Oh, you can tell it's getting close to the Holidays! Work has been absolutely crazy this week and I totally didn't have a chance to post this weeks Featured Handmade Artist. Better late than never, right?
This week I am happy to introduce you to Jenny Kim from
. I love the organic feel and shape of her handmade jewelry. (I'm a sucker for flowers!) Not only does she have these gorgeous flower rings and earrings in her shop, she has these amazing key pendants!
Here are a few more of her lovely lovely pieces:
Hi Jenny!!! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Jenny Sueyoun Kim, and I’m originally from Los Angeles. I have been living in the San Francisco Bay area for about 15 years, and after having worked in both Silicon valley and the public sector, I am currently a metal-smith and jewelry artist on a full-time basis.
What is the first craft project you remember making?
In pre-school, I had a hard time sitting still, and instead of learning how to tie my shoelaces, I insisted that Velcro straps would always be in style – and that I must make myself a castle out of milk-crates. While the other kids learned to tie their shoes, I collected milk-crates from outside the school’s kitchen and built a fortress “fit for a queen.”
Where does your inspiration come from?
My work is inspired by natural and organic forms – the human body, flora and fauna. As an artist, I was most inspired by my grandfather, who somehow raised four children selling paintings and teaching art. I always enjoyed watching him paint and sketch, and really looked up to him as a small child.
Can you describe some of your creative processes?
Each of my pieces is created using the ancient Lost-Wax Casting method, made from a one-of-a-kind, original model, which I first sculpt from wax. My creative process starts with a lot of introversion in a quiet environment and a virtually solitary state, sculpting my wax models from my home in San Mateo, CA. After anywhere from one to three days per week working from home, I will then do all the dirty work at a shared metal-shop in San Francisco. First, I will create a temporary, plaster-like mold called an "investment" around the model. After allowing the investment to set for a day or two, I will burn out the wax, heat the investment in a kiln, and then (the fun part), with the use of an oxy-propane torch, I hand-pour molten metal from a crucible into the investment. Finally, there is the cleanup and finishing work, which may take almost as much time as the initial sculpting. This multi-step process occurs over several days even for a single piece. I genuinely enjoy the entire casting process, but I love the sculpting part most of all, and therefore, I do not have any re-usable molds to copy the same piece multiple times - so, each of my pieces is a true original.
What is your most prized handmade possession?
After a few minutes of thought, it came down to my small collection of silver Touareg jewelry. The nomadic Touareg people of northern Africa use minimal modern technology to create some of the most beautiful and unique jewelry in the world. They are also among the most impoverished people in the world, and I find it so incredible that they are such great survivors in the African desert, as well as amazing craftspeople and silversmiths.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?
Communication and customer service are crucial. You want to maintain your customers’ trust and always us honest business practices. Many of us consider ourselves artists first and foremost - but in terms of turning your hobby into a business, customer service should be the top priority.
What are some of the places you promote your work?
What are the three websites you couldn’t live without?
Etsy, and believe it or not, NHL.com and Fear the Fin (hockey sites).
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully, I’ll be miraculously sustaining a living making jewelry and trinkets for people who love handmade things! I would also like to be traveling; there are so many places around the world that I’d love to visit – Peru, India, the list goes on and on.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
This one also took a few minutes of thought! I’m not sure that I want to be able to see through objects or clothing, nor do I want to zap anyone with a laser beam from my finger. I would probably want to be a healer of some kind – perhaps be able to magically heal the sick and dying. That would be very cool.
Thank you soooo much Jenny!!!!
Please be sure to stop by Jenny's shop and check out the rest of her beautiful jewelry designs!