Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday Spotlight: StoneTotem

Hello, and welcome to our next Friday Spotlight...on Saturday! Every other week, we will feature a new interview from one of our TeamBPAL members.

Let's learn a little more about Jackie of StoneTotem.

Tell us a little about the items in your shop. What do you make?
I make "intentional jewelry" and pendulums. I work with stones in an intuitive way to create pieces that can help support personal and spiritual growth, though of course many people buy my work
just because they like the way it looks.

What is your creative process?
My studio is on the second floor, right next to a stand of spruce trees. I feel like I'm in a tree house! It's important to me to be surrounded by beautiful things when I'm creating. I have an altar on my desk, pictures of things I love, notes from friends, and an inspirational quote taped to the wall; I have sculptures and stones and my paintings all around me. Sometimes I play music when I'm creating - chanting most often. I smudge the space and myself (for those who don't know, it's a ritual of burning incense to purify), and I get to work. I pretty much let the stones tell me what to do. Sometimes I have an idea that I want to make something specific, for example a third chakra piece, or something with a specific type of stone, or a word I've stamped on metal. From there I just go through my boxes until I know I've got the right stones. Then I have to see how they all fit together. My moon is in Capricorn - I think that dictates my style, which is on the minimalist side and very earthy. I especially love doing custom work, because I'm thinking about the person when I'm finding stones - that feels very intimate on a soul level and is a deep honor - even when the customer isn't looking for that metaphysical aspect.
Which Etsy Teams do you belong to?
Just this one

When you are not creating things, what do you do?
I'm a full time mom to 2 teenagers who keep me running.
My daughter is an actress and my son a musician, so their lessons, rehearsals and performances keep me very busy. I recently started taking yoga classes, and have been focusing on my health with pure food and exercise. I spend far too much time on the computer... shopping and chatting. I also have a vegetable garden, and flower gardens and about an acre of land to mow and keep up. I've been reading memoirs like crazy lately... Oh, and I love thrift store shopping!

Tell us two random, interesting things about you.
In my mid-20's I lived in New Orleans and was a hot glass major in art school. Hot glass is the most magical experience, I think, anyone can ever have. My true love is color and painting, but glass is WOW! And, my son was born at home, on purpose. The midwife arrived 5 minutes after he was born, so it was just my husband and I birthing him. It is by far the best thing I've ever done.

What has been your proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
The first time I was ever in a treasury was thrilling, but I think that getting feedback from customers who are really touched by my work has to be the best part.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Hang in there! Make sure your photos are the best they can be and give detailed descriptions so that people know what they're buying, and to show you care. If your work is good, people will find you.

What handmade possession do you cherish?
I don't know - I don't really cherish things so much. It would most likely be a sash that I made for a movement therapy class when I was in Art Therapy graduate school - with a goddess and "jewels" and gold thread embroidery. It hangs at the top of the windows next to the desk where I make jewelry.

If you could have any item on Etsy regardless of price, what would it be?
Well, I can't have this because it's sold... but I'd have to win the lottery anyway to get something like this!

What other skill or talent do you wish you could possess, if you had not taken this creative path?
Everyone in my family is a talented and accomplished musician except for me. My daughter sings, my son plays drums, guitar, bass, recorder, and percussion, and my husband plays clarinet. I am so non-musical that it's painful. I feel left out sometimes because music is such a powerful medium and I'd love to share in it with them.

Where can we find you on the web?
Right now, I am only on etsy. Very soon I hope to take my website live - but I am still working on it. When it comes into being, it will be

Thanks for the interview, Jackie! Have a great weekend, everyone! We'll return in two weeks with another spotlight.

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