Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crafty Profiles: Gail's Creations


It's time for a brand new Crafty Profile! And I'm excited to introduce you to Abigail Southworth from Gail's Creations. She's an amazing artist after my own heart - specializing in upcycling electronic parts. She's based in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

And to celebrate her first showcase, she's having a sale tomorrow, January 21st!

Shop: Gail's Creations
Goods: upcycled jewelry and accessories enjoy using parts from salvaged electronics
Beyond Junk:
How did you get started as a crafter? And what sparked your interest in recycling and working with salvaged electronics?

Gail's Creations:
Getting into crafting was this sort of strange evolution for me. I transformed from a fresh college graduate to a full-time interactive designer who moonlights as a crafter in a relatively short amount of time. While the interactive design element was expected, I never saw myself as patient enough for crafting.

What really got me into it was when I was looking for a gift for my elder sister, and ended up doing a some trades with steampunk and cyberpunk artists, Northwyke Creations and (of course!) Sleepless Storyteller. I started researching steampunk and cyberpunk more and more, and got it in my head that I could somehow create one such piece. The rest is a midly clumsy history of failed attemps and successes.

When I decided to take up crafting, it never occurred to me to not work with recycled materials. Upcycling, trashion and repurposing seemed like such an obvious path to me, and I love the aesthetic. Add in my love for technology, and combining the two seemed like such a natural evolution that I never gave it a second thought.

Beyond Junk:
What inspired you to open an online store?

Gail's Creations:
Etsy was what got me into crafting, so opening a shop of my own seemed like the most obvious step for me when it seemed like what I was making was sellable. As an interactive designer, I know the costs and time necessary to keep your own hosted online store open, so I can appreciate how much of a springboard Etsy can be - it costs relatively little, and makes updating significantly easier. I anticipate eventually opening a website for my work, but will most likely still handle all transactions through Etsy.

Beyond Junk:
Do you see your work as being environmentally friendly? If so, how?

Gail's Creations:
Yes, and no. Using broken electronics and recycled jewelry means i'm taking away what would be sent to the landfill and not using manufactured supplies that use our already limited resources, but I'm always looking forward to what else I can do to make my process more seemlessly environment-minded. While my electronics are repurposed, a lot of my findings are not, which is something I hope to remedy in the future. I'm constantly critiquing my own methods to find more green ways of doing things.

Beyond Junk:
Tell us a bit about your plans for Gail's Creations.

Gail's Creations:
Now that I feel confident enough in what i'm creating, I feel ready to try new things! New materials, such as more natural elements and more recycled elements such as plarn and plastic bottle beads will be making an appearance soon. I've been learning how to integrate my illustration background more and more, so expect to see more graphical elements in the future.


Here are just a few items from Gail's Creations:

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