Thursday, December 20, 2007

Featured Artist: Stephanie Strain of SilverShadow

Jewelry artist Stephanie Strain is involved with not just one, but three Etsy shops!

She explains: "Silver Shadow,, is my main shop. Most pieces are still in BerryPatchDesigns, – this has mostly my pieces, but there are several from some of my “sisters” (very dear friends). UnderCurrent, is the “alternative shop," where I will be putting edgier or more unique pieces."

What a wonderful variety!

Stephanie invites all CreativeSundries blog readers to check out the Earth Path Street Team's Winter Challenge. Vote on your favorite entry--There will be four prize packs given out to voters. Prizes--yay! Find out more info here.

Stephanie took time to answer our questions about her work and her ever-evolving Etsy shops!

CreativeSundries: How did you get started in jewelry making?

Stephanie: I started working with jewelry to give me something to concentrate on and distract me, after my grandmother passed away and while a friend was dying. It gave me a great deal of comfort to create beauty while I was hurting - and to learn about stones, acquire new skills and practice. People liked what I made, asked for more and things just progressed from there. I expect I'll be learning forever, which is not a bad thing.

CreativeSundries: Have you had a chance to collaborate with other artists?

Stephanie: Collaborating with other artists is a BLAST! One of my colleagues from EAST lives near me and we got together on the promotion pack that she was putting together (for the Street Team members), to send to various publications and organizations - we had the BEST time brainstorming and ideas were popping like firecrackers :) It was fun and inspirational.

CreativeSundries: What, if any, are your favorite materials, stones, etc.?

There are so many!!! So many textures, colors and patterns! That's why I love natural components (except metal, of course), though I do use high quality glass or crystal as accents. Metal: Sterling silver or Argentium, Copper, some leather. Stones: Jasper (moukaite, ocean, kambaba, autumn and scenic, especially), Ruby in Zoisite, Amethyst, Cultured Pearls, Pyrite, Agate (moss, banded, fired), Moonstone, Garnet (deep red varieties, mostly), Turquoise, Jade (Nephrite - true jade), Labradorite, Onyx, Pietersite, Malachite, Chrysocolla, Hematite (true) Azurite, Lapis... Probably lots more. Also like goldstone (man-made): "brown" and blue. Love WIRE. And want to learn true silversmithing/metalsmithing, so I can cast my own pieces and work my own pendants. Love subtle (not "noisy") dichroic and like good lampwork and fused glass.

CreativeSundries: What is your favorite piece you've made?

It's the Pile of Leaves piece that was for the EAST Autumn Challenge. It was my most involved piece thus far: convertible. It can be (1) a DOUBLE strand necklace or (2) you can open the double clasps on the upper strand and have a SINGLE strand necklace and a BRACELET. I picked a 5 color palette of faceted cultured pearls, matching 11/0 seed beads, carved fancy and ocean jasper leaves and carved bone beads and put everything (almost) totally randomly; the theme was "Autumn Leaves" and leaves fall...randomly. It was fun and I like it very much.

CreativeSundries: What are advantages of using vermeil instead of sterling silver or gold?

Stephanie: There are a couple of advantages to using vermeil vs gold, the most obvious being cost. Vermeil is gold over sterling, which is cheaper than gold itself, while still having the high quality of both. I prefer sterling and copper myself, but do sometimes like golden tones. To me, vermeil is the best of both worlds, to get "gold" without the high cost of true gold. As an aside, gold-filled is better than gold-plate, of course, but both have higher possibility of metal allergies than sterling, vermeil or gold.

Thank you for taking time to talk with us, Stephanie!

Be sure to visit Stephanie's Etsy shops:

1 comment:

SilverShadow Designs / BerryPatchDesigns said...

Thanks very much for the wonderful feature, Sarah!!