Friday, September 21, 2007

Le Bar du Vent

Time to introduce you to another Dawanda seller, this time from France. Agathe creates wonderfully inspiring pieces of jewelry.

1. How and when did you discover your creative talents?
I am not sure about "talents" actually. The urge to make things has always been there - I mean, when I was 6 or 7, I remember that I had come up with a mixed media drawing method (doesn't that sound grand!) : I would "draw" flowers using colour pencil peelings and leads, that I would glue onto paper to turn them into the corollas and stems of my flowers. The result was limited in terms of variations and aesthetics, but I was exhilarated that I had thought it up myself.
And so on and so forth : I love exploring new materials and techniques.Yet I have had only very basic artistic schooling. Some times I get an image in my mind of something I would like to make, and because I couldn't draw to save my life, I have to think it up with my hands. Now, that can be very messy...
Because I am addicted to clothes (as opposed to fashion) I first dabbled with fabrics - I have made evening dresses for myself (and dolls, earlier on), dresses for my nieces (my beloved guinea pigs), I have knitted pullovers, always trying to make exactly what I wanted and could not find to buy. About five years ago, I discovered crosstitching and began accumulating supplies and projects. I loved using the embroidery patterns to modify or create clothes, cushions etc. My own very humble version of French couture...
I came to jewellery through crosstitching (strange, I know, but some patterns include beads and that is how I discovered a brave new world...) fairly recently, finding that many of the techniques I had dabbled in came in handy, and that the results of my daring experiments tended to be less messy in this creative field.
It suits me that it is such a versatile activity, and I love nothing more than making a piece with someone in mind. Every single piece I have made is more than material to me, it makes sense in a way, because of texture, tradition, colour, memories, references... I love that. I call it thinking with my fingers and find it very soothing, probably because it allows the whole of me to come together.

2. You say that one of your inspirations is sea life. How are you inspired?
That too goes back to my childhood. I first grew up by the sea, and I only come into my own when I am by the sea. I can only be truly happy barefoot on a sand beach and I just have to live with that - and with the fact that, right now, I cannot be barefoot on the sand very much. So I make up for it, trying to build myself a future when I will be able to.
Because the sea is the seat of life, in general and not just to me, it's an incredibly rich source of inspiration, in termes of shapes, colours, textures...

3. Your main selling place is Dawanda, why?, what do you like about it?
Well, the first thing I like about it is that it exists! I am immensely grateful that Claudia and Michael came up with this idea and have tackled the work!
I discovered Dawanda, surfing on the net, looking for community sites that I could fit in with my very virtual shop, just as I was bracing myself to put together my own site (as opposed to paying someone to do it for me) and I couldn't believe my luck! So that, of course, I still haven't come round to giving reality to my site (it's all there in my head - the ideas, I mean - the I.T. is not...).
On Dawanda, it is incredibly easy to list items in a way that is really suitable to such items as ours. Obviously, the fact that listing is free (so far) is a huge incentive to try and list very different items, including inexpensive ones. I had tried my hand at selling on e-bay and other non-specific sites, but Dawanda was really conceived for those precious little jobs of ours and I find it rather more congenial than Etsy.
It also suits me so well that it is multilingual that I couldn't believe my luck there again... and like the various ways to communicate on the platform and the sense of community it makes for.

4. Where would you like to see your talents take you?
Well, guess what! On the seaside!
Right now, I have a "proper" job that is important and interesting to me, but I cannot see myself doing it for 25 to 30 years more. Not full time anyway. Whereas I cannot see myself NOT making stuff, or living away from the ocean forever. So I am working on turning Le Bar du Vent into a proper venture, hoping it can take me to the ocean where I would like to live and work. Eventually.