Sunday, November 23, 2008
My Featured Seller On ETSY - staroftheeast
Today I will start a Featured Seller tradition on my blog.
I will Feature a new artist once a months and this one will be until the end of December 2008
I found "staroftheeast" on ETSY while browsing a few weeks back and since then have been a huge fan.
I love their designs and creativity and also their story. Read their story of a mother and daughter team, it's very inspiring.
Turkey is somewhat familiar to me because a a child when I was living in Germany my mother married a man from Turkey who was from Istanbul and of Armenian decent.
Naturally there were many influences in our house from Turkey because of that. There were foods, traditions and stories. I loved the beautiful red filigree gold jewelry, the Turkish coffee, super sweet pastries, Turkish Delights and as I got older the anise liqueur raki.
May I present the wonderfull seller on ETSY: staroftheeast
Bio Jewelry making for me started in a rough way some fifteen years ago. I had an accident at the building site (I am a civil engineer) that left me incapacitated and unable to do that kind of work any longer. After a long convalescence I decided to move from the Netherlands with my then adolescent daughter, Estella, to Turkey, a favorite holiday spot for us. The climate was more favorable for my injuries and the cost of living was a lot cheaper which suited my dramatically diminished income. And this has proved to be a sound decision. My physical mobility improved greatly, and the beauty of the country, the colors, the traditions, and even the smells are a daily source of inspiration.
I have always had a passion for handcrafts, but of course, being a single ‘Mum' with a full time job, it had been years since I had had the time and tranquility to do something with my hands. Well, here was my opportunity!
As my daughter was growing up we explored many crafts together: drawing, painting, embroidering, and decorating the house (with often a zero budget but smashing results). Our many friends and acquaintances considered us the most creative family they knew.
A visit some eight years ago to a remote village where ethnic fellahs live, brought about a fundamental change to our crafts. A young woman gave me present, a piece of fabric on which she had ‘painted' a characteristic ruin of her village. The ‘painting' was done with sequins and beads, and in bold colors; and it was very expressive.
What a discovery! My daughter and I began to create fabric pictures of buildings, mosques and churches with onion domes, an old passion of mine from my building life. Sewing sequin by sequin, tiny seed bead by tiny seed bead onto the fabric we created bright, fantastic landscapes for our walls. Each work took several months to complete, generally with me sketching the composition and making the contours while my daughter, with better eyes and quicker hands, filled it in. And from this a very close and personal way of working together was born, the two of us with four hands working towards a common goal.
And then, four years ago, jewelry making became a fashion even in the small town in southwest Turkey where we live and all kind of beads and findings began to arrive from Istanbul, where, of course, every thing imaginable in the world can be found at the bazaar. Estella started to make her own jewellery and soon I got interested too. And from the first necklace we created, we had the feeling we could become really, really good at this, we could be passionate about it and fulfilled. My daughter and I have since go on to create hundreds of jewelry pieces, with two different tastes and designstyles Estella's and mine. Estella skillfully executing the designs, she also solves the technical problems of jewelry making. This work bring us great joy, especially the hands on aspect of it, and the fact that women look great in our designs gives us a kick.
Estella has finished her education as an interior designer (you know, smashing results with almost zero budget) but in the small town where we live there is not a big demand for this. The jewelry making, however is a different story. Women (and men) always feel a need to embellish themselves. Jewelry helps women to feel good, to look good, and yes, to heal themselves, and we are there for every woman and every budget.
Thousands of people make a living either in the jewelry industry or by making jewelry, and with so many competitors it is a challenge to be different and to get our name out there while at the same time working to improve our craft. We feel Etsy is a step in the right direction and will help us to achieve our goals, and it also a great way to make new friends.
Esther and Estella - Star of the East of Turkey