Monday, June 14, 2010

A Folk Reveries Interview with Faunfare!

I've decided to periodically post up interviews with various members of our group. I think it's a great way to get to know one another more and to be inspired by each other's creativity and passion. Here I share with you all, the first interview with...

Business Cards

Your name: Helena

Shop name: Faunfare

Country: Australia

What do you make/sell: A scattered collection of crafts including botanical perfume oils, natural bath and body elixirs, and needle felted fauns and woodland creatures.

Website and/or blog:

SALE Midsummer Natural Perfume Oil

How long have you been an artist/crafter?

I came to the handmade lifestyle rather late in life.  I was 20 and an avid photographer when I compelled a friend to teach me how to make elaborate period chokers to style in my portraits.  After I learnt to make jewellery, I dabbled in costume-making, before I discovered perfume blending and felting.  Crafting has now become a way of life.  When I discovered how deeply satisfying it was to make something seemingly complex on my own, I couldn't help but ask, "Can I make that?" with everything else.

What is the meaning behind your shop name?

Fauns are the untamed guardians of the woodlands in Roman mythology. In honour of its namesake, Faunfare is a celebration of nature.  A place to gather and share handmade delights with other wild spirits who find peace in the deep, dark woods, even when they are surrounded by asphalt and concrete.

How would you describe your work?

I would like to think my creations are authentic and earnest.  In a past life, I sold my jewellery under a different store on Etsy.  With so many talented jewellery makers on the site, I felt I needed to distinguish myself by mirroring my designs after the trends and adopting an embarrassingly aggressive approach to grassroots marketing.  Although I was fortunate enough to make many sales, I was absolutely miserable because I had turned myself into a one-woman factory production line.  I made a conscious decision when I opened up Faunfare that I will only sell what I love to make and have fun doing it.
It's also really important to me that what I make remains affordable.  There seems to be an explosion in recent years of organic, natural, and green production.  When it's genuine, I think it's an amazing thing, but at the same time, I have also seen the prices of natural perfume oils sky-rocket because it has become so desirable.  I passionately believe natural, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly products should be a right, not a luxury reserved for those who can afford to be ethical.

Satyr, Mini Felted Forest Friend

Name five specific things that inspire your art?

Mythology, poetry, especially the lyrical works of Baudelaire, Keats, and Yeats, alchemy, and Celtic, folk, and tribal music.

What physical places do you like to be for inspiration or to create?

I get my best ideas in moments of intense pressure, like in the middle of an exam, or during long trips on the train with a notebook rested on my handbag and a pen in my hand.  Ideally, I would love to create in a meticulously organised and labelled craft room where everything is where it should be, but unfortunately, the reality is vastly different!

What encourages and inspires you when you need a creative lift?

Other crafters and artists, especially those I have met through Etsy, have been an invaluable source of support to me.  They understand exactly what it's like to go through the ups and downs of selling on Etsy and I have never met another seller, whether newbie or veteran, who was not a font of practical advice and creative inspiration.

Natural Perfume Oils, Mini Vials, Choose Your Own

What are the things that you like most about being on Etsy?

Hands down, number one, are trades!  I love everything from the concept, which is laden with old world charm, to the friendships that are forged as a result.  My house is now filled with mementos and keepsakes from all the trades I have done in the past couple of years, including artworks from Andrea around my dining room.

Do you have any future aspirations for your work and your shop?

My dream for Faunfare is to keep creating, collaborating, and challenging myself in new areas. I aspire to learn new techniques in not only perfume blending, but also in the distillation and extraction of essential oils, absolutes, and attars.  I'm also flirting with the idea of designing a line of solid perfume lockets, which would be a marvellous way to combine my skills in perfumery and jewellery design. I hope to augment and refine my line of fragrances and form an intimate coterie of fauns and satyrs for whom I will blend and create botanical perfumes, for free, and for life!

What interested you about the Folk Reveries group and what do you like most about it?

Folk Reveries is an amazing collective of some of the most talented, yet personable, people I have ever met. I felt immediately at ease when I joined Folk Reveries and have received the most sweet and heart-warming messages from fellow members wishing me luck and happiness on my journey.  It's a team where I think people are motivated to be here because they actually want to be, not purely because they think it'll give them a step up in promotions or sales.  I also appreciate Andrea's dedication in her role and her seemingly infinite capacity for patience and support.

SALE Mandragora Natural Perfume Oil


Dianne said...


I got my tiny behoofed felt friend and some scents from the lovely Helena just today, I think she is one of my new favourite people already xx

Courtney said...

What a lovely interview, and such a beautiful shop. I am so tempted to try some of her elixirs!

belly said...

Her shop is lovely and her little felted creatures adorable!