This week's featured shop is quirkynberkeley
1. Tell us about you and your shop.
I live and work in Berkeley, California, with Rosie the Wonder Dog and Twink the Monster Kitten in a nice old tree-lined neighborhood. When I'm not making cards, I'm a writer.
I love papercrafts, and the process of making things by hand. Almost all of my cards are one of a kind. My style is eclectic and I love to experiment. I get completely absorbed in engineering my varied creations for hours. Each one is a new and unique production, made of treasures from my collection of paper and ephemera, transfigured into a single piece held together by a little glue, a lot of ideas, practice and work, and most of all, a great amount of joy.
My work is designed to be something that one person gives to another. I'm lucky to have a craft that has a personal role in people's lives, and that can so easily become a part of the story of people's lives together. It feels good to be the recipient of hand-written correspondence: no matter what the occasion -- there's a strong emotional connection during the moments of anticipation, and when it is held and read; the mystery of what's inside the envelope, wondering what prompted someone to stop everything else in their life and focus for a few minutes on writing this note. Your full attention for a few minutes is a very special kind of gift to another person, in a hand-written note that moment becomes frozen in time.
Gifts are imbued with all sorts of symbolic significance in every culture, and I'm always interested in the stories that people tell me about how they've used my cards -- who it was for, why they picked that particular card, why it touches them in some special way. Giving a handmade card is an act of intimacy since it is touched by very few hands-- the hands of the maker, the sender, the recipient. Being its creator allows me a role in a beautiful ritual.
2. How did you get started in your craft?
I got my graphic design skills from years working in the newspaper industry. I started making cards sometime after I found my first rubber stamp. Now I have a collection of around 800 to choose from, plus a wall full of paper.
3. What is your favorite material or tool?
Paper and rubber stamps.
4. Where do you get your design inspiration from?
I like to sit in my studio and contemplate the paper, embellishments and rubber stamps I have. I only buy things I like a lot, so when I get into the studio, inspiration is there waiting to be discovered.