Artfire Artisan Spotlight: Jennifer Mercer, HaffinaCreations
Posted by pauljvguillaume on 08/01/2011 at 09:46:28
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
I'm a mum of 5, I'm a redhead and I'm a little weird (or so I'm told :P) I love making jewellery, especially chainmaille. I love creating with Polymer Clay. In fact I have a fairly bad case of craft ADHD. I delve into many different creative pursuits depending on my mood.
If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
Creativity. If I couldn't create I think I would go insane.
What role does your family play in your art?
My family in general supports what I do, although I'm sure it sometimes annoys them.. especially when I get really involved doing something and forget other things. My sons sometimes dabble as well, and I encourage that as much as I can, including giving them a section in my studio. My mum is pretty crafty too, especially when it comes to knitting and embroidery, and she also contributes to the studio as well. My grandfather is one of my biggest fans, and was one of my first paying customers (he refused to let me just give it to him.) My man puts up with my creative angst and encourages me at every turn.
Where do you live and what is it like?
I live in Mt. Barker, which is a semi-rural (although less and less every day) town in South Australia. It has all the conveniences of a large city with the vibe of a country town. Kids can walk to school in relative safety, which is not the case in a lot of places.
Where did you learn your medium?
I learnt pretty much everything I know via magazines, books, online tutorials and Youtube. A few jewellery basics I learnt from my mum after she took a few classes. I would design her a piece and she would finish it off. I decided I wanted to do the whole thing so I got her to show me how, and it took off from there. Everything else I learnt through trial and error.
How did you come to selling online?
I was on the staff of an online forum and I often posted pictures of new creations. My 'bossette' kept saying I should open a store. I had made a few sales to friends both online and offline, but wasn't sure I could have a store. She took the decision out of my hands by creating a shop on the forum. Although I didn't do a lot of 'selling' it helped to give me the confidence to consider other options. One day I stumbled across ArtFire and the rest is history.
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
Do not undervalue your talent, you deserve recognition and reimbursement for the energy, love and skill you put into your work.
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
The world has become incredibly technological, machines are everywhere that do things for us. Handmade harkens back to a simpler time when skilled artisans were valued. I think it is something we need. In a world where mass production produces an endless supply of cloned items, Handmade is a bright spark of individuality and personality.