Friday, March 11, 2011

Artisan Feature - Shadow Dog Designs

I am happy to feature a wonderful artisan today, I have been following her for a few months or more now and love each new piece of jewelry she post in her Artfire shop............

Catherine:  Shadow Dog Designs
Shadow Dog Designs, Unique Handmade Jewelry

How long have you been doing your art/craft for?
When growing up, my family didn't have much money, so we always made Christmas and birthday gifts for each other, handmade Christmas ornaments for the tree and I sewed my own clothes.  So making things with my hands always came naturally.  When I used to visit my Grandmother for the summers, she always had a pile of her jewelry for me to restring, wonderful old crystal jewelry (that I wish I had now!).  In college I used to make simple trade bead and leather chokers and sold them.  But it wasn't until about 11 year ago, when a friend and I stumbled into the brand new bead shop that had opened in the town near where we lived in Virginia, that the light bulb came on.  A wall of gemstones drew me like a magnet.  I was hooked big time!

What inspires and influences your work?
Nature is the biggest influence in my work!  Just working with the stones and letting them "talk" to me :)  My husband and I are lucky to live on an island in the Low Country of South Carolina and Nature virtually surrounds us.  When my Muses are on holiday, I take the shadow dogs for a walk or sit on our porch overlooking the marsh and just water what is going on and am inspired again.  I also love to travel and the colors of the landscapes are also a huge inspiration.   You just never know when those ideas are going to pop up!
Dolphin Charm Fine Silver Amazonite Handmade One of a Kind Bracelet

Where can you artwork/pieces be found?
My jewelry can be found in a gallery in Virginia, one in Texas and at a holistic healing store here on the island.  I also do quite a few shows and home shows.  The Spring show season is about to ramp up - have quite a few shows on the schedule!

What do you do when you're not creating?
I love to be outside when not creating.  There's a small park down at the end of the road that has a pier that juts out over a tidal creek.  The shadow dogs and I go down there and hang out quite a bit.  You never know what you are going to see:  maybe otters, dolphins, sharks, all sorts of birds.  Reading is a huge passion and I usually have several books going at once.  Riding my bicycle, gardening, birding are others.  Although since opening my ArtFire studio, I sure don't seem to have time for these like I used to!  Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm going to have to budget my time better :)
Fossil Coral Turquoise Sterling Handmade One of a Kind Dangle Earrings

What is your favorite piece(s) that you have created?
Gosh, that's a hard question!  Any piece that was inspired by my trip last summer to Australia last summer is a favorite.  There is one piece in my studio right now, "Red Centre", that screams Australia and is a definite favorite.  Another favorite piece is the first one sold many years ago at the gallery in Virginia - a turquoise and pearl creation.  All pieces are favorites, however, in their own way.

Why did you create this piece(s)?
The "Red Centre" necklace so captures the colors of the land around Alice Springs, Australia in the Northern Territory.  The mountains and rocks and soil are amazing colors of reds and ochres with yellows and whites.  The focal in "Red Centre" reminds me of a haunting place my friend and I visited at sundown called Rainbow Valley.  Whenever I look at the piece, I can almost re-live the sensation of being there.
Earthy Noreena Jasper Red Flake Handmade One of a Kind Necklace

What do you feel is special about your art/craft?
My pieces are all one-of-a-kind creations (except for Christmas earrings).  I use the best, most interesting stones I can find with the highest quality fine silver, sterling silver, copper or brass findings.  Each piece is named, which customers seem to love.  I also included two drop tags with each necklace:  one with the name and the other describing what materials were used and also the "language of the stones".  Am hoping the good mojo I always feel when creating imbues the pieces with a lot of joy.
Spotted Jasper Teardrop Copper Silver Handmade One of a Kind Earrings

Are there other forms of art and crafts you would like to learn? And why?
I would dearly love to learn silversmithing.  The idea of setting stones in my own designs, especially pendants, is so appealing.  Also the ability to make really cool clasps.  I admire people who work with watercolors.  Have tried watercolor painting a long time ago - was horrible at it.  Maybe now, who knows?
Bronze Leaf Rhyolite Pearls Copper Handmade One of a Kind Necklace

How did you name your business?
About 10 years ago, when I decided I needed a name for my business, I decided to name it to honor my two shadow dogs, Chase and Loki.  Chase, a hound/lab X, is now a grand 15 years old and Loki, a Gordon Setter, is 12.  They both were adopted from the SPCA near where we lived in Virginia.  A third dog arrived when we moved to Texas, Mesa, a stray who came to stay.  All three are fabulous dogs and follow me around pretty much everywhere.  Mesa especially loves to sleep at my feet when I'm on the computer or on the bed at night.

Links to find Shadow Dog Designs online 


Catherine said...

Thank you so very much, Chrissy, for taking the time to do this! I'm truly honored! Will share with everyone I know! :)

Kristi Bowman said...

Awesome interview Catherine, great to hear your story and see your pretty jewelry!!

Linda Landig said...

Wonderful interview, Catherine. I love seeing talented artists get the spotlight shining on them and their great work. I enjoyed learning more about you!

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