Back from a short maker break, we’d like to welcome back & introduce to you Stacy from Made Jewelry.
Made Little Rock shop is all about taking materials that seem ordinary and turning them into something extraordinary. From stones and rocks unearthed from the ground, Stacy’s jewelry is meant to remind us of the ever occurring beauty in our everyday.
Her piece of Wisdom Wednesday: don’t obsess & be miserable, be happy and inspired!
Take it away, Stacy…
What are a few benefits and challenges of being a handmade artisan?
To me, one of the biggest benefits of being a handmade artisan is the community! There are so many wonderful and talented makers out there and to get to form relationships with so many of them through shows and even just over social media is such an honor. Getting to collaborate with other artists (in my own category as well as others) is an incredible thing. I am pumped when I see kindness and collaborations winning over competition. As far as challenges go, I think it is extremely easy to fall into the trap of comparing your success or your craft or your marketing, etc. to others. It’s just not healthy and needs to be kept in check.
Inspiration is one thing, but obsessing over how other people are doing things to the point where you’re miserable because you don’t feel like you are measuring up just has to stop. Not to mention the fact that we should be celebrating our peers and their successes and accomplishments. Again, when kindness (to ourselves as well as others) wins over competition, I do a little happy dance. 🙂
Describe the process behind the production of your craft. Please include a photo.
My process begins in the Quartz mines here in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. My hands are the first to touch these stones that I use in my jewelry since creation! I then put them through a series of washes. I do not bleach the stones or use acid on them (both of which are often done). They form in clay that has high iron content, so the various washes do break down the iron that has discolored it. However, a lot of the time, it does not all break down and I think this just lends to the beauty of each individual stone.
Once they’re done washing (which can be a process of anywhere from 3-5 days and sometimes longer) then I can make jewelry with them! I don’t break the stones apart, drill them, cut them, tumble them or anything. I love the raw characteristics and prefer to keep them just as I found them- only cleaner!
Do you have any advice for other artisans?
I would say that if there is something that you’re wanting to pursue, go for it! My husband has been my biggest cheerleader and behind all of my self-doubt and worry he has been there saying, “Just do it! Just try!” So I would want to share his encouragement with other artisans. Also, be kind. As crafters and artists, we’re all pouring our hearts into our work. Encourage people every chance you get, because we all need cheerleaders.