Etsy.com's online marketplace has paved the way for handmade craftsmanship to thrive in an increasingly high-tech world. Welcome to arts and crafts 2.0
Sunset.com: Are there any hints of the Western lifestyle in your aesthetic?
Lisa Jones: I'm a native Northwesterner so this lifestyle is at the heart of my designs. I like to think my work has a quiet beauty but also doesn't take itself too seriously. My aesthetic has a minimalist core and the shapes and colors are influenced by the natural world and all its wonders.
Read the whole interview with Lisa Jones.
Sunset.com: How did you learn your craft?
Clare Elsaesser: I was lucky enough to go to a public arts high school, where I was able to get a head start on painting, which made pursuing a career in the arts much easier. I think Etsy is a really amazing place for those just starting out, as it allows you an incredible amount of exposure and feedback, which is so helpful in developing your art or craft.
Read the whole interview with Clare Elsaesser.
Sunset.com: Describe your favorite or best piece. Did you sell it or keep it or gift it?
Whitney Smith: Naming my favorite piece would be like saying that I love one of my children more than the others. I always have an evolving sense of what is my "best" or favorite pieces, so I can't say I have just one. I usually give them to my mom or dad for safekeeping. Selling them is hard because once that piece is sold, it's gone forever!
Read the whole interview with Whitney Smith.
Sunset.com: Where do you get your design inspiration?
Sandra Ducheneaux: I have been artistically influenced greatly by my two grandmothers who were fashion designers and jewelry collectors. My first piece of jewelry was given to me by my grandmother Frieda. It was a stunning amethyst necklace from the late 1800s. I also appreciate the Art Deco and Edwardian eras. I often get design ideas by watching vintage movies, attending a vintage fair or visiting the museum.
Read the whole interview with Sandra Ducheneaux.
Sunset.com: Where does the magic happen? Describe your work space.
Patty Benson: I work from home out of my living room-turned-workspace. I was in the kitchen for a few years but it was too small so I convinced my husband to let me hijack our main living space. I really love my studio. It's cozy with nice light and I like being surrounded by all my work.
Read the whole interview with Patty Benson.
Sunset.com: Any advice for how aspiring artisans can get started?
Sara Paloma: I would advise artisans just starting out to protect themselves from the marketplace as much as possible for as long as you can--keep a regular day job, have a series of weird, quirky day jobs, work in the corporate world for awhile, try it all--but don't settle in to doing your craft for money too early. It's like getting married too young or showing up at a party at 7:30. Sure, people do it and manage alright, but it's way more fun if you hold off and do a lot of other things first.
Read the whole interview with Sara Paloma.