Monday, January 26, 2009

Interview with Hare and Drum

I sat down recently and interviewed HARE AND DRUM, you can visit her lovely shop at:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a wanderer. I can't sit still: there is a need in me to constantly explore. I was born in Poland, traveled in Europe, married in Las Vegas, and now settled, or so it seems, in breathtakingly scenic Montana, with my husband and toddler son. I have the need to move, if not physically, then creatively. That's why most of my items are one of a kind effects of my whimsy.

When did you first start creating decoupage items, and what brought you to that craft?

I've never attended art school and I struggle with considering myself and artist. But I have a good eye for color and design, inherited from my grandmother and mother, an expert knitter and embroiderer respectively. Collage seemed to provide the perfect, almost instant gratification to my impatient creative soul. But I'm a creature of contradictions and have yet to fully understand myself: I cherish "stuff", collect it, love it. My "stuff" needs to last, be solid and tactile. So, about 5 years ago along came decoupage: collage reined in by solid, heavy wood, smooth finishes, utilitarian items.

What do you love the most about the items you make?

It's a warm, fuzzy feeling to know that I may be creating instant heirlooms. The utilitarian boxes and frames are solid enough and unique enough to be appreciated and to last generations.

What is something you really want to try making that you haven't yet?

I'm always full of new ideas whose realization is delayed sometimes by "technical difficulties," sometimes permanently. Right now, for example, I'm stuck in a rented condo with all its design limitations, and I know I'm not the only one itching to spruce up the putty colored walls and featureless rooms. I'm working on an idea to beautify the bland bathroom mirrors in a way that would be marketable. It's a large and a bit overwhelming project, so I have yet to fully tackle it.

If you could try another craft form, what would it be and why?

I would love to try soap making, but then, who wouldn't? Seriously, I would love to preserve the craft forms that thrived in my family. Grandma knit complex multicolored cable sweaters, Mom mastered ultra-difficult Hardanger embroidery that involves pulling individual threads out of linen, Grandpa created fabulous Christmas decorations out of straw and crepe paper. If I can't be a master in any of those, I would at least like to show my son how those things are done.

What inspires you?

I find at least three sources of inspiration that I can name. Paper, with its limitless possibilities. Nature, with its instant ideas for perfect shape and color combinations. Finally, necessity, a real mother of invention that gave rise to my best, unique pieces. For example, the need to untangle jewelry before an outing brought about my hanging jewelry boxes.

What craft item would you be lost without?

I could make glue out of egg whites and a cutting tool out of a razor, but I'm a paper-holic. I need a constant supply of beautiful paper. I need to look at it every day. It gives me a gentle buzz necessary to go through the day. I get really snappy if I'm separated from it for longer than a day. Don't stand between me and my paper!

If you had $1000 what would you buy?

Other than supplies, that is? Or the new transmission for my husband's truck?

ART. BIG. A huge painting of Orion Nebula as seen through Hubble telescope. I'd stare at it, and go to Warp speed for just a second. Where can a second in Warp take you?

In 5 yrs, where do you see yourself?

I'll be a successful entrepreneur with 2-3 lines of sought-after products that will sell in boutiques and small brick and mortar stores. I will probably have 2-3 employees working on those, as I bore too easily. Myself, I will be creating one of a kind items and offering them online. People will say to each other "Oh! You have an early Hare and Drum? Where did you get it?" Things will sell on the spot.

What? Not realistic enough? And don't tell me about the economy!

If you could give 1 piece of advice to somebody just starting out in online selling, what would it be?

Have fun creating! Sure enough, you need to promote and make yourself visible, and be patient, and do the books, and pay yourself enough, and make sure not to run out of supplies before Christmas, but above all, enjoy yourself! Only you really know how to do that.


HareAndDrum said...

Lovely! And your blog is AWESOME! Thank you so much for posting the interview.