Friday, July 4, 2008

Focus On: Adina Halpern

Profile: Adina Halpern
Adina is a fellow member of the EBW Team on Etsy.com. She has a hip easily recognizable style. This is her latest piece, Dreamy Summer Night.

Tell us about yourself. What makes you, you?
Good question! Well, I'm twenty-four years old and I've lived in six different cities. Right now I live in New York City, but my parents live in Sydney, Australia, and my younger sister lives in Canberra, Australia's capitol city. I've worked as a paralegal for the past two years, but I'm looking forward to changing paths some time in the near future. (Which path I take, I have yet to figure out.) Arts and crafts have always been a part of who I am. I also love running, and I love teaching people all different types of things, including arts and crafts! In college, I majored in anthropology, and I am fascinated by different people and cultures.

Do you see yourself as an artist or craftsman or both?
I see myself as both! I've always held the belief there is art in everything, and everything is art. The work I do (not only the work I sell!) is mostly one type of art – crafts!

What made you want to be an artist/craftsman?
I have always loved arts and crafts. My mother taught me how to make all kinds of things when I was young, and I would work on these projects for hours.

Why beads?
I have literally been beading ever since I can remember. I must have been about six years old when my mother (a child of the '60s and '70s) showed me how to make daisy chains. She had collected many, many beads in her youth, and had stashed them all in empty medicine containers. I loved beading so much that my mother found some other patterns at a craft store (JoAnn Fabrics, I think) and taught me how to make those. When I was about twelve, I figured out that I could make up my OWN patterns, and from then on, I just couldn't stop! I love all kinds of crafts, but I sell my beadwork because beading comes the most natural to me, and because my beading designs are unique and I want to share my creations with others!

How do you see your style?
Aesthetically speaking, I try to keep things relatively simple. I like working with different shapes and colors. One of my goals is to make jewelry that works for all occasions, including everyday wear. My jewelry is delicate looking, but at the same time, it is funky and fun.

What's the most wonderful thing you've made? The oddest?
Most Wonderful: Probably a silver, gold, and black cuff that I made for my grandmother. It made my grandmother so happy, and that is always my ultimate goal! :-)

Oddest: When I was about four, my mom had me in a little kids' pottery class. Everything I made was odd for the simple reason that I refused to paint anything any color but olive green! I even made a little clay bowl with clay cheerios, and painted it olive green! As far as beads are concerned, I made a pretty odd bracelet for my friend once. (This is pretty hard to explain, but I will try!) I like to play around with different levels of peyote (a stitch that kind of looks like rows of bricks on top of each other) stitch. (The only way I can really convey the type of thing I'm talking about is to show you something similar.) This bracelet was very asymmetrical, and kind of went up and down her wrist. But then, my goal was to be funky, and my friend really did like it. It was odd, though. I've made lots of other odd things unintentionally, but I don't usually end up finishing them!

What inspires you?
Lots of things inspire me! Different shapes inspire me. Other kinds of jewelry (usually metal) inspire me. Colors inspire me! Seasons inspire me! Feelings inspire me!

What scares you?
I guess I'm kind of scared that Etsy will take over all aspects of my life! (But it kind of already has…) Or the opposite! That I'll end up with a career that leaves me no creative time. But to tell you the truth, crafts don't scare me – life scares me!

Tell us about your creative process.
My creative process starts with my inspiration. As I'm making one piece, I'll often become inspired to make another piece that differs slightly from the first piece, and that piece will inspire me to make another piece that differs slightly from that second piece, etc., etc. I also get inspired by all kinds of jewelry that I see – usually things made out of metal. I'll see something and think, "I wonder if I could make something similar out of beads!" After I come up with my initial plan, I usually sketch out some sort of pattern in a sketch book (or, occasionally, a scrap of paper!), pick out my colors, and from then on it's usually pretty relaxing. I like to bead while watching TV or listening to music or while my boyfriend plays the guitar, which relaxes me. I only need silence when I have to count beads or work out mathematically what will work and what won't – that can be very frustrating at times, but is usually more than worth it in the end!

How did you get on Etsy and where else do you sell?
I occasionally go on another crafting network, craftster.org, and last year, I found a discussion about Etsy on that. After that, I thought about setting up an Etsy shop for a while, and in April, I finally did it! When I was a teenager, I used to sell my work at local markets in Sydney, and to friends. I never made a lot of money doing that, but I always had a lot of fun. Right now, Etsy is the only official place where I am selling, although I have recently sold some pieces to different people I know personally, off Etsy.

Describe your shop.
My shop is full of my beadwork. It is fun, funky, and wearable. I like to think that my own personality is reflected in my shop. Even though it is technically a "virtual" place, I like to think that it is a friendly place!

Make a recommendation.
I recommend this, because I think it epitomizes my shop. It is fun, funky, pretty, and perfect for a day at the office or the mall, or for a more formal event.

Tell us the answer to a question that we didn't ask, but should have. If you can't think of anything, tell us something random.
Well, usually when people ask me to tell them something random, I tell them that I made beaded jewelry! But since you already know that by now, I'll say that I wrote my college senior thesis on the anthropology of knitting and knitting groups! I got to participate in and observe all kinds of knitting groups and knitting clubs and then write about them! It was an amazing (and fun!) experience! I'm always interested in the social aspects of crafts, and modern online crafting culture fascinates me! :-)

14 comments:

  1. Very interesting and informative post.

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  2. What a great article. I enjoyed reading it.

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  4. Thank you so much for featuring me, Sarah!! You asked really great questions and I enjoyed answering them! :-)

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  5. Nice interview! I enjoyed reading it.

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  6. Your July Challenge is gorgeous I love the colors and the design

    Orly
    www.BeadsHead.com
    www.beadshead.etsy.com

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  7. Great posting! loved the interview! SO interesting!

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  8. Wonderful interview! It's always great to get to know your fellow artists.

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  10. Thanks for supporting Adina and I with your comments:)

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  11. It is nice to be able to know you both better through this interview and the Blog.

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  12. What a great interview, Sarah! I love getting to know other artists better, Adina is no exception!

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  13. Great interview Adina and Sarah - so good to learn a bit more about our fellow team members :)

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