Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Folk Reveries Interview: Sparrow Salvage!

Your name: Penny
Shop name: Sparrow Salvage
Country: Australia

What do you make/sell: Bohemian style jewelry from salvage and vintage elements

Website and/or blog:
Etsy shop-

How long have you been an artist/crafter?
All my life! I've been on Etsy for 2 years but previous to that I was a commission artist and graphic designer.

What is the meaning behind your shop name?
Sparrow is a nickname I've had for years because my mother saw one on her window sill the day I was born (share these stories with friends and nicknames quickly develop). As well as that sparrows are a scavenger bird, so the salvage element comes both from the bird I share my nickname with and the fact that alot of my materials are salvaged.

How would you describe your work?
Feral fairy bohemian with a touch of Victorian opulence! There's a rustic quality to it that's an important factor- I've always tried to communicate a kind of cobbled together look, as if the pieces were made by someone who made things out of what they came across in their nomadic travels.

Name five specific things that inspire your art?
Fantasy films from the 70s and 80s, war game miniatures (really), Art Nouveau, urbex photography and archeological finds from the British Isles, especially the 15th to 18th century. I love the way things looks after they've been hiding in the earth for 400 years.

What physical places do you like to be for inspiration or to create?
I really like being by myself, that's all I need. In the thrift shop or the museum or even shut away in my bedroom, being able to give things my full attention means I can soak up ideas in an abstract way and not miss little tricks. The best inspiration comes from solitary moments- staring out the window on the train, waiting in line at the PO, moments when you drift off into your own mind.

What encourages and inspires you when you need a creative lift?
There's a little town in the mountains here that's surrounded by forest, with a raging river that runs down the side- I love going there! The clean air, the rushing water, the little shop where I can buy authentic antique folk pieces, the bakery that makes perfectly moist orange all refills the tank. I also like making treauries
on Etsy or flickr mosiacs- finding ways to link seemingly unrelated images helps to think outside the square.

What are the things that you like most about being on Etsy?
Etsy enables you to really feel like you run your own shop; on other e-commerce sites you can feel squashed in with so much other stuff, a bit like part of the furniture, but Etsy gives a shop it's unique identity. I also love the community- I discover amazing new shops everyday and the interaction with other artists has been invaluable. 

Do you have any future aspirations for your work and your shop?
Too many! I have endless projects and 'to do' lists going on, including books, short films, photography and a real life junk shop slash gallery, where I sell beat-up vintage bits to artists and hang artwork all over the walls.  

What do you think about trades/swaps?
I think they're wonderful! Artists have always traded between each other- not just materials, but work as well. I was able to have a good revolving art collection when I was in university.

What interested you about the Folk Reveries group and what do you like most about it?
I was looking to join a team and wanted something that echoes with my sense of elegant mystery with a heavy nature-based aesthetic. I'm not serious enough about my spirituality to be in the Pagan team and my work isn't quite of the dragons/fairies/wizards realm, so this team gave me the perfect in-between. I also have quite a Victorian aesthetic at times, and that also fits. The best thing about this team would have to be the high-quality of work that our members produce, there really is such beautiful, professional pieces in every shop.


BlackStar said...

great interview! i love this:
"Feral fairy bohemian with a touch of Victorian opulence"

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

I agree, its a wonderful team.
One of my favorite artists on Etsy is a member, Delila of Robin and the sage. Love your work!

Delila Jemaiel said...

i think folk reveries is a most wonderful place to find like minded artists.
Penny is such creative artist.

mathyld ▲under the pyramids▲ said...

I love her ambiance and photos ... It was nice to know more about her !
x x x