This week's interview is with the lovely Kit of (Kit and Derek) that make up Magpie's Trick. Kit is one of my dear friends. I feel blessed to have gotten to know her. I adore their work. Magical, creative, with a touch of whimsy. Please enjoy this interview and check out their shop!
Tell me a little about yourself:
We are Kit (the excitable, talky one) and Derek (the calm, silent one). We are a late 30s-early 40s husband and wife team of jewellery makers living in (but not from) Texas. I am originally from a little village in Scotland, and Derek is 2nd generation Norwegian-American from Minnesota. Derek is a technical artist for a video games company, and I am a " self-retired" former geologist. We're probably two of the quirkiest people you will ever meet. We have a house filled with sticks, dried weeds, feathers, stones, animal bones, odd antiquities, and Victorian-era furniture. We share our home with one perfectly strange 18-years-old son who just started college, three funny little terriers, and one surly black cat. Someone once said our house is sort of like a dungeon, but we think it is more like a dungeon designed by your eccentric great-grandmother!
How did you get started with your craft?
We were in the midst of a bit of a rocky part of our marriage, and we had a general dissatisfaction with life in general. We decided to take up something that was of interest to both of us, something we could do together...a shared interest that we could do side-by-side to reconfirm our closeness not just as a couple, but as best friends. We are both artistic in differing ways, so it was rather easy to realise that wanted to do something art-based. We have always shared a passion for jewellery, stones, and sparkly things, so we took one jewellery-making class that was quite uninformative and disappointing. The only real knowledge that we gleaned from the class was how to make loops! We decided we would be better off buying some supplies and sorting out how to do things by trial and error. Have you ever done something that felt so natural and came to you so readily that it seemed like you were born to do that thing? That's how jewellery design and creation feels to us. One we started, the ideas and the skills just FLOWED!
What are your favorite materials to work with?
By far, our favourite materials are sterling silver and semi-precious gems. We have recently forayed into incorporating copper and brass into our designs, but silver will always be our favourite metal. It has such malleability, such a willingness to be formed into lovely shapes, such a wonderful energy.
What inspires you?
At the risk of sounding trite and cliche, we are inspired by things from the natural world. We see pine needles and think " OH, wouldn't earrings look lovely?", we look at vines growing around trees and just know how that would look as a necklace. We're also inspired by little bits of architectural detail...a bit of gingerbread trim on a house, a slatted trellis, an interesting shape in a gate. Sometimes our inspiration is more basic and instinctual...the stones themselves tell us what they want to be!
What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
We're readers, gamers, travellers, and wanderers. Time and Texas weather permitting, we love nothing more than to go somewhere we've never been and roam about looking for interesting rocks to add to our collection. Derek plays guitar and makes up lovely songs (I make up songs as well, but they aren't so lovely and always feature our dogs), I cook (I cook a LOT, and my backside is proof of my cookery skills!), and our whole family plays Dungeons and Dragons (next campaign, DEREK can be the healer!). Did I also mention that we rearrange our house quite often? What was the dining room last month might very well be the lounge this month! There really never seems to be enough time to do everything we love.
What 3 items are your favorite?
We love this necklace. It has such an organic flow and the Labradorite is such an interesting shape.
These earrings have such a HOPEFUL feel. The stones make us feel as if everything is bursting with potential.
This ring has such a powerful pull. The ephemeral flash reminds me not to waste time and opportunities. Right here and now is the only thing we are guaranteed.
Do you have any advice for other Etsy sellers?
The best advice we have for other Etsyians is DO NOT agonise over changes, DO NOT worry too much about the mundane things like tags, SEO, and the other flotsam and jetsam that washes up in your Etsy experience. We know that Etsy is often frustrating, but if you allow those frustrations to overwhelm you, then Etsy becomes a horrid chore and your creativity drains away just as surely as if someone poked a hole in your artistic pail. Keep your chin up, shoulders squared, and your spine straight with resolve to keep the FUN alive in your Etsy journey. Another Etsy seller, EeeBee, has a print in her shop that says " I Just Want to Make Beautiful Things Even If Nobody Cares". We've taken that to heart. We all should.
Where can we find you on the web: