Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interview with Velvet Mechanism

1. Tell us a little more about your business and craft.
Velvet is a boutique for unique, handcrafted, jewelry and accessories from an era that never was. We feature steampunk-inspired items for men and women. All of my items are hand-crafted from non-working vintage materials such as watch movements, clocks, and manual typewriters. Recently I've also been making corsets out of vintage WWII military spats. I love giving these beautiful materials the chance to be seen and appreciated again!

I'm particularly fascinated with the insides of small vintage watches right now. The tiny cogs, gears, and other mechanisms are so intricate and beautiful. My jewelry is intended to frame and showcase these watches since I feel that they are worthy of display in their own right - I treat them like jewels. I prefer to keep the other parts of my jewelry fairly subtle, so as not to distract from the beauty of the watch mechanics.

2. What drives you to create?
Usually it's the inability to find exactly what I'm looking for elsewhere. If I can't find a piece of jewelry that I have in mind, then I'll try to create it on my own!

In addition, I've really internalized the reuse/recycle ethos - it brings me great joy to give new life and appreciation to an object that would otherwise be neglected or go to waste.

3. What is your all time favorite item that you currently sell? 
Right now it's the corsets made from vintage WWII military spats! Each one is unique, and they're just amazing. They're a nice juxtaposition of masculine and feminine traits, rough yet curvy, gritty yet stylish. The name of my store, Velvet Mechanism, also reflects my affinity for combinations of seemingly opposite traits - soft yet hard, smooth yet mechanical.

4. Where can your items be found to purchase? 
Currently they're available online at Etsy []. The Velvet Mechanism stand-alone website is in the works []. I've also had various trunk shows at art galleries and other locations around Seattle, usually during Artwalk.

5. Where do you see your business in five years?
Honestly, I haven't really thought that far ahead. I've been making jewelry since I was about 9 years old, so it's very easy to see this as a hobby that I'll continue with, but I can't say what form it will take or how inspiration will strike me. I have another small business that just turned 10 years old this August, so I certainly have the patience and work ethic to keep Velvet Mechanism going!

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