Monday, November 4, 2013

Etsy Shop of the Week - Iroquois Designs



Welcome to the sixth edition of the Etsy Shop of the Week! Each week I choose a wonderful Etsy shop to share with you all. We can all have fun finding new products for our homes and lives, not to mention some wonderful gift ideas for our loved ones (or ourselves!).

Today we get to meet the lovely Jessica from Iroquois Designs!  Jessica's shop features beautiful and handmade Native American jewelry, art, and fine crafts. I can't wait to show you some of the wonderful offerings I found in her shop!

So, let's meet Jessica!

1. Tell us about your products and your Etsy shop.

My shop is really an extension of who I am and what I know best. Cultural identity and art is truly in my core. I really just like creating things I find beautiful and every time I came up with something new, all my family and friends would tell me I needed to put my creations online. When I learned about Etsy several years ago, I couldn't think of a better way to get my stuff out there, beyond the pow wows and into the big, big world.

My products themselves are greatly influenced by my cultural heritage. My grandfather was a renowned wood carver and he instilled a sense of culture through art and craft in our family which has lasted for generations. I am so grateful my parents took his teachings to heart and passed it to me and my sister and brother. I sell mostly jewelry, some art and pottery based on the Native American culture, Iroquois more specifically. My first intro in selling my craft was doing pow wows in the New York and New England area. It became more important to differentiate myself from other Native American artists by taking a product, like a dream catcher, and making it different than theirs. So, although you may be familiar with the types of jewelry I make, I really try to design it in a way which makes it uniquely me.

Love the colors on this bracelet. It's also
the first time I've seen a dreamcatcher 
bracelet - it's beautiful!

2. What is your favorite thing to make?

I really like to do jewelry and color pencils and clay in general. I guess if I had to pick a favorite thing to make I would have to say clay effigy beads. I really love the idea of a goddess bead but the Iroquois culture doesn't really have goddesses, so I took the idea of female empowerment and made a few effigy pendants, the Corn Maiden - which is one of the three sisters, Earth Mother - who is Sky Woman's daughter, and Sky Woman - who is the first person on Earth. They are all based on the Iroquois creation story. I just love hand sculpting these little beauties from absolutely nothing but a piece of clay. I haven't made them in a long time, but I really am itching to get my hands dirty lately.

I love the combination of the clay
with the real feather!

3. What are some of your favorite pieces currently for sale in your shop?

Picking a favorite item is really hard. I actually make myself a "prototype" just so I can justify keeping one of everything I do to wear myself!

Right now I like the Earth Mother pendant with a sculpted face.

I love her sculpted face!
Such great work!

Also, the black and white stone pendant with pheasant feathers.

I'm loving the beautiful stone
with the feathers!

And my Indian corn earrings.

Perfect for fall! And even more
perfect for Thanksgiving!
Hostess gifts, anyone?

4. Can you tell us 3 fun facts about yourself?
  • I have been selling my jewelry since I was about 11 at pow wows.
  • Much to the chagrin of my husband, my apartment always looks like it spewed art and craft supplies due to my non-existent organizational skills.
  • I was commissioned by a man from Disney to do one of my double curve color pencil drawings for their Saratoga Springs Spa. I did three 12" x 12" drawings and they blew them up to 4' x 4' each and printed them on canvas to hang in their nail salon.
Probably my favorite piece - this
pendant features Jessica's beautiful
colored pencil drawing inside!

Thank you so much Jessica for give us a behind-the-scenes look at your shop! Be sure to check out Iroquois Designs on Etsy to pick up some gorgeous jewelry for yourself. They would make a wonderful gift this Christmas too! 

To keep up with everything Jessica is busy creating, be sure to visit the sites below:

If you have an Etsy shop and would like to be considered for an upcoming feature, feel free to send me an email!

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