And as a bonus, Christina is offering a chance to win one of her beautiful pieces AND a discount code for all of my lovely readers! The details are at the bottom of the post, but first read through the awesome interview. Not only did I learn all about her artistic process and shop, but I also learned where the word "Olé" originated from!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
For as far back as I can remember, I have always been an artist of sorts. It started with oil painting in my childhood, later on I dabbled in photography and ceramics. I only recently got into jewelry making, about three years ago. It began primarily as a hobby, making gifts for friends and family. Then I took a class in metal smithing at my local community college and really became fascinated by the entire process. Wanting to learn more, I pursued and acquired a year long internship with an established jeweler, with whom I am now also employed. I work at my home studio along side my husband who is also a designer and artist.
Where did the name of your store come from?
The word "duende" is a Spanish word that has very deep roots. It is used most frequently by flamenco dancers to portray that indescribable feeling you get while viewing or taking part in an incredible performance. It's what sends the chills up your spine and makes you want to laugh, or cry. It is known as the spark from the divine that flows through you as though you were a medium for the creative. When the Moors invaded ancient Spain, they brought with them their tribal dances. They used to chant while they danced, "Allah, Allah, Allah", the Arabic word for god. The gypsy flamenco dancers took this influence and later adapted it into their signature "Olé, Olé, Olé". I believe we all have the capacity to experience duende because we are all human beings made in the image of a creative and awesome God. Duende Creations are my way of sending out a bit of the duende to rest of the world by way of my jewelry.
Why did you start making goods for Duende Creations?
I started making and listing my pieces online as a means to expand and share my art with more people outside of my immediate circle of friends and family.
What is your favorite item?
My current favorite item would have to be anything from the Santa Fe collection. I got my inspiration for this collection on a recent trip I took to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a friend's wedding. The Native Americans of the Southwest are renowned talented jewelers. They are most specifically known for their beautiful silversmithing techniques and use of locally mined turquoise. I decided to create a collection that would pay homage to them by casting real genuine arrowheads into solid brass and silver and incorporating turquoise inlay work into my pieces. All of the turquoise in this collection was actually bought at the state line of New Mexico and Arizona.
What is your most popular item?
It's hard to narrow it down to one specific item but most recently I have been selling a lot of the knuckle rings and brass chevron necklaces, which are both very on trend right now.
Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
Everywhere! Really inspiration is all around us, if we slow down enough to take it in. I am always inspired by things in nature, specifically things that follow that natural order of the Fibonacci sequence, as can be found in pineapples, pinecones, sunflowers, seashells, succulents, etc. I am inspired by the indigenous work of other cultures, who still employ laborious hand made techniques to produce their creations. I love to buy hand made beads from African vendors especially. Not only are they brightly colored and beautiful, but I am supporting the people who made them as well as spreading their art within my own!
What makes your store unique?
I think what makes my store the most unique is that since the idea of "duende" is globally encompassing, I can create without boundaries. I really love to travel and I am always collecting hand made jewelry and art from other cultures when I go places. I plan on making a lot of new collections each inspired by a different culture or vista in the future. Duende is a distinctly personal and human/divine connection experience that transcends all cultural boundaries, and to me that is a really exciting concept.
What is the toughest part about making your goods/your artistic process?
Honestly, the toughest part about my entire process so far has been learning how to balance it all while being a one-woman show. From designing, creating, to marketing, and accounting and everything else that goes into running a business, it's a lot and can sometimes be overwhelming. I think that's something that most creative people struggle with…the inner fight between wanting to just hole up in the garage and make stuff and dreading doing the "business" part.
Do you take custom orders?
I do love custom orders! In the past I have made really specific pieces for friends who will come to me with an idea, and I can help them make their vision take shape.
Currently I offer customizable personalized initial necklaces on my etsy site. For bigger or more specific jobs, the best way to get started would be to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?
Are you going to be at any shows soon, so I can see your work in person and say hello?
I am actually done with my shows for the season! I will be focusing on my online stores and the next collection coming spring 2014 so stay tuned!
Anything else to add?
I often collaborate with my very talented friend, Bri Kostechko of Reverie Clothes. Be sure to check her out at www.reverie-theshop.com for awesome hand made kimonos and clothing that pair great with Duende Creations jewelry!
Being a math nerd, I love that Christina finds inspiration in the Fibonacci sequence. :) Now, for the giveaway and promo details. This will be the second to last post of the series, so make sure to enter and buy some pretty jewelry!
For the promo, enter the discount code DC010 for 10% off your entire order, redeemable at any time! For the giveaway, the double chevron necklace below on the model is the awesome prize! Just enter in the Rafflecopter widget below, but please be patient because it may take a while to load.