10 Questions for Woodworking Artist Jamie Yocono

Woodworker, Jamie Yocono

Woodworker, Jamie Yocono

Meet Woodworking Artist Jamie Yocono. She began her woodworking career earning a bachelors degree in Furniture Design at Ohio University. Fast forward hundreds of projects later, in 2004 Jamie managed to do something no one else has done; open a successful Woodworking school in Las Vegas.

Her industrial sized space in North Las Vegas, Wood It Is!,  offers classes, open shop work space, and an area to build her own custom projects for clients.

blog question 1

Everywhere! Nature, museums, even just walking around the casinos here in town gives me tons of ideas for my work. I’ve grown really fond of tribal artwork, so lately I’ve been studying and reading about petroglyphs and hieroglyphics. Ancient doodles – how cool!

Carving for a custom headboard by Jamie Yocono

Carving for a custom headboard by Jamie Yocono

Finished custom bed with hand carving by Jamie Yocono

Finished custom bed with hand carving by Jamie Yocono

On a related note – check out Mark Del Guidice’s website: http://www.markdelguidice.com. He’s one of my all time favorite woodworkers, and he incorporates his own hieroglyphics into his pieces. His work approaches perfection, in my mind.

question 2

When I was a younger, starving artist – I always dreamed about having a large studio, with every tool I needed right there at my disposal. These days, I actually have two work spaces – one for wood and one for my ceramic work. It’s a dream come true, but – be careful what you wish for!

Jamie at Wood It Is

Jamie at Wood It Is!

There is a joy to be found in having everything right at your fingertips. In my case, having two studios often means that a tool I need at one place is often sitting on a bench at the other shop!

Still – my studios are large, well equipped and afford me all the space I need to create. Especially in my ceramic studio – the walls and shelves are covered with past and present projects. I’m a big fan of full sized sketches, and try to keep most of them for future reference. At any given time – you’ll find pots or handmade tile in various stages of drying, and glaze color tests adorning the walls. It’s truly my favorite “spot” for creating, it just feels very cozy and perfect for inspiration.

It’s hard to describe – but because my woodshop is used by so many students, it feels much less intimate to me. It’s a full time job to keep everything maintained – and those tools feel like old friends by now. So – my woodshop is all about function and providing space for all the projects that pile up. I’m in awe when I think about all the wood and sawdust that is generated – and then when I see the finished pieces that built – it just blows me away. This is definitely a place where “the dance of doing” rules.

ques3

I guess that would depend on your definition of success! Are we talking dollars, or feeding our creative soul!?

Tiled Bench by Jamie Yocono

Tiled Bench by Jamie Yocono

A few years ago, I built three pieces for the Saudi royal family; that was a total “thrill-build” – they’re all sitting in palaces somewhere.  But I think my favorite pieces are the tiled benches that I build. They look like a typical bench that would fit perfectly at the foot of a bed, but that particular design has morphed over the years into something really special – something that I truly enjoy building. Each one is different, and amazing.

These benches are actually cleverly disguised lateral filing cabinets – perfect for a home office. Almost everyone needs a filing cabinet, but traditional filing cabinets are awful looking – who can blame anyone for wanting to hide them?

Another one of Jamie's tiled benches

Another one of Jamie’s tiled benches

The first version of my benches featured solid raised panels of wood – and although they were gorgeous, I dreamed of adding color. That’s when my tile making gene kicked in. I started tiling the fronts of these benches – with murals or custom geometric designs – whatever my clients request. Each chest is like a small canvas on which I paint – and I couldn’t be happier coming up with new versions. Something that I never tire of making is truly a success in my mind!

blog question 4

Honestly, I’d just have to say there is not enough time in the day to do everything I want. I’ve kept every sketchbook I’ve ever used – I probably have forty of them on a bookshelf in my studio, and they’re filled with future designs to build. In a perfect world, I would have a chance to build everything I’ve sketched.  The biggest joy? That’s hard to say, but it’s possibly the simple satisfaction of a job well done,be it large or small. At the end of a day, I can see what I’ve done. A lot of people can’t say that about their work.

another question

That’s an easy one – Oatmeal/chocolate chip. Chewy, not crunchy.

tool

This is going to sound crazy – but I hate to measure anything!

