Kat works with gemstones, brass and copper wire, filigree and stampings, crystals, beads, leather, silk, pre-knit wire and recycled calendars, as well as polymer, paper and epoxy clay, to bring her creations to life.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
Quite a few of my skills I learned from my Grandmother: sewing, embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and all the subset of skills that snuck in along with the technical lessons, like color, design, pattern making, and not being afraid to experiment.
My skill set grew during my years practicing my spiritual calling as I handmade many of the implements, clothing and jewelry that I needed. My job required a professional appearance, and I amassed a vault of gorgeous fine and costume jewelry.
Then disaster struck and I was forced into medical retirement. To keep myself busy, I began making jewelry using the skills I already had, and being a curious soul and loving to learn new things, spent hours on the web and more hours reading books whenever I saw a piece of jewelry that intrigued me and that I could figure out "how did they do that?"
Soon I had more jewelry than I could give away to my friends, and they suggested that I sell it on-line.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I used to say my favorite things in the world were to sleep and read, because I never had any time to do either. Now that I have all the time in the world, I rarely do them! Instead, because I am house-bound and am alone most of the time, I have to confess that my favorite thing to do is...talk! My profession required me to talk, talk, talk all the time as a negotiator, and I couldn't wait to get home to my quiet, serene house. Now my friends know to be prepared for a long chat whenever they visit or call me up!
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Marketing. I. Hate. Marketing. I almost failed Marketing 101 in college. That I ended up with an "A" was due only to the fact that I was the head of our team, and the Professor gave an "A" to everyone else on the team, and wanted to fail me. They all convinced her that, since I coordinated the campaign, and researched and wrote all of their speeches, the fact that I was distracted and my speech was horrid should be overlooked; she reluctantly agreed. But she really was right; I was stinky about the whole class and just miserable, and my campaign idea was idiotic. Marketing just irritates me. I guess I feel there's something inherently misleading and unethical about marketing (and advertising) that eventually corrupts even the most purest among us.
I wanted to be a writer, and I succeeded, to a certain d.egree My major in college was English, I was published in a few literary journals during college under the names of my Professors, I've had a short story published in an anthology on Amazon, and I was a columnist for PaganPages for about a year. However, I gravitate to jobs and activities that use a wide range of skills, because I become easily bored (I'm a huge multi-tasker). I can "just write," but I get sick of it fairly quickly. This is one of the reasons my boutique offers such a wide variety of items in a wide variety of techniques. People with shops that offer one type of thing with only subtle variations, I understand the practicality of production, but otherwise I can't comprehend it. Where is the mystery and joy of creation? No, doing just one thing is not for me.
What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
My favorite piece right now is my "Faerie Star of May Eve" because it celebrates the first faerie festival of the year, welcomes the return of the Seelie (more friendly) Court to full strength, and encourages the fertility of Mother Nature. I also think it's awful pretty, and my birthday is in May.
What other artists out there do you love?
These are the artists whose work amazes me and who I want to be as good as "when I grow up":
Wire Work: gypsymoonart, Danagonia, twistedsisterarts, stardust
Polymer Clay: ElysianFields
Layered Brass Stampings: Etherealcreation
What does your future hold?
My future holds an immense amount of sorting and cataloging all of the supplies and materials that are cluttering my workspace (and slowly overtaking the rest of the house)! Only then will I be able to actually sit down and work on projects that can't be done in my lap, like sculpting and metalworking. I figure I have the materials for more than a hundred projects that are fluttering like butterflies in my imagination, patiently awaiting their turn to be let free to fly. What I hope happens is that I will be content to hone the skills I have now and not see something that makes me want to learn something new. Ha! Right.