Sunday, January 19, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 91 with DISCOUNT CODE!

This week we are close to my neck of the woods..Orchard Park, NY

Name: Janelle 
Age: 30 
Occupation: fulltime maker, wife, sister, friend, and momma of two doggies. 

Tell us a little about yourself. 
My name is Janelle, I am the maker, designer and owner of Nelle Design, a small pottery studio in a small town just a bit down the highway from the one and only city- of- good- neighbors, Buffalo, New York.  Nelle Design represents and exists by one simple statement, handmade goods for a good life.  

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy? 
There wasn’t one defining moment when I was a ‘maker’; I have been creating since I was little. I did however get the ‘artist’ label in my family when I was a young teenager. A label I wear proudly!

I started selling on etsy in the beginning of 2011, I definitely feel I entered the etsy game a bit late {due to some internal self-conscious battles that many makers struggle with when deciding to take the plunge into online visibility}, and since my little launch I feel I’ve been playing a bit of catch up in making my shop known.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it? 
Deciding on a business name was such a huge task.. well it was for me; it’s my identity, my first impression, my face as maker in the world. I struggled with what I wanted to name my little operation for a while; I went back and forth with so many designs, so many tag lines, and at the end of the day …. I was trying WAY too hard, and I needed to get back to who I am, what I do. Nelle Design is simple, when I was growing up my family called me Nelle, Nellie, Nells Bells…it’s that familiar and comforting place for me. The DESIGN component is a large umbrella, I have so many plans for my work, I don’t want to just stick to pots, I want to expand my line, collorbaote with my husband {who is incredibly talented}, work with other artists, etc.
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be? 
It’s not quite my full time gig yet…but I’m working on it. Time, patience, and of course hard work will hopefully get me to that point in 2014.

How would you describe your creative process? 
Layered, and tedious.  {the short answer}
Handmade is so much about process, and with clay I am continually humbled. I hand-throw or build every piece using locally-sourced clay. After the initial forming of the piece, there are various stages of waiting and pausing, which I enjoy. This time allows me to focus and be truthful in what I want to achieve in the piece, batch, or set. Then there is trimming, attaching, manipulating, making marks, drying, and inspecting. I fire each piece at least three times, and sometimes as many as four to five. This adds layers and depth, which makes each piece far more beautiful, and helps me achieve greater, more interesting results. Working with clay is time consuming, but it also gives you really awesome arm muscles!

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Every environment I encounter, people along the way, places I have lived, books I read…. Im always inspired always keeping my eyes and heart open to new experiences that further and deepen my craft. I believe so much in positivity, the good in people, beautiful places and things along our life journeys and I very much try to evoke that in the simplicity and directness of my work.  

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
In 2013 I sold at 10 shows total. {hopefully doubling  that amount for 2014}
9 of which were in my local area of Western New York.
I attended the Brooklyn Renegade Show in late June. ‘13
Favorite would have to be the elmwood arts festival in downtown buffalo {}
They care so much about the city, the vendors, and the patrons and you can tell, there is a lot of love put into this event.

How long does it take you to prepare for a show?
One month {at least}. It depends on the show.

Do you have any special methods of getting ready? 
I draw a giant calendar on my studio wall and plan out each and everyday of the month. 1. Making days, 2. Trimming days, 3. Firing, 4. Organizing stock, 5. Packing, etc.
For me I am a very visual person and I need to SEE my days so I can plan accordingly. LOTS of lists!  

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work  
Honestly every show has its good, bad, and ugly. The weather is always a huge factor, how well its organized, who your neighbors are, etc. But it always circles back for me, no matter how much work they are {AND THEY ARE!}, when folks step into my space and pick up pieces, recognize my work, critique it, and engage with me I couldn’t be happier…and of course when people buys pieces too!

Also, always assemble a good crew for the event, you will need them more than you know!! My family is amazing and they are THE only reason I make it through each and every show…no doubt.

What is your most cherished handmade item? 
All my handmade cards, notes, and letters from people throughout my life, I love each and every one of them. I have a clothesline in my office with all my favorites strung along and I switch them out from time to time.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do? 
Eat good food and be with people that mean so much to me.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up? 
Anything to do with working with animals. They don’t have voice and I always wanted to be that for them in this harsh and often inhumane world.  One of my favorite quotes of all time…“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

Five years from now you will be… 
Married, with more doggies, maybe a kido, making pots maybe in a different city, but continuing to live life intentionally and making really great memories along the way.

Describe yourself in five words:
loyal, hardworking, sarcastic, self-conscious, and dedicated.

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? 
-Sarah McLachlan {Sarah has been such a constant steady, strong, artist in my ear through the years, LOTS of late night singing-on the top of my lungs work sessions in the studio, I admire her in so many ways}
-Avett Brothers
-Ray LaMontagne
-Brandi Carlilie  

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows? 
If you work really hard, and are kind, amazing things will happen. {its really true!}

Please use SundaySpecial25 to receive 25% off your total order from Nelle Design!