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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Congrats to Lisa of Lisa Raspino Jewelry as this week's featured artist!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm the lone spot of estrogen in my house. I live with my husband, three kids, three dogs, guinea pig and fish -- you guessed it: all male! I'm an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I tend to run the extreme between hyper-organized (type A) and super-distracted. I hate to cook, but love to eat. I love making jewelry, but again the ADHD tends to inhibit me: I'd like to take additional classes in metal smithing, learn to use precious metal clay (PMC), stamping words onto silver disks, etc. So much to learn, so little time! :-D
How did you get started making handmade items?
As a child, I would dismantle old pieces of costume jewelry and re-fashion them into something new. In January 2005, a neighbor taught me how to string beads on flexible-yet-sturdy beading wire. From there, I expanded my designs to include wire-wrapped items (self taught).

What does a typical day look like for you?
After getting the kids off to school, I head to work for a few hours (part-time admin at a law office). Once I get off at noon, the afternoon is mine: I might shop, visit with friends, take a nap, work on my jewelry. It depends on my mood and whether or not I'm easily distracted that day. Once the kids arrive home from school, my primary job is Mom and/or Chauffeur. Fortunately, I'm a night owl, so once everyone is tucked into bed, around 9-10 p.m., the night is mine!

I was born in New Orleans, and grew up in the area surrounding it. It is the most "international" city here in the United States. The artisans here in Louisiana rival that of any other city in the world.

What is your favorite item to make?
Right now, I enjoy making the wire-wrapped briolette pendants and earrings. I also enjoy creating my bird nest pendants (one of my most popular items). However, at first the learning curve was steep. I'd make 3 or 4 before I'd finally come up with one that met my standards. Now, I usually get it right the first try.

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
I love all seafood: fish, crabs (boiled or softshell), boiled crawfish, chargrilled oysters, lobster...

Any other information you'd like us to know?

I'm a founding member of Handmade Louisiana. I studied metalsmithing with Alan Hill (formerly of Symmetry Jewelers in New Orleans). I teach religion on Monday nights to 10th grade Catholic teens. I have a bachelors in Drama/Communications from the University of New Orleans and a Masters in Organizational Development from George Mason University. It took 11 years of college for me to realize that I prefer to work with my hands - ha ha!

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Winners from last week's giveaway are: Jessica, Susanmeep, SkiptheLaundry, Kiddo, Christina, & Alexandra. Congrats & thanks for participating!!

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