Featured Artisan: Eecee
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
I’m 27, mother of 2 little girls and my “studio” is a little desk in the corner of my bedroom and 2 shelves my husband made for me. Its my little corner of the world, my retreat. Being a Domestic Engineer as they say, is very rewarding but it has its frustrations, among which is the way work gets undone. Food gets eaten and is gone, laundry gets worn and re-dirtied, freshly bathed, sweet smelling little girls go play in the mud. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but in working with my hands and making my jewelry it’s nice to have something tangible that i can put on a shelf and look at when I’m done and it will stay there.
If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
Faith. Being Jewish is as integral to who I am as being a woman, and being American. I wouldn’t say I never have weaknesses or doubts, but when everything is going wrong and I’m loosing my grip it’s good to be able to let go and know a better driver has the wheel. It’s what keeps me sane.
Besides that, it’s music. I was singing about as soon as I was born.
What role does your family play in your art?
Without my family there would be no art. Any business person can tell you it takes a long time, sometimes years, before things start to work and that’s even more true for an artist. While I waited for things to come along, my kids would put in requests for things they wanted made, they wore my pieces when no one else was, my niece sends me pictures of random pieces of jewelry and challenges me to make them in a crochet version. They keep my skills sharp and give me a reason to keep working at times when it may seem pointless or impractical.
Where do you live and what is it like?
I live in a little walk-in apartment in Brooklyn NY. Its crowded and crummy, and rents are absurd, I’m not gonna kid you, but Brooklyn is something special. I am 27 and I have never taken driving lessons. Everything is close by, and if it’s not, mass transit can get you there. Neighborhoods have such great vibes, there’s an energy here that makes it a great place to raise kids.
Where did you learn your medium?
On a whim I ordered a video online from an artist who worked under the name Yoola. When it arrived with the starter kit, I got to work early afternoon. At one point my husband said to me “Its 1:00 am. when are you coming to bed?” I had been at it all day and didn’t even notice. I have developed my own style and designs since and it’s just love.
What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?
My goals with this studio are to turn my passion into a livelihood. I never had the head for college, I’m poor with technology and I suck at office jobs. My talent lies in my hands. This is my marketable skill and my hope is that ArtFire will introduce me to the right market. To people who appreciate uniqueness and hand craftsmanship and find value in that.
How did you come to selling online?
I tried selling in the ‘real world,” but I found that retailers were accustomed to paying wholesale rates for jewelery that would have equaled about $1.50 an hour for my work, but I couldn’t sell myself because I didn’t have a venue or store where customers could see my work. Online seemed like the logical solution.
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
It reminds us what we can do with our own hands. I think our society has forgotten how to create. There was a time when creating was a part of living. When women and mothers like myself, were all dressmakers and designers, hat makers, weavers. A time when average women made lace, and embroidery, flower arrangements, dress pins. But machines came along and with it these arts were lost to ordinary people.
With that was also lost an appreciation of where things come from. Things are made in bulk, fast and cheap, and we only see the finished product. We have no concept of what went into making them. There is something beautiful about buying a scarf, with no designer label, direct from the person who knitted it, not by machine. You wear it and you know no one else on earth has one just like it, that that artist chose her colors and her yarn with care, that she used a fine honed and ancient skill to create something functional and pretty and none she ever makes again will ever be quite like it.