Contributor post by Natalie
Please join us in welcoming EarthMotherMosaics, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself
I make contemporary mosaics, mixed media art and consider myself a Virtual Arts Artist. I specifically like to use items headed towards the dumpster and make them into art.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
Encouraged by friends and family after gift giving of mosaic trivets, trays and a few other crafty things, I opened my Etsy shop in 2009.
Tell us a bit about your products
My mosaics are often made using small scrap pieces of stained glass and recycled mirror. Pieces of broken dishes and mugs are used giving them new life. I’m reminded of watching my Dad taking a broken piece of furniture and making it useful again. In my own way, I do this with mosaics. Discarded wine and beer bottles become bottle art that shine and glow when placed in a window or near a lamp. Microwave plates become sun catchers filled with color. Bowling balls that are cracked or collecting dust in closets becomes a themed mosaic garden gazing ball. Broken pieces of jewelry, buttons, seashells, rocks and stones get placed in my work and are often focal points.
What inspires your work?
Art has always been a part of my life. Growing up in Lambertville, NJ a river town only a small bridge away from New Hope, PA in Bucks County, I had the pleasure of walking over the Delaware River daily into a whole universe of creativity. The smells of the water and fish from the river, strawberry incense and Hendrix guitar licks wafting through the head shop just off of the bridge into town is my most distinct memory. As a teenager, I found the psychedelic posters and trippy music within the store a favorite place to go. At the time I didn’t realize that everything has an energy to it but even as a young teenager I felt an electric spark that would stay with me forever during those early years. I felt at home walking along the street gazing at all the shops filled with abstract paintings, pottery, being so close to theater, coffee houses, restaurants with live jazz bands and boutiques of all kinds. These were my people! Living close enough to walk to a town filled with artists was a blessing although I didn’t appreciate it at the time. It helped shaped who I am today as a contemporary abstract mosaic artist. An energy never lost by the muse who guides me now was made throughout those early years just a stone’s throw, literally, from New Hope.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
I’m constantly changing these thoughts and reinventing what I want and/or need at the time. Right now, the goal for this year is to find a customer base that will return again and again to see all the eclectic pieces of art I create. My dreams for this business are still in flux. I can tell you they’ve changed within the last 30 days and might change within the next month. Ask me again in a month!
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I have no clue. I don’t think they do stand out but I also think they are definitely unique. They are truly one-of-a-kind because I often use scraps of glass and broken items.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I work and live in one room. My bedroom is where my mosaics are made and where my computer is as well. I tell folks I sleep in my studio because there’s more art-related things in my one room than anything else.
Where can people find out more about you and your business?
Places to find me and connect:
Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your products, vs buying mass-produced products from box stores?
Absolutely. There is nothing quite like an original piece of handmade art.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I would like to have known how much time has to be dedicated to promoting. These days I spend more time marketing/networking than I do creative work.
Any advise for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Go slowly, find an audience and make friends on teams. And be very, very patient.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
Work is my hobby. I take care of my grandson while his Mom works, so when I am not wrangling a child, I am doing something at my crafts table. Which is actually a TV tray. But it works!
What is your favourite quote?
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ― Wayne W. Dyer
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.