Monday, March 24, 2008

salt & paper by Natalie Wedeking


Natalie Wedeking, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Brand: salt & paper
Shop: saltandpaper.etsy.com
Fawn boutique in Salt Lake City, Utah

I was trying to think of the best way to describe Natalie's work and the words "preppy Caribbean" were the first ones to surface. I always get weary when it comes to the write-up, in fear that the artist will read it and say what the hell is this girl smoking!?! Whatever wacky term I come up with, the bottom line is - her jewelry collection is a breath of fresh air!

I'm inspired by mostly non-jewelry things: good package design, poster art, old marimekko patterns, William Morris wallpapers, Scandinavian folk art, prefab housing, old book covers, vintage signage - pretty much anything made before 1975.

I love how her work is polished and at the same time gives off a certain playfulness as she sprinkles hints of bold shapes and uninhibited use of vibrant hues throughout the collection.


The graphic sensibility of my "day job" finds its way into my salt & paper work, and getting off the computer to design with clay and beads probably keeps me from getting carpal tunnel syndrome.


1. What do you call yourself? (e.g., Independent designer, crafter, maker, artist) A designer/craftsperson because I design and make all my jewelry - and often I make components such as pendants or beads entirely from scratch.


2. What inspires you? How do you get past crafter's block? I'm inspired by mostly non-jewelry things: good package design, poster art, old marimekko patterns, William Morris wallpapers, Scandinavian folk art, prefab housing, old book covers, vintage signage - pretty much anything made before 1975. Being immersed in graphic/package design for my day job means I'm always visually "on". And the things I love in graphic design - flat color, patterning, unusual color combinations - show up in my jewelry work.

Because I don't create jewelry full-time I don't really get crafter's block. I usually have a long list of ideas that I want to try when I finally get time to sit down and work.


3. What tool(s) can't you live without? round-nosed pliers and my olfa knife

4. Who is your idol, current craft-crush? I don't have any specific craft crushes but there are some great talents on etsy and I love to shop surf there to see what's going on.


5. How long have you been doing this? I've been making jewelry for myself and friends for years. I started taking it more seriously, as a focused line, about a year ago. And I've been working with polymer clay, off and on, for the past 15 years. Now I'm excited about combining it with metal, leather and other materials.


6. Where did you learn your craft? I'm completely self-taught.

7. Do you do this full-time? If not, what pays the bills? salt & paper is part-time, but it meshes nicely with my full-time work. I am a self-employed package/graphic designer and I really love what I do. I design food and beverage packaging, paper goods and all kinds of other things for a variety of clients. The graphic sensibility of my "day job" finds its way into my salt & paper work, and getting off the computer to design with clay and beads probably keeps me from getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

... the nature of the clay takes over and the end results are unpredictable and very interesting.


8. How would you describe your style? Graphic mixed-media. I combine leather, metal, plastic, glass, stone and polymer clay to make my jewelry. I like to keep things colorful. polymer clay, the way I use it, lends itself to abstract florals and flat, graphic patterns like woodgrain. I layer it almost like paint, often very precisely and geometrically, but in flattening and finishing a piece, the nature of the clay takes over and the end results are unpredictable and very interesting.

6 comments:

Melissa said...

Lovely....I am loving your interviews and the fun questions. I am hooked on heart handmade!
xo
Melissa

MARICHELLE said...

Hi Melissa, thank you so much!

katsai said...

beautiful work! Both the blog itself and all the featured artists are just great. Thanks for introducing me to such excellent new (to me) handmade-ers. Fantastico!!

MARICHELLE said...

Bonnie, thanks for browsing around!

eileen said...

I am relatively new on Etsy, but salt & paper was one of the first stand outs, in my exploration. I think you do great work and have taken polymer in a completely new and fresh direction.

saltandpaper said...

thanks so much eileen - your feedback is important to me.
and thanks to Marichelle for the great article!