Thursday, 13 May 2010

KikiMerdie on Etsy

Friday Finds... KikiMerdie

This is my 28th interview of the amazing not-so-well-known artists of Etsy!

Today I have a very talented crochet crafter known as Keely from Etsy store KikiMerdie, that lovingly threads and weaves together fine metals to make up her impressive crochet jewelry collection. It's so amazing to see the art of crocheting in such a development as Keely's intricate style, I know that when visiting her store you won't be disappointed!

(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)

-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) My name is Keely. I’m 25 and I live in Coon Rapids, MN. I have two wonderful children; Kacy, who is 6, and Luke, who is 7 months. I let my husband name the little one, and being the Dukes of Hazzard enthusiast that he is, he named him after Luke Duke. I guess it’s to go along with his General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger painted up and souped up like the one in the show. He’s a little fanatical to say the least. But, who knows. Maybe Luke will think it’s pretty cool when he gets older.

-- What is your business about then? My shop offers wire crochet jewelry and accessories as well as kits and patterns to make wire crochet pieces yourself. All of my pieces are my own designs and are unique from all other wire crochet that I’ve seen. Wire crochet is a unique craft to begin with, but most wire crochet jewelry you will find involves threading beads onto a wire and crocheting them into a chained strand. Pretty boring, right?
What I’ve done is used a thinner gauge wire and omitted the beads in turn for intricate pattern stitches to create textures and designs in the jewelry. The finished piece looks like a delicate lace or mesh, but is very strong.

-- How did Etsy come into your life? I discovered Etsy a few years ago while searching for crochet patterns online. I remember the first thing I came across were the amigurumi patterns. I thought they were so clever and cute and I purchased a few to try. Over the next couple of years I made occasional purchases from Etsy, but mostly enjoyed browsing. It seems each time I log on I find a new great product that I wish I had thought of first and I’m consistently impressed with the talent and craftsmanship exhibited by my fellow Etsiers.

-- Are you working a day job too? Yes, I do have a full-time day job in addition to running my shop. I work at a local manufacturer of electrical enclosures as a mechanical drafter. I create 3D models in a computer animated drafting software and make drawings of the models for our shop workers to follow when building the enclosures. I guess it sounds a bit more interesting than it really is.

-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? I’ve always tended to be artistic one way or another. I remember as a child using materials from around my house to make dolls, or Barbie accessories, or even a prototype spitball shooter at one time.
My mother taught me the basics of crochet when I was very young and the rest I picked up as I gained more experience. It wasn’t until last year that I started experimenting with crocheting wire. I played with a few designs and decided to create a whole line of jewelry with it. By then I was very familiar with Etsy and I new this would be my niche to start my own shop. It took me several months on experimenting to find what would work with wire and what wouldn’t, and I finally launched my shop right before Easter on this year.

-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? After finishing my first few pieces I kept thinking they looked like lace. So with that in mind I concentrated a lot of my designs on lacy, openwork stitches and ruffles. I found inspiration in other lacy textiles from the craft store.
Many of my ideas, however, just come to me, one by one. I’ll see a pattern I like in a piece of fabric or an object I think would look neat, and I recreate it with wire.

-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Intricate metal lace

-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? My days are pretty hectic, especially the mornings. I usually wake up to the baby around 5 am. We get up, get my daughter up, and all get ready for the day. We try to leave the house by 6:30. I drop my daughter off at school, my son off at daycare and get myself into work by 7 am. I work until 3 and pick up the kids. I get home, feed the baby and make dinner. After that we play and do housework until the kids go to bed at 8. Then it’s my time for a shower and finally some time to work on my shop or a personal project until about 10 pm. Then its lights out and we start all over the next day.

-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? I love the way wire looks when I’m finished with a piece of jewelry, but I actually favor working with yarn. It’s a lot easier on my fingertips and you can work a lot faster with it. I also just taught myself how to knit a couple weeks ago so I’ve been obsessed with that lately. I’ve got a stack of knitting patterns about an inch thick that I want to try. I just need more hours in my day.

-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? I would be happy to make two or three sales per week in my shop. Enough for some extra spending money, but I wouldn’t want to make it my full-time job. I’d be afraid that if I did that it would ruin the hobby for me and become work.

-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? When I get spare time, I like to work on personal crochet and knit projects or spend grown up time with my husband. We try to make it a point to have a date night at least once a month where we send the kids to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and go out to a nice restaurant. We also attend a lot of car shows in the summer; sometimes with and sometimes without the General Lee.

-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? Most of my searches are still for patterns on Etsy. But, as of late I’ve been looking for knitting patterns to feed my newest addiction.

-- Any last words? I think many of us Etsy sellers come from the same stock that feel the urge to constantly create. We lack the ability to sit in front of the tv without something in our hands to work on. I guess I find it most interesting all the different ideas and projects we come up with to satiate that urge.


Anonymous said...

hte arts are a beautiful thing and you have a VERY nice blog.

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