My eyes have been trained to “see” things perfectly, and they give me better proportions and scale than any tape measure. Still  – I have to cut and machine things accurately when building, so my set of Lee Valley Set-Up blocks help me more than any other tool in my shop.

Armoire by Jamie Yocono

Armoire by Jamie Yocono

do

I’m almost embarrassed to say this – but I listen to rap almost exclusively. The frenzy and tempo work well with the pace I keep in the shop. There’s nothing like sanding to Eminem, or ripping wood to Jay-Z. It has to be loud and fast, if I want to get anything done!

could-you

Handmade ceramic tiles by Jamie Yocono

Handmade ceramic tiles by Jamie Yocono

There are too many!

I use the internet for everything from driving directions to repair information. But I would say my one “go-to” site is All-Experts, where you can write to an expert in any given field and get help with something.

I’ve been a woodworking expert there since 2000, and have answered over 1700 wood-related questions. But more importantly – I’ve written to other experts there and learned everything from how to repair my clothes dryer to what those funny looking circles are that you see when flying in an airplane. (Crop irrigation circles)

Have a question about anything? Legal stuff? Gardening? Car repair? Computers? Health stuff?

Try this: http://www.allexperts.com

question 1

Find your niche and perfect it. I don’t care whether you’re making mugs or mantles, learn everything you can about them. And then make yours better.

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s a huge mistake to diversify too much. You can’t be building a bedroom set one week, and then turning bowls the next. You will never become proficient in either. So hone your skills down into one particular area, and become the best.

blog question7

Like so many artists, I use Esty for selling my work. I joined Etsy without many expectations, but it’s been an incredible resource for selling my work. Here’s my store:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Wooditis

The sad part about being a furniture maker is that most people want to see and touch what they’re purchasing. And shipping is a huge obstacle, with high costs. So I’ve found that my ceramic work sells much better online than the larger pieces I build.

My website (http://www.wooditis.com) features many of my past and current projects, and it’s allowed me to connect with people all over the world – not just buyers, but other woodworkers. The world really became a much smaller place with the Internet, and I love the connections I’ve made.

I thank Jamie for taking the time out of her busy day, (and it is really busy!) to answer my questions. Head on over to her site to see more of what she’s up to .

 

Meet Mixed Media Artist, Michelle Nascimento

Mixed Media Artist, Michelle Nascimento

Mixed Media Artist, Michelle Nascimento

Michelle likes to call herself a mixed media artist who lives a life full of fantasy. Her Etsy store Misanthropycreations reflects her talent for bringing interesting pieces to life. Nothing in Michell’s shop is mass produced, each item is made with love and care.

Although Michelle was originally from New England, she now lives in South West Florida.

blog question 1

Antique Vintage Blue Flower Ring by Misanthropy Creations

Antique Vintage Blue Flower Ring by Misanthropy Creations

I’ve always crafted. I believe it started when my grandmother taught me how to crochet as a child. I always had an overwhelming feeling to keep my hands busy. I call myself a mixed media artist. I’m always trying to find uses for discarded house hold objects.
I find color inspirations from:
Under the sea.
In the sky.
Science fiction movies, television shows, books and magazines.I also find inspiration from crafts stores. I could spend hours upon hours just walking around and getting ideas while looking at the supplies and then purchasing them to follow those ideas through to completion. Love and friendship are also huge inspirations for me as well. It’s such a great feeling to give someone a gift that you made and see their face knowing that you made that item.

question 2

I have slowly dedicate my life to my craft. So I will tell you about how my work space has evolved! I first started off on my coffee table in my living room, to the kitchen table for a little bit more space and one book shelf for storage. Now I have an entire spare room of my home set up and organized. A work station, a shipping station and a computer desk. I have a storage closet and lots of shelving now! I love my little craft room/office. It is my happy place!

ques3

Eyeball Brass Ring,  by Misanthropy Creations

Eyeball Brass Ring, by Misanthropy Creations

I would have to say my eyeball rings. They were a huge seller this past Halloween and they are very popular all year round. I even had a customer buy two and used them for their wedding rings! I was super excited the day I received that email as you can imagine!

blog question 4

This is a really easy question and I think it is something that a lot of jewelry makers come across naturally. My biggest frustration is buying supplies that don’t work out. Neglecting to read descriptions because I was too tired and purchasing the wrong thing. As well as wanting to purchase all the supplies in your line of sight. I get so many ideas when I shop for supplies that I get easily discouraged and frustrated and I will have to come back to it because I literally want to buy everything I see and make everything all at once right there and then.
As for my biggest joy, that would be customer feedback. I love to hear that customers are happy with a product that I made with my own hands. It’s a huge compliment!

