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Handmade Seller Interview: Fleur de Carotte

Fleur de Carotte ceramic vase

This week’s interview is with U.K.-based Amandine from Fleur de Carotte, who creates tactile, unique & colourful jewellery and ceramics. My favourite pieces are the ‘female artists’ vases – especially Virginia Woolf (shown above).

I’ll now let Amandine tell you more about herself and her art:

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am Amandine, I am French and I have lived in the UK for the last 6 years. I currently live in Brighton, ten minutes away on foot from the beach!

How did you get started in your handmade business?

My handmade business started with making and selling leather jewellery as well as handprinted textile goods. Then I fell in love with ceramics and started to sell my ceramic vases and jewellery, which is my main focus now.  I am mainly self-taught and I have learnt these skills through experimenting. My jewellery is inspired by nature and the Art Deco movement. My ceramics are whimsical, playful and created from my own illustrations.

Fleur de Carotte necklace

What first made you want to become an artist/craftsperson?

I love learning new crafts, and over the past seven years I have practised and experimented in embroidery, dressmaking, weaving, screenprinting on textile and ceramics. I think I found my medium with ceramics – the possibilities are endless and the hidden illustrator inside me can reveal itself on a more playful surface than paper!

Apart from crafts, what do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I love to dance to latino music, go out with friends, have naps in the sunshine, read, do some weaving, sketch new ideas, learn a new language and travel!

How long have you been creating art/crafts and how long have you been selling online?

I have been drawing, painting and making things since forever, however I started to sell my designs online on Etsy in February 2015. Before that, I sold some jewellery pieces informally to friends and acquaintances.

Fleur de Carotte wip 1

How many different places do you sell from?

I choose to only sell from Etsy (http://www.fleurdecarotte.etsy.com) as it is easier, although I also have my own beautiful website showing all of my work in its entirety: http://www.fleurdecarotte.org

How did you come up with your shop name?

Fleur de Carotte means carrot flower in French. The flower part represents for me a connection with nature and feminity. The carrot part is because I used to dye my hair in ginger and some friends called me carrot! And overall carrot flowers are beautiful, wild flowers that live in many fields.

Fleur de Carotte mermaid dish

What is your favourite part of your handmade business?

I love the moment when I style and photograph my products – seeing the final result when you know that it all started with some sketches and clay only is very very satisfying! I also really enjoy all steps of the whole making process in general in ceramics and jewellery making.

What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?

The first tool is my hands – I could not draw, paint, cut, or mould without them! The second tool is my banding wheel for handshaping and glazing my planters – the banding wheel allows you to turn your vase in any direction which is very useful when giving shape to something or painting some details on. The third tool would be my leather rotary cutter – I use this cutter to very neatly and carefully cut small intricate leather shapes like the leaves of my Twig necklace.

Fleur de Carotte wip 2

If you had the opportunity to learn one more craft you don’t already do, what would it be?

I would like to have a go at lost wax carving to make bronze, silver or gold jewellery. But I know that if I try, I will fall in love with it and that will be another addiction which will prevent me from staying focused on my craft!

What’s the most difficult part of your craft?

When it comes to ceramics, patience and not wanting to be in control is the key. I am fine with the fact that the results are a surprise and you have to satisfy yourself with the inherent little imperfections, however the worst is when a kiln breaks down and you have to fulfill a wholesale order by a certain deadline… I am trying to explain to stockists that deadlines have to be relaxed with ceramics!

Favourite Websites · Handmade Seller Interviews

Handmade Seller Interview: The Eddy Line Co.

The Eddy Line 6

This week’s interview is with U.S.-based Lauren Mooney from The Eddy Line Co, who creates gorgeous art & accessories using a range of processes; embroidery, dyeing and weaving. The wall hangings in particular have really caught my eye!

Now I will hand over to Lauren to tell you more:

Tell us a bit about yourself:

How did you get started in your handmade business?

I actually got my degree in photography, but my process was dependent on having a dark room which I didn’t have after art school. I knew it was very important for me to keep making in some way after school and ended up ordering a loom on Etsy just to try it out. I made one small weaving and was immediately flooded with ideas. I kept experimenting from there and just continue making and trying new ideas out.

What first made you want to become an artist/craftsperson?

I have always loved making, but I don’t know that I ever saw it as a career that I could have. I think the feeling I get when I’m working is what has kept me on the path of being an artist. It is fun and freeing and ever changing.

Apart fom crafts, what do you like to do in your spare time?

When I’m not making, I love to be outside. We live in the mountains right on the side of a river, so going boating with my person or hiking with our dog, Mabel, is at the top of the to-do list.

The Eddy Line 8

How long have you been creating art/crafts and how long have you been selling online?

I have been into creating and making since I was small, and have tried a few different mediums. I used to think I wanted to be a baker and did that on my own for a little bit, then tried jewelry making, went to school for photography (which I still love!) and right now I’m doing fiber/textile arts. We opened The Eddy Line Co. on Etsy in September 2016.

How many different places do you sell from?

Right now we only sell on Etsy at TheEddyLineCo.

The Eddy Line 9

In ten years, where would you like to be?

The Eddy Line Co. was originally started as an shared idea with my guy, Jonny. I was going to make art and home goods and he would make furniture. As we are just starting out, he is continuing his normal job while I work on the art side. The ultimate goal, however, is that we will be working together making our handcrafted art pieces and furniture. And hopefully in less than 10 years!

Have any pets?

We have a crazy, sweet french bulldog named Mabel. She is our third wheel and the sweetest studio assistant I could hope for.

Do you collect anything?

I collect river glass whenever we go hiking along the creeks or waterways where we live. I have jars and jars of it in our house.

The Eddy Line 1

How did you come up with your shop name?

The main stream of a river flows in one direction while the eddy flows in the other. The seam where these two opposing currents meet forms the “eddy line”. Our intention is to create handmade goods for your life that are one of a kind, well made pieces – just outside of the mainstream.

Do you have any particular sale that stands out in your memory? Why?

We were sitting on the couch one night and I just happened to check the shop to see if we had sold anything and we had! I looked over at Jonny and said “we sold a weaving!” He immediately hugged me, cried (although if anyone asks he may deny it haha) and told me that he was so proud and he knew we were going to make it. The woman who bought the piece sent us the sweetest message and even sent a picture of the weaving in her house after she got it.

That was a very special moment, but I’ll be honest, as makers I’m pretty sure we remember every one of those sales. There is always a happy dance involved. It means the world to us when people support the dream that we are trying to live.

The Eddy Line 2

^ And this is the very first weaving that sold!