Well, yes, I am finally back from holiday. From lingering around with no purpose, from my seaside trips and dreams. And with that, comes a new series of inspiring interviews with creative people from Romania and from around the world. Today, we have as honored guest Veronica, speaking actually with the voice of three. Together with her husband and mother, they are creating steam-punk and wire jewelry, as well as beautiful sewn items. I have been following Veronica’s work for quite some time and I am very glad to have the chance to get to know her better. Hope you will enjoy her visit, too.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Name, age, education and artistic background.
My name is Veronica, a.k.a. FB Ronnie. My shop, FB Ronnie – Handmade features three different people: myself (the steampunker :-)), my husband, Stefan, Camell WireWorks (the wire magician :-)) and my mother, Ghizela, ZumiElla (the seamstress:-)). I am a sociologist, working in human resources field; my husband is in IT business and my mother is retired now – we three own this small family business together, a business which (we hope) will grow to be sustainable so that we could quit our day jobs and spend our time creating and participating in craft fairs.
You design and create extraordinary steampunk jewelry, but also accessories and decore items. How and when did you discover your passion and how was the road this far?
Speaking only for myself, I always had an artistic calling. I started as a child, making dresses and accessories for the dolls. Then I loved to draw and paint. Then I tried some poetry. Next I discovered computer graphics and 3D animation. Finally, two years ago I started to create handmade jewelry and decorations. And I’m always interested in new ways to express myself.
What aspect of your craft appeals to you the most and why? How does this keep you on your way?
I love to improvise. To try new combinations of materials and new techniques. I cannot follow a tutorial without thinking of new ways of working. This is why I’ve chosen steampunk – because I have this liberty to combine things, to discover ideas and items I can use in my creation process.
How is it for an crafter like you to live, work and create in Romania? Any challenges you face? Maybe some advantages?
For now, this artistic part of my life is only a hobby. I have a day job, so does my husband. But we have this small business too – something that we’ll hope someday will sustain us. We create and sell our products online or in local craft shows. To be honest, business is slow. Maybe it’s this crisis, I don’t know. We can’t afford to quit our day jobs yet. But, who knows? We’ll try to attend some craft shows in Hungary and Austria too. To see how it works there.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Well, everything inspires me. Really. I always have to have some paper and a pen with me just to draw sketches for my future products. Sometimes I even dream them, I can see them unfolding in my dreams. Movies are also a source and books too. And other people’s creations – but never as in copy/paste, but rather to step forward, to try it another way.
How does your studio look like? What do you need to get that creativity flowing?
Our studio is on our balcony. Me and my husband work there near our little desks. All the materials are arranged by color or type. The tools are at hand. In the evenings, after work and mostly on weekends, we would stay there, listen to our favorite music and talking, while we create our products. My mother lives elsewhere, and she sews her bags and purses in her little apartment.
Do you think you will be doing this for a long time? If you wouldn’t be an artisan, what would you be?
I really don’t know. When I started to create this handmade jewelry I didn’t think I’ll be making a living out of this. That idea came after some time, when I started to sell my products and started to receive special orders. In the beginning it was a mean to spend some free time after work. Now I hope It will grow into a sustainable business. But if it won’t, I guess I’ll continue with my career as a sociologist or human resources specialist.
What do you plan or dream for your future?
I would love to quit my day job, to rent a little place in the center of my town, where to build a little cozy shop and a workshop in the back. I’d love to spend my days creating and selling my products, close to my family.
What is your most treasured handmade possession?
Some wire jewelry created for me by my husband. I love his work and wear it on every occasion. I also have some I created myself, some items that are hard to be separated from, that are close to my heart. I also have some handmade items I bought from craft shows or were given to my by my friends.
What advice would you give to an aspiring crafter?
To learn and grow. To evolve and to find a personal style. To try new techniques and materials. To try to break out creation boundaries. And to trust themselves.
I just had to add the owl statement necklace in this post, to good to miss out on it.
Hope you enjoyed Veronica’s story and getting to know her. And since the Internet is such a big place, here are just some links where you can find her, if you’d like: Etsy shop, website, Facebook and blog. Do go and say hi.
It’s good to be back. See you again next week, with another dose of handmade fun and creativity hopscotch.