Question 5 of 10

Oatmeal Raisin. The reason being because I am a very sweet but also very down to earth, reasonable and logical.

tool

Neon Earrings, by Michelle

Neon Earrings, by Misanthropy Creations

My hands. I like to get right in there and get dirty! Sometimes you just need to put down all the tools and use your fingers instead. I’ve glued my fingers together by accident many times but it always pays off in the end. I hardly even use brushes when I do my eye make up, I always use my fingers! Like Honey Boo Boos momma says “Hands are your best utensils.” …Did I just say that?!

do

I don’t normally listen to music but I will usually have the X-Files or Fringe on TV as background noise unless my boyfriend is playing video games then I’m listening to that. Maybe I should listen to music more often!

could-you

I just learned about Ping O Matic the other day while researching. I am always trying to learn new things. I came across this on a blog.
pingomatic.com/
It helps drive more traffic to your blog posts and I thought that was really neat.

question 1

I’d say that chances are your not going to make it big in a day, a week or even a year. Don’t waste your time or resources if you aren’t serious and are not willing to put 110% in every day. I bust my butt everyday because it is what makes me truly happy and not because I think I am going to be a millionaire one day. If that’s your deal then you might want to research other hobby!

blog question7

Long Brass Bicycle Necklace by Misanthropy Creations

Long Brass Bicycle Necklace by Misanthropy Creations

My main shop is on Etsy.
www.misanthropycreations.etsy.com
But I also have a Storenvy:
mis_anthropy.storenvy.com/
You can also find me on the following networking sites…
Twitter:
twitter.com/#!/DIYartBlog
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003014817110
Stumble
www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/manthropy
Pinterest:
pinterest.com/diyblog/
We Heart It:
weheartit.com/misanthropycreations
Wanelo:
@misanthropycreations
Instagram:
@misanthropycreations

10 Questions for Jewelry Artist, Lisa

Jewelry Designer Lisa

Jewelry Designer Lisa

Lisa lives in Gloucester, England and has a thriving on-line Etsy store, Listiques. She makes her unique jewelry from recycled items.

After taking apart the items she finds at charity stores, the process of reassembling the beads, charms, chain and fasteners yields one of her wonderfully creative jewelry pieces. Lisa says “I  love to re-use and there are so many beautiful things out there just waiting to be given a new lease of life!”

blog question 1

I am very inspired by current trends in fashion and style as well as vintage and antique items. I love a whole mixture of these things and love to blend them together. I also am a huge fan of animals and nature and these things are one of my favourite things to capture in jewellery.

question 2

I have a small work space in my living room which is usually a little cluttered with fabric scraps and beads and buttons. I have my favourite pictures on the wall above my craft space which is a whole mixture of things that keep me inspired.

ques3

Felt flower Collar Necklace by Lisa

Felt flower Collar Necklace by Lisa

I think my most successful item was my first Felt Flower Collar Necklace. I absolutely love florals and this piece inspired me to continue to make jewellery using felt and fabric. Felt and fabric items are now my favourite things to make and are now really gaining popularity in my shop. I think to start with people were a little confused by the idea of jewellery made from fabric, it is unusual, but now i’m selling more and more fabric items.

blog question 4

My biggest frustration is not having as much time as I would like to sit and make jewellery! I work at a secondary school and fitting in jewellery making around it can be tough but I love making jewellery so I squeeze it in wherever I can :).

