Friday, April 1, 2011

"A Day in the Life with Trish”

I am always intrigued when I see artisans crafting out of materials that in MY mind just don’t make sense.  I mean, there are so many artistic people in the world and so many different materials that the sky is the limit to what you can find out there.  And when I come across someone like that, I figure I just have to get them to do an interview for us.  Tell me if you saw the words “geometric", "abstract", and "shrink plastic”, wouldn’t that get your attention?  It got mine, so today we’re gonna take a look at

Trish, owner of 
Lines and Shapes Jewelry Shop 

Duuude:  How long have you been making this abstract jewelry?  (I must admit, when your shop said “lightweight shrink plastic”, I became very curious)

Trish:  I got interested in shrink plastic jewelry when I randomly found an Etsy seller (brokenfingersart) who makes it.  I really liked her designs, I bought one of her necklaces, and sometimes I just get obsessed with an idea and can't stop until I do it...sometimes in life this creates problems for me, haha, but in this case, it was a good thing.  I tried first just copying designs or patterns that I liked just for practice (not for sale) and then people started to tell me "hey you could sell that" so I thought, ok I better start thinking of some of my own I began selling jewelry sometime in October or November of 2010.  I had the seller name "brooklynbags" because I previously had bags for sale, but I couldn’t produce enough of them at that time, and I kind of stopped.  Hence my ill-fitting name currently, but that will change soon when Etsy lets us change our shop names with a new feature.
LilyPad Necklace
Duuude: What inspired you get into this area of crafting?

Trish:  I guess I kind of answered that in question 1, which means I said too much in question 1.  whoops.  But I will add, that I mostly like this form of jewelry making because it is literally a blank page on which I can draw whatever I want....using beads, findings, etc is a little limiting....I think that’s why I like shrink plastic....and its truly so light, with earrings especially I wouldn’t even know I was wearing them except that they may hit against my skin if they are particularly long...but sooo light...who needs to carry around more heavy things, especially here in New York where we commute everywhere, all day long...
Trish at a craft fair
Duuude: Tell us a little bit about your process for making these items.   

Trish:  I usually go to my favorite coffee shop and draw on regular paper, then to a copy machine to enlarge them as needed (since they will shrink in the oven)....then I draw them on the plastic, which has been well-sanded (that's key!), color them with colored pencils, cut them out (sometimes this is the most difficult part, depending on the shape!), bake them in the oven, seal them and let them sit over night and then the next day I can turn them into jewelry with chains, earring wires, jump rings, and the like.
Antenna Earrings
Duuude:  Where do you typically get your supplies?  

Trish:  I get metal supplies on Etsy for the most part....there aren’t really craft shops so much in NYC...there is a metal store in midtown Manhattan but I prefer getting supplies from Etsy sellers...
Craft Show display
Duuude:  Where do you get your ideas for your items?  

Trish:  Some of my first designs are just abstract shapes, I don’t know where they come from exactly, just doodling.  I don't consider myself any kind of illustrator, I don’t really draw well honestly, which is why I think a lot of the geometric designs have been working better and selling better.  I can use something to make all the straight lines and circles to make them really perfectly shaped.  My favorite part is the colors, and that's something I think I'm good at and enjoy very much, putting colors together.
Cotton Candy Felt Pebble Necklace
Duuude:  Where do you sell your items?

Trish:  I sell on Etsy but seem to do better at craft shows.  I have been in 3 since November 2010, and I will be in the Lexington School for the Deaf Craft Fair on Sunday May 1 in Jackson Heights from 10am to 5pm, and I recently was accepted in Pittsburgh's I Made It!  Craft Fair subtitled "South Side Works Exposed" Since it is in Pittsburgh's South Side...that will be in July, the 15th to 17th.  I'd love to do more craft fairs but they can be pretty pricey, the vendor's fees I mean.

Duuude:  Anything else you'd like us to know?  
Working hard at the show
Trish:  Hmm, well I do plan to make some changes in my career/work situation in the near future so that I will have more time to work on crafty things, and expand to different materials for jewelry.  I hope to take classes, learn more about jewelry making.  Also I have some ideas to make fabric-jewelry, just lacking time!  So basically, look for more things to come in Lines and Shapes Jewelry Shop!

Duuude:  Do you have a blog or any other sites that you are involved in that you would like to share with us, and we can link in our article?
Bunch of Leaves necklace
Trish:  I do have a blog, but I have kind of been abandoning it for the time being because of my work load in my full-time teaching is but there isn't much in it, so I don't know if it's worth mentioning.

Thanks Trish.  I have a whole new appreciation for shrink plastic.  
Now go spend some time in her shop and enjoy your Friday. 
Until next week …


Runs With Scissors said...

Terrific interview! I was so glad to see her feature. I came across her items when I did a search for circles for a treasury and was amazed at her work. Love the colors and shapes!

I have one question, Trish, how do you keep your items from curling when heated? :o) I tried baking sheets on them but still get yucky pieces.

Trisha Powell said...

hey runs with scissors,

yes the curling...well, i totally freaked out the first time i made apiece and it curled up into a little ball....but the trick is (at least with PolyShrink brand, can't speak for other brands of shrink plastic as I haven't tried them) they always curl up but they will flatten out,you just have to let them...the only problem is if it sticks to itself...then you have to pull it out of the oven, gently pull it apart, you'll hear a little sound as it separates, put it back in the oven to let it finish...occasionally a piece will be ruined, but i think that's only happened 5 times, and i've made probably over 300 pieces. also it could flip over, you just have to watch it, flip it back over..hope that helps!

Runs With Scissors said...

Thanks so much for the follow up! Makes me want to play with plastic again!

Trisha Powell said...

you should definitely give it another whirl...also the big trick is the sanding....its recommended that you stand when you sand it, so you have more power in your arms, and use a solid table not a wobbly one or a card table or something, and sand,sand,sand...first vertically,then horizontally,make sure to get the edges, then just keep sanding until when you hold it up to the light, you don't see any shiny spots...all dull....if you miss spots, or dont sand enough then the color doesnt take as well...also translucent poly shrink sands better and holds color better than clear poly is the site for the polyshrink, and they ship quickly!

Runs With Scissors said...

This is good to know! Thanks again! Going right now to check out that site!

VintageEmbellishment said...

Wow, I remember when shrinky dinks (?) first came out, I was very, very young however....LOL!

What a great way to use it now!

I do think I will stick to baking cookies however and let the more creative people (with strong backs and arms) bake the jewelry....

Wonderful info here, thanks so much for sharing it with us ♥

jj said...

well...I remember them as shrinky dinks too, but I guess I was much younger than you VE.
I used to like watching them shrink down.
Love these pendants, they really are quite beautiful.