Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Strega Jewellry

Meet Lee, the owner and artist of Strega Jewellry. Lee offers unique handmade jewelries. Her You-Nique Earrings are something that you rarely see in other shops. Let's get to know her more, shall we?

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?

I suppose I am a "jack of all trades", have tried my hand at many things, am a knitter, do kumihimi, Chinese knots, macramé and sew but my most favorite past time is making jewelry. I started out taking wire wrapping classes at the Art Center here in Dayton and ended up as an instructor in the Arise program. I continued classes and fell in love with metal clay for a while, dabbled in polymer, but always come back to wire. It's such a versatile media. I'm happy to learn the other things because I can use them all.  

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/StregaJewellry/4886937/filagree_and_flower_earrings/handmade/jewelry/earrings/other_metals


What is the story behind your shop name? 

I am pagan. Originally I wanted a target market of wiccans and needed a name that would mean something to that particular group. I also did not want something too witchy because it's scary to some people who do not know about nature based religions and think that Wiccans are devil worshipers so I I doodled around with earthy names and blue moons and fairy names and finally settled on Strega which is an Italian word for witch. 


Who is your target market?

When I started, I had a target market in mind, the metaphysical group who love natural stones and stone lore and pieces that reflected a certain spiritual inclination. Then, I grew outward from wire wrap and learned new things and had so much fun, I make all kinds of things. Now, I think that has changed and I target folks who like bold and unusual items, one of a kind.  


http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/StregaJewellry/9696411/you-nique_earrings_dramatic_black/handmade/jewelry/earrings/glass



Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?

I LOVE finding or making a focal or beads and then dreaming up what I am going to do with them. I love sketching out a design and even if the idea falls apart and I have to back up and dream up something new, I love that part of it. I love finding the beads and wire components that fit together, rummaging through my stash for beads, browsing books or tutorials for links or components that will really set off a piece.  


Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?


Did you say "organize"? Wait, I may have to go look that word up.


What is your best seller?

I sell more earrings than anything else. After that, I would have to say stone pendants.



http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/stregajewellry/3381912/blessed_bea_prayer_beads/handmade/novelty/other

How does your day go in general?

I try to have a plan. I take care of my son's 3 boys while he works so I have to work around their schedule. Usually mornings are for "around the house" stuff. If I have pictures to take, or pieces that need hammering, I get them involved so I am not ignoring them. Even the 3 year old knows what to get when I say "I need the bench block, the chasing hammer and leather" and he can help if I am using a rubber hammer. They love doing things with me.
After lunch, when it is "rest period" I sketch or sort beads for a project work on my blog or list items. After they leave, it's me, my beads and wire. Not a lot of time but we work it out.  



What inspires you?

I'm inspired by the natural world, the colors, the stones, ancient stone lore and the general "feel" of a rock in my hand or the earth under my feet. I'm inspired by music some times. A song or tune will get stuck in my head and I will wonder what it would "feel" like if I put it to beads.  


What is the key to success?

Perseverance  


http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/StregaJewellry/4453544/The_Red_Queen_Bracelet/Jewelry/Bracelets/Other_Metals


What does handmade mean to you?

Hand made is time and energy and love all poured into creating something by one's self, or as much by one's self as possible. It's taking the time for details and not turning out pieces that look just like every one else's work.  


What is your favorite quote, song, or movie?

Apache proberb: make my enemy strong, so that if I am defeated, I need not be ashamed. My favourite song is Little Wing.



Connect with Lee here: 

https://twitter.com/stregajewellry

http://www.pinterest.com/stregajewellry/

https://www.facebook.com/StregaJewellry

http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com 


Would you like to be featured as a Saturday Artisan and sponsor a giveaway?

Here is how to apply.


24 comments:

  1. I'd love to know if Lee is a coffee or tea drinker! :)

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    1. Years ago, I went through a phase where I gave up caffeine and now drink only chamomile tea, water or juice.

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  2. It was interesting to read how Lee's worldview shapes her creativity. What fun to have grandchildren "help!"!

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  3. Lee sounds like a kindred spirit. I think if we lived in the same part of the world we might become solid friends.

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    1. I would like that. I have so few "kindred spirits" here.

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  4. Interesting approach to jewelry design. Good interview, Nat.
    anna

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  5. Have always admired Lee's work, so often whimsical in design such as the bracelet posted here. Great insight into what inspires and motivates her. Thank you for sharing, Nat!

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  6. Would you share a few of your favorite gemstones you love to work with?

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    1. Catherine, I probably use more Jaspers than anything. There is such a variety in the colors. I do love agates and amethysts and turquoise too.

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  7. Good article. I have been familiar with Strega Jewelry, but learned a lot more from reading this. Thanks for doing your Artisan series and spreading the word about buying handmade.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this interview. I enjoyed the story and inspiration behind Strega Jewellry.

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  9. love her creations, would love to where she gets her creation ideas from

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    1. I have this strange little brain that will not shut up before I go t sleep. Saw a post on Facebook the other day about a similar brain....the person counting, one sheep, two sheep, banana, chicken, Old MacDonald had a farm, hey Macarena! That's sort of how my brain works. So, when it gets rambling on and on, I pretend to string whatever beads I have on my mind that day and as I string them, an idea pops into my head. I keep a sketch journal right by the bed and quick draw a sketch of whatever pops into my head. Sometimes I work them out, sometimes not. Or sometimes, I will see something in a book or magazine, like yesterday, I was looking through The Missing Link (Cindy Wimmer) and saw these little links that I've not made yet and laughed out loud when my brain said, OMG, they look like mummies! When I woke up in the morning, I had an idea for a necklace I'm going to call The Mummie's dance. It's going to be crazy loco making it, if I can work it out.

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  10. I would like to know what Inspires you to create so many designs

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    1. See above about my ADHD brain................plus, I am an avid reader. Sometimes, I read something and need to do some design about it. I was reading a kids book the other day about kites and their history. Now, I have it stuck in my head that I need to do a kite design for a charity challenge that is coming up.

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  11. I would ask her what has been her fav piece shes made

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    1. My favorite piece was a design I made for a friend who is so talented. She loves to sail and built her own boat. She was very lonely and never seemed to find the "right" lady though she is very deserving and wonderful. I used a piece of dichroic glass that was the color of the ocean and had lots of sparkles and iridescent colors. I used metal clay to make a bezel that had a rock at the bottom with a mermaid peeping up over it and a tiny ship at the top. On the card to her, I told her that someday she would sail to a sea where the right person was waiting just for her. I entered it into an art show and took 2nd place. I loved that piece and so did she.

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  12. What is the most difficult creation she has made?

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    1. I think that it was a piece I made for my daughter (she's a really picky person and has no hesitation to tell me if something isn't JUST RIGHT) The first time I made it, we both hated it. The second time, I sort of liked it and so did she, but not satisfied. The third time is the charm.

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  13. Have you always been this creative?

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    1. I had NO idea I was creative at all until I started making jewelry. I had always sewn my kids clothes, cooked, knitted, things like that. Then I learned wire wrap and still didn't think I was creative. I think it wasn't until I started getting into blog hops and challenged myself to get outside my box that I felt creative at all. Once someone told me that my piece was really cool, I was hooked, I mean somebody who really knew what they were talking about, who made jewelry and was successful at it not my friends or family. Now, I'm always getting into blog hops and challenges. It pushes me to do different things, to get over my fears. Right now, I'm working on getting over my "FOF", fear of fiber, of using fiber in jewelry. I'm just having fun.

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