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Friday, August 28, 2009

Member Artisan Profile: The Crafty Kind

Meet Kristin, artisan/owner of The Crafty Kind. After receiving a Murano glass pendant from Italy as a gift, she decided she wanted to learn to make them. She’s now been fusing glass for 8 years and specializes in jewelry-making supplies such as fused glass beads, cabochons, donuts and toggles.

Kristen is most inspired by color. She says, “I like making unusual color combinations that, in the end, make a great piece.”

When asked which is her favorite piece, Kristen replies, “Right now, my favorite is a focal bead set I made in Greens and Blues. Although, I am impartial and love them all! I won't sell anything I wouldn't buy myself."

Working with glass, Kristen explains, “is like working with a new material every time I make something new.” She elaborates, “if I make a design and expect it to look a certain way, it may take a totally different direction once it is fired in the kiln. Then again, I may throw something together in a minute and it looks fabulous. It's always a fun surprise.”

Her biggest challenges are the increased competition and increased material costs. “Fused glass has become so popular and there is a lot of competition to sell supplies. The price of raw fused glass has gone up, but I now sell for less, which is really sad,” she says.

She offers the following advice to other sellers: “Make things you love because if you're successful, you may be doing it for a while.” Creating your own unique look is important, too. Kristen says, “I try to make things that others don't, which is hard for a glass artist. I have signature pieces and develop new designs all of the time.”

What’s next for The Crafty Kind? “I have two daschunds and always wanted to make them sparkly accessories,” Kristen says. “I just got a metal lettering punch set, so I see that for a future project.”

Kristen recently moved to Louisiana from Florida. “I hope to develop an event production company to promote arts/crafts fairs and festivals with music,” she explains. “That is why I joined Handmade Louisiana. I recently put together a local craft club for crafters to hang out and swap techniques; we'll be meeting every month at different locations.”

She is not currently selling off-line, but hopes to have her items in a bead shop someday. In the meantime, visit her Etsy shop to view her beautiful work:


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