Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Eight Questions With...Jan Raven

Welcome to the first in a weekly series spotlighting the members of HandmadeMN.

Meet Jan Raven. Jan lives in St. Paul with her cat Coraline & dog Morgan. Since 2008, Jan has been able to make her entire living from her jewelry work, before that she was a carpenter with her own remodeling business. You can find Jan on her website, JanRa Jewelry Designs or blog, Woven Wire and of course, her Etsy store, JanRa Jewelry Designs.

1. What types of items do you sell in your store?

I sell jewelry that is made from silver and gold wire that I weave, braid, and coil by hand.
2. Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration? I am compelled to work with my hands in some way, and I have always enjoyed making something out of seemingly nothing. I love patterns and the interplay of shapes, so in some way I am inspired by patterns and texture. My work also involves some problem-solving and engineering; having puzzles to figure out is compelling!

3.  Do you have a specific space where you do most of your work?

My dining room table! I have tried to establish a separate studio space, but my work always crept back onto my table. I have accepted that this is the most comfortable place for me to work, in the center of the house rather than cooped up in a small room.

4. When did you first start crafting?

I think I began to play with wire in 1999, but I really don't remember.
5.  Do you do any crafts or art beyond what you sell?

Not currently, but I dream of making 3D mixed media wall art, and of working with colored pencil in some way. Check back in a few years to see what I've moved on to!

6. What are your favorite places to buy supplies?

My wire is purchased online from Rio Grande and Hagstoz. My gemstones come from a variety of sources: RioGrande, FireMountainGems, and in town I like to go to Stormcloud on Snelling Ave. in St. Paul.

7. What is the best thing you've ever done to promote your etsy store?

I try to consistently participate in forums in a variety of places and I include the URL in my signature line!

8. What other etsy store(s) do you really like?

I am sorry to say that I rarely go looking at other shops. I work on my own business from morning until evening and don't have much extra time to look at other shops. I do buy gemstones from LillysBeadBox, however!

If you are a HandmadeMN member who would like to be featured in Eight Questions email me at katbaro at yahoo dot com.


Anna said...

Great interview! People who make a living on their passions are so inspiring! I'm hoping that someday I can find my niche and do the same. I'm doing everything I can now to try to get there...but it's not easy.