece was from a Byzantine bracelet kit from Urban Maille. After I had about an inch done, I looked up at my hubby with a goofy grin and said "look what I made!" It was the first time I felt like I was making "real" jewelry - something I would buy from a store. From there I was hooked.

I've always been a mix of creative and analytical. Chainmaille appeals to both of these sides of my nature. It's open enough that you can do almost anything you can imagine, but there are some weaves that you have to have the math and aspect ration exactly right or it just won't work.

Add on to that, the idea of creating something beautiful, using the same techniques that were once used to make something used for war, and well, I'm stuck on it.

Now that I've told you my favorite style in your shop - what's yours? Why? That's a really tough one for me. I try to only make things that I would wear personally, so it's really ALL my style. If I had to pick favorites it would be the Timeless necklace and either the Jenny Squared or Queens Snake bracelets.

I've always like the steampunk esthetic (even back before I had a name for it!) but while I love the really hard core pieces that Jen Hilton and Insectus create, I don't feel they're as "wearable" every day. So in my "steampunk lite" pieces I try to tone back on that.

The two bracelets are just exactly what I'd buy for myself - stacks of chunky sterling bracelets have always been my favorite accessory.

Everyone I know who lives in North Carolina raves about their home state - here's your chance... what is the best thing about North Carolina in your opinion? North Carolina is truly an amazing state, as a born and bred resident I may be a little biased though. (PS - Please note that I did not say I was a Tarheeler - my dad worked at NCSU for 40+ years so UNC's tarheels are the enemy.)

North Carolina is the ultimate "all in one" state. Like the mountains? Got 'em. More of a beach bum? Got those too.

Into high tech? Check out RTP where Cisco, Glaxo Smith Kline, Lenovo, and IBM all have campuses. Prefer the arty type? Go to Asheville for world class artisans or Seagrove for the famous pottery.

If you're a history buff we've got Revolutionary & Civil war battlefields, amazing mansions (palaces, really - see the Biltmore Estate), and Blackbeard's ship. If looking towards the future is more your thing we have one of the highest number of colleges per capita in the country (in my home city alone there are 2 women-only colleges, 2 historically black universities, the first land-grant college in the state, and one of the best technical colleges).
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Telekinesis, hands down (no pun intended). At my core I'm lazy, so the ability to clean the house without leaving the sofa sounds pretty darn good.

What's a typical "day off" involve for you? Unfortunately I don't make a living from jewelry, so I have a real job. Days off from that are pretty much spent working on the jewelry business. Fortunately, jewelry making is still a hobby for me, so it serves a dual purpose of relaxing & making money.

What advice would you give an aspiring jewelry designer on Etsy? Don't expect people to find & buy your pieces just because you put them on Etsy. I see so many people upset that they haven't sold anything in their first month, but when you ask how they promote the shop, their only answer is posting/renewing.

If I could tell every new Etsy vendor (jewelry or otherwise) one thing it's this: Etsy is just a "mall" in cyberspace. I did a whole post on this on my blog (click here) that boils down to this:

In reality [Etsy/Artfire/1000markets] are simply virtual real estate - and just like with physical real estate, just because you build it doesn't mean they'll come.

I hope you'll take a moment and click on some of the great pieces here from Jill's shop and that, once you get there, you'll spend some time browsing and reading thru the colorful descriptions that Jill included with her pieces. It will give you a greater feel for the creative process and inspiration that all artisans use in their work!


Splendid Little Stars said...

What lovely pieces!

MAB Jewelry said...

Beautiful jewelry.

TiLT said...

what great pieces - love her aesthetic (did I spell that right?)

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