Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interview with Stephanie of Naturally Heartfelt

Stephanie of Naturally Heartfelt lives in Cornwall, UK. She makes really amazing jewelry using reclaimed, found and vintage materials.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I live in beautiful South West Cornwall, care for my mum, help out with my grandchildren, and walk for miles with my beloved lurcher Molly. After leaving my work in Adult Education in Norfolk three years ago to renovate/ rebuild a bungalow here in Falmouth, a change in circumstances meant that I needed to work in a way that gave me control and flexibility. My lifetime love of making came into its own and now if I’m not crafting I’m thinking about it!

When did you first start crafting?

I’ve always crafted, since I was a child I always had a project on the go. I was an avid collector as well, everything from stamps to stones.

I scour the local charity shops, car boot sales, and any other sources I can find to uncover worn, discarded, dirty pieces of jewelry that have echoes of the finery they once were. Once I get them home I carefully clean them and think about their stories or their secrets. Quite often pieces stay in my stash for weeks or months before something else comes along that seems to belong with that piece, then they demand to be made into something new and special.

Please describe your work in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

My favourite thing is finding say a brooch that immediately connects in my mind to a poem or a text and I can’t wait to find the right words to complete the piece. I’m also very aware of the energy that everything has, and I try to connect with that energy in my work.

How has your work evolved from your earlier work?

My work is constantly evolving as I have more and more ideas all the time. One thing sparks another and off I go. When I began incorporating poetry and other text with salvaged materials that’s when I found my ‘voice’ in the making.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Sometimes the materials themselves inspire my work – a lone earring that just asks to be matched with a pretty chain and text from a certain poem, sometimes I hear a few words, or the title of a song and it gives me an idea to go with. I’m currently working on a collection for spring inspired by my favourite book ‘The Secret Garden’.

Where are your products sold (online/stores)?

In addition to my Etsy shop, I have another online shop, Naturally Heartfelt, where I also sell journals and other items made from recycled materials. I also have products in two fabulous shops in Falmouth: ‘Two Little Birds’ Vintage Boutique and ‘Tyto’ Boutique, as well as ‘The Story Cellar’ bookshop, café and craft shop in Penzance. I was commissioned in August last year by an artist in Edinburgh to produce 15 pieces to be sold alongside her work in her gallery.

What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

I would say to other crafters definitely work on your photos – I’m still learning how to produce the best pictures to show my work. Connect with the Forums. You can get great advice on every aspect of selling. Take everything you read and make it your own – give it your own touch. Also, join a Team! You'll get support and encouragement.

Describe yourself in three words:

‘creative, independent, artisan’

Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?

Believe in yourself and your work- as it says in my favourite book: ‘The Magic is in me … It’s in every one of us.’

You can find Naturally Heartfelt online at the following places:

Naturally Heartfelt's own site
Naturally Heartfelt on Etsy

This post was contributed by Heather of Texas Vintage Things


Sharon - Rekindle Me said...

Beautiful pieces!! Fantastic post! I am off to check out more of your work!

Ira Mency said...

I ADORE her work this is so great Thanks for the interview.

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