Featured Artisan Spotlight: Sherry Trautman, IDesign
Posted by ArtFireContent on 04/01/2011 at 13:50:02
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
My name is Sherry Trautman and I live with my adorable husband of three years in a great rural neighborhood next to a pretty horse farm. I was first introduced to fused glass three years ago after receiving a gift from my husband to take a class at a local fused glass center. He thought it would be something I would enjoy; now look what he got himself into: I'm a full-time fused glass artist!! I have a great home studio with lots of wonderful natural light and space to create.
If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
Definitely my creative diversity. I can create or paint anything in fused glass so my local and online customers love asking for personal items ranging from horses to violins.
What role does your family play in your art?
My husband also has a creative mind but more on the technical aspect, so we balance each other well. If I am trying to figure out how to make something work, need help building frames or inspiration, he's my guy!
Where do you live and what is it like?
We live in a pretty rural neighborhood in Southern Michigan, not far from Lake Michigan. We moved here last year and spent this past summer ripping out an annoying half wall, putting up a new stone accent wall, installing new cherry flooring and setting up my studio! I've never had a real studio before so this is pretty darn exciting!
Where did you learn your medium?
I took a class at a local fused glass shop where I learned the basics and was immediately hooked. This is the first medium that I have become completely obsessed with and turned it into a business. What started out as a fun class turned into a serious endeavor of purchasing lots of tools, supplies and studio equipment! I love every minute of it! My hubby really enjoys finding tools for me too. He was practically giddy when he found my glass grinder on sale!
What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?
Up until now selling on ArtFire has been a sideline hobby. I decided that 2011 is a new year for me and I want to make selling on ArtFire a real business that is profitable and fun. I lost my job as an Aircraft Designer so making this profitable is a serious goal!
How did you come to selling online?
Well, I started creating fused glass bowels and jewelry just for myself, family and friends. After a while I had a pretty big collection of jewelry and thought, "Hey, I wonder if I could sell any of this online!"
How did you come to find a home on ArtFire?
After speaking to a couple local artists, I discovered ArtFire and thought I would give it a try. Figuring out the best way to photograph my pieces, pricing my pieces and what to say in the descriptions all took some time until I slowly became more comfortable with the whole selling idea. Selling my first piece to a complete stranger was an extremely exciting day!
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
Create with your heart, not by what you think others might want to buy. I think artists that stamp out hundreds of the same thing but in different colors lose their passion for their medium. People can sense your passion and the individuality of your pieces. You will be more successful and satisfied by selling items you are passionate about!
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
I think society needs to support local artists and realize how much someone will appreciate a handmade item rather than something cheaply made at a big faceless factory. Artists put their heart and soul into their craft and many times share their passions with schools and the community.