My biggest joy is listing something new and seeing people’s reactions. I think of my facebook page (facebook.com/listiques) almost like a blog, it’s now gained more followers and they are very supportive and positive. It really helps me to be motivated and keeps me on the right track.

another question

I think I would have to be something uber chocolatey, or else something with cinnamon, apple and raisons :)

tool

It’s something simple but something I use everyday which are my scissors! They are particularly sharp and are fab for cutting fiddly nooks and corners. Without them, Listiques jewellery would be much harder to make!

do

I sometimes listen to music when jewellery making but I tend to prefer to have the TV on in the background. I don’t really watch it, and it doesn’t really matter what channel or programme is on. I think the general murmur of voices sort of puts me in a zone!

could-you

For me it would be www.spoonflower.com
It’s an amazing resource for anyone who uses fabrics in their craft, though they also make wallpaper! I love spoonflower so much because every piece of fabric on the site has been designed by someone like you or me. I think its wonderful to support small designers in this way, not to mention the fact that the designs are endless, unique and amazing! I have started to list my own designs on Spoonflower, which is such fun because I can now make exclusive Listiques designs. It’s great for times when you can’t quite find what you wanted, you can just make your own fabric!

question 1

Children's Stacking Bangles by Lisa

Children’s Stacking Bangles by Lisa

I think that you have to love what you do, take it day by day and take your time to build things up. It takes time! And that’s OK. I can’t recommend the Etsy community enough for their help, advice and support. If you’re struggling with something they are a brilliant collective of people and there is always someone that can answer your questions or direct you to something that can help.

blog question7

Listiques is now available to buy in a gorgeous handmade only shop called The Arter in Stratford Upon Avon in the UK which I am very excited about!I also have a facebook page where I show new items before they make it onto Etsy. I also run regular giveaway competitions and share any Listiques news.
www.facebook.com/listiquesI have a Blog also, where I share fab craftspeople, have articles on fashion and do some DIY tutorials.
www.listiques.wordpress.com
Felt Hummingbird Necklace by Lisa

Felt Hummingbird Necklace by Lisa

We thank Lisa for taking the time to answer our questions, take a look what else she’s up to at her Etsy store Listiques!

Ten questions for woodworker, John Eugster

blog question 1

It seems that most of my work begins with a need (either real or imagined) and then my mind begins to design something to fulfill it.  The other main inspiration would be the challenge of the project.  Perhaps I read about a technique someone else has done or see a picture and it challenges me to try it in my own work. 

tell

I have about half of a 3 car garage.  In the single car side I have my work bench permanently placed along with two assembly areas.  The tools I use the most are close at hand and the large, power equipment is on wheels and moved as needed.

ques3

I’d like to think that whatever my latest project is, that’s my most successful!  I’ve attached an image of what I call the “Ram’s Horn Table” which was successful in that I was allowed lots of artistic freedom.  My dining chair was accepted into the Design In Wood competition so that makes it a success too.  As far as picture frames go the attached, hand carved, 22kt. frame is my best.

blog question 4

There’s no greater joy than completing a project and feeling as if you fulfilled all of the requirements for it.  This is especially true when a client tells me that.  Frustrations are part of the creative process, the wood may not behave as I think it should, tools may balk, ideas may not pan out, and so on; but the challenge of overcoming these things is what keeps me at it.

blog question 6Cat! See attached photo. 

tool

My favorite tool is my Lie-Nielsen, bronze smoothing plane.  It’s probably the best money can buy and I was able to afford with the proceeds from a job.  My initial response to this question was “my hands”.  Without the ability to use them properly even the best tool is worthless!

do

My radio is on constantly.  Primarily Christian Rock because I get inspiration from it.  Second favorite is classic rock from the 60’s.  With either genre I’ll generally sing along and if the song’s particularly moving will stop work to sing.

one-piece

Unless you’re in that rare percentage of those who can make a full time living from this craft be content to just enjoy the process of what you’re doing.  My focus is on challenging myself with any project that comes my way.  Marketing is a full time endeavor and I’d just as soon build on a smaller scale.  If you’re after a full time, production shop your focus will have to match that.  My personal goal is to continue to challenge and improve my work.  I’ve adopted the saying that all I want to do is be able to feed my wood addiction with my craft.


could-you

I can’t think of a favorite, I have many websites in my favorites from noted woodworkers that I go to for inspiration when I’m in the planning stages.  Fine Woodworking has technical forums that I use too.

blog question7

 

 If you would like to be featured in our “Ten Questions”, email us with a link to your site.