Name: Sara Duarte
Etsy Shop:Spun On Cotton
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a playful, crafty, Earthy mama that also likes to call herself an artist. I grew up in Northern California, running barefoot with my two brothers. My father is a jeweler and my mother an antique enthusiast... both worked from home. After graduating high school I went on to study fashion at FIDM. After raking up student loans, I decided that even though I love clothes... the fashion industry isn't for me. A few years later I was feeling the need get my hands busy and looked up on youtube the technique for creating spun cotton. I had always loved the antique German ornaments and was curious how they were made. After a brief video, I took what I had learned and got busy. I have further developed my technique since then, and my style is surely different then the original inspiration. I have formed a love for this art form and my hope is that my pieces are a reflection of this love, and that each character fills their viewer with joy (or at least makes them smile.)
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I've been creating all my life, I remember as a child having the craving to create. I've been working with spun cotton since Dec 2011 and started listing my items right away.
The original name I came up with for my shop was silkandthistle, but after I really began creating I realized the name didn't quite portray the quirky feel of work. I later changed it to Spun On Cotton as a play on words... because I'm "spun" on working in this medium called spun cotton.
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
I'm the mother of a two year old and consider that my full time job. However, I spend any extra time I have creating. I stay up most nights till 2am spinning away. I love my work and I only see its potential to continue growing.
How would you describe your creative process?
I always start with a spark of inspiration or a desire to create a particular creature, however I rarely know its personality till later. I then twist a wire armature for the critters skeleton.
Next comes the spinning of the cotton, which is done with nothing more than my hands. I paint the figure once I have gotten the shape and size I'm looking for. My favorite part is giving the figure personality through expression and its very own accessories. No character is complete without a name and story.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find I'm most inspired after reading my daughter her bed time story. The whimsical imagery from children's stories always brings me fresh ideas. Vintage charm is also a great place to look when I need a spark. When I need to recharge I spend time in nature or barefoot in my garden.
Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
I have not participated in a craft show as of now... but I've been accepted into the Spring Unique LA show May 11 and 12! I may be pushing my late nighters even later to get prepared for this one!
What is your most cherished handmade item?
A bracelet my 2 year old daughter made for me for my last birthday.
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I love to play and dance, sit in nature, or work in the garden. I can never get enough thrift-storeing or yard-saleing... I love finding treasures.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
I can't really imagine not being an artist of some kind. But I have always dreamed of traveling the world to help people in need. It would be quite gratifying to fulfill that desire for adventure and make a true difference in this world.
Five years from now you will be…
Having more fun then ever... working with my art, playing, watching my daughter grow and have my first children's story released.
Describe yourself in five words:
Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?