25 May 2008

Interview of the week: Melissa Hart, aka catscradle

This week I interviewed Melissa Hart, from catscradle.etsy.com, and found more about this fellow Fabulous Artistic Mom. She is a nature lover, mom of four, talented jewlery artist and breast cancer philanthropist. So pull up a chair and sit in our our coffee talk:
Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?
Melissa: I do what feels right to me. Some inspiration comes from what I like to wear, and some comes from nature.

Corinne: You call yourself a “southern gal” living in the north. Where do you call home these days?
Melissa: A quiet little town called Ellenburg Depot in the northeast corner of New York state.

Corinne: Do you spend a lot of time outdoors with your kids? It seems all your jewelry is very nature-inspired.
Melissa: I actually prefer to play indoors with my kids--I have two who enjoy playing piano and two who enjoy cooking with me. I like to dream about gardening--we're planning on planting a veggie garden with the kids and I'm working out details for a flower garden as well. I love the colors and shapes nature offers.

I enjoy spending time with my family. If I had to choose an outing, I would spend the day with my husband and our four kids--at the zoo! We all have a wonderful time when we go to the zoo; the kids are always looking to learn something new and my husband and I take advantage of the wonderful photo opportunities.

Corinne: are a lot of jewelers selling their things online. What do you think sets you apart from your competition?
Melissa: I create pieces that I have fun with; if I don't have fun with it, you won't see it in my shop. I feel that each piece I create has a unique buyer and the right buyer will eventually come along.

Corinne: That’s a great attitude! Your style is very young and hip, while still maintaining an elegance. What do you contribute that to?
Melissa: I'm always looking at what's selling in the mainstream and make my own jewelry loosely based on current styles.

Corinne: What materials are you drawn to working in?
Melissa: Silver- or gold-plated copper with glass and natural stone, but I'm extending my sterling silver usage.

Corinne: What piece of yours is your favorite right now?
Melissa: I have two favorites; the carnelian butterfly brooch and a spring-y two-strand necklace with a red jasper cab.

Corinne: One of my favorite things in your shop are these silver stardust turquoise earrings. What is silver stardust? I am enchanted by the hoops but can't quite tell what they are.
Melissa: Stardust is a term that refers to the texture of the hoops. It almost looks like it was rubbed with coarse sandpaper.

Corinne: I find your ACEO’s really interesting also. I noticed this is a pretty popular thing on Etsy. Can you tell me more about these?
Melissa: ACEO is also called ATC. ACEO is "Art Cards, Editions and Originals" and ATC is "Artist Trading Cards." I plan on integrating ACEOs with my greeting cards at first, then maybe selling them as stand-alone pieces of art. I also have several series in mind right now.

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Melissa: I browse the internet, get caught up on e-mail and visit discussion forums.

Corinne: Anything else you want people to know?
Melissa: I've been working with beads for nearly 10 years now, starting with creating rosaries for my parish bookstore. I have extending my bead-working to creating jewelry including bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I am continually looking to learn and perfect new techniques to further expand my line. I hope to begin offering rings in the near future.

Corinne: Do you have a website or blog in addition to your etsy shop?
Melissa: My website is http://www.catscradlecreations.com and my blog is http://blog.catscradlecreations.com. I also have a patterns site at http://patterns.catscradlecreations.com where I post free crochet and knitting patterns.

See Melissa’s jewelry in her Etsy shop: www.catscradle.etsy.com




1 comment:

Total Delights Handcrafted Jewelry said...

Thanks for the insite to this artist she is very talented, her work is beautiful.