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Interview with wirework artist Carina Veling
Carina Veling lives in a small village in the Venlo region, in the south of the Netherlands, and has been making jewelry and other art for much of her life. When she was 14 years old she began to make jewelry, and has since ventured into many materials and techniques. Some of the techniques that she has used are wire wrapping, chainmaille, beadweaving, stringing, wire crochet, netting, and polymer clay as well as many others. We have known Carina for a long time, found her jewelry adorable. and asked her for an interview. She was so kind that agreed to answer all our questions. Thank you, Carina!
1. Carina, how long have you been making jewelry?
Hard to say, when I was 14 years or so I made earrings for myself and friends of mine (I think I still have them now - I'm kidding). The earrings were made using ballpoint springs and seed beads. Furthermore, I have done different things in the creative fields, such as 3D greeting cards, pergamano greeting cards, and embroidery on greeting cards. Then I discovered embroidering with beads on greeting cards. A few years ago I discovered www.wigjig.com and I bought my first hobby jig (a green plastic thing), and I made a few necklaces, earrings and bracelets with it.
2. What or who inspires you for that?
In December 2004, I became a member of the B&B forum, my first beaders' community and I was amazed by the work of many others. My heroes at that time were MEW (Middle Earth Wire), Totemic (John Wik) and Gwen Fisher. Lately I'm more active on the Starving Artists and Jewelry Artists websites, where I have met some more my favorite artists, among them are: Zoya Gutina, Jacksmom, Kvorrie, RubyBee, etc. Of course you can also find me on a few Dutch forums where I've also got a few favorites: Blackcrow, Miranda, Ineke, Armande, and CarolinaG, to count just a few.
3. Are you a self taught jewelry maker or have you taken classes?
I have never taken any classes. I was inspired and encouraged to try what I'm doing now by the work of the other artists. In my country there have been little to no workshops or classes. Everything I wanted to learn I had to collect from the Internet. So far this has been fine; I design my jewelry trying to follow my friends' and other artists' advice, and mostly I succeed with the first tries. If not, I keep going until I am successful.
4. Have you already chosen the particular type of jewelry to make?
Well, even now, I change my preferences. Today I like stringing, tomorrow I might start making some beaded beads and so on. At this moment I have returned to chainmaille and wire wrapping.
5. What kind of techniques have you tried?
You may ask what I have not tried. Yet, I'll try to give you a short list of things that I have done: wire wrapping, chainmaille, beadweaving, stringing, wire crochet, netting, polymer clay, etc.
6. Which technique do you like best of all and why?
The best techniques I found are wire wrapping and chainmaille. I do not know why, probably because they are soothing and relaxing.
7. What are your favorite materials?
Gemstones, sterling silver, silverplated artistic wire, crystals, copper wire. I can work with whatever is available, even plastic or acrylic beads when they are nice.
8. Do you plan your work or don't you know the result in advance?
As a rule, I make a drawing or a sketch of my new project, but when I start creating a new piece sometimes it appears to be not feasible and I have to make minor adjustments. In some cases, I know in advance what I want to make, but very often it ends up completely different as what I had in my mind before, usually better. Sometimes it can happen that I just start and let the beads and wire guide me.
9. How much time does a new item take you?
I don't know, it depends on what I'm making, it can vary from 15 minutes to a few hours.
10. How do you find the themes for your creations?
I think the most I get inspired by the work and ideas of others, but I change the design so they are completely different at the end. Often, photographs in magazines or on the Internet can inspire me for my items. Sometimes I see something in a store (even in a hardware store) or I find something during cleanup that makes me think: "Yes, I could use that for my design." This is what happened the last time, when I found a box with tap rubbers, which are now included in my chainmaille necklace and earrings.
11. How would you describe your style and the signature of your jewelry?
I do not know whether I have a style, let alone a signature. I just make what comes to my head. If you have a name for that, feel free to let me know.
12. What do you like in jewelry trends?
Not much, frankly, I do not pay attention to the trends, I make what I like. The disadvantage of trends is that everyone makes jewelry of the same look and very soon it becomes boring.
13. What jewelry style is your favorite?
Romantic Goth and Victorian, but in a modern twist.
14. Jewelry of which modern artists do you like and why?
I'm not fond of modern jewelry and I don't know the names of the artists who make modern jewelry. But I do love the work of Raven Eve, mainly because of the style and because she is not afraid of using the materials she uses.
15. Do you participate in any jewelry design contests and exhibits?
Sometimes I do participate in contests, but more for fun and to see how I can be creative to compare to the other artists than to win. Exhibitions seem to be fun, unfortunately there are no opportunities in my region for that, or I have not looked for them well enough.
16. Do you sell your jewelry and where?
I've made just a few tries to sell my jewelry. I've sold my creations at a hairdressing sallon for a while, and actually I sold a couple of necklaces. My coworkers bought a few pairs of earrings and bracelets. Now I'm redesigning my website so that it would be more commercial and easier for my potential customers. The url will be the same as it is now.
17. Do your family and friends support your jewelry making passion?
My boyfriend (partner) thinks it takes too much space, but he helps me with the web design. Otherwise the things associated with my jewelry making will take much more time. My mother thinks my creations are absolutely fantastic and almost all the time when I come to see her she has my jewelry on. Even my daughter began to like and wear my jewelry!
18. What do you feel when jewelry making? Does it help you in your life?
Sometimes I'm very relaxed, and sometimes I get stressed out, but generally I enjoy the process. It still has an advantage, as long I'm busy with making jewelry I forget to snack. Disadvantage is that I forget that I have to eat or drink, and even worse, that my family would like to eat as well. It also helps me in real life, it makes my self image better and builds up my self-esteem.
19. Do you want to try something new? What do you plan for the future?
I would love to try making glass beads and/or make something with precious metal clay; I also want to try working with sheet metal. For the foreseeable future I am going to redesign my own website and do web design in collaboration with my partner. We would like to design and to develop affordable web shops, first of all, for bead hobbyists.
Thank you, Carina! We wish you best of luck and a great success!
|Carina Veling, Venlo region, the Netherlands|