I just want to take a moment to recommend three etsy.com artists to all of you.
The first artist, a photographer from Atlanta, is Erin Tyner. Over the past six months I've purchased three prints from Tyner from her macrophotographic "Half Awake" series. Tyner's website describes this work as "an ongoing series which features miniature figures in dreamlike settings." These evocative settings are infused with a sense of impending doom or existential loneliness enhanced by the combination of a shallow depth of field and unusual choices of color and material. The miniature figures (which appear to have been originally designed as features of a model railroad landscape) soften the compositions by underlining the sense of playfulness introduced by the odd material composition of the dioramic landscape.
Tyner's creativity and professionalism extend to her blog, , where she shares the stories behind some of the images along with her love of Radiohead and thoughtful interpretations of Oscar Wilde.
Learn more about Tyner at her website
The second etsy.com craftsperson I would like to recommend is Brooke Speharb, a guy who makes handcrafted jewelry in Eugene, Oregon. Speharb sells his creations in his etsyshop called "Oregon Jewelry" and is a second generation bronze, copper, and silversmith. Speharb's shop features earrings, bracelets, rings, and other jewelry. The most original items in his shop are the four and five pronged silver haircombs, which can be used to pin up french twist (which is how I try to wear my hair now that it's longer than shoulder length). These combs are not only well-crafted, but they hold better than any hairstick I've tried. I haven't laid my hands on any of the jewelry from this shop, but I loved my hair comb so much I commissioned another with a thought-bubble on top instead of the curly cloud pattern that he uses on most of his other work.
The final person I want to recommend on etsy is a former student of mine, Brit McDaniel, who sells ceramics and neatly bound sketchbooks in her shop called "onelittleone." Brit's single-minded dedication to her personal vision meant she was a tough cookie to teach; when she was in my class she held tightly to her belief that spending extra time on craftsmanship is consistently more important to her practice than working towards a deadline. By looking at the work that she is currently displaying in her shop, I can see her point. For McDaniel, utility is found in subtle, almost undocumentable details of surface, color, and purity of form. McDaniel's almost breathless sense of awe at the natural world is evident in her ceramic work, the surface of which is sometimes burnished with bone, sometimes marked by the almost-magical marks of burning horsehair. McDaniel's disciplined eye for the secrets hidden in well-made handcrafted goods is evident in the sketchbooks that she offers filled with secret pockets and cool-toned style.
I've got to cut myself off from etsy for a few months, but I hope you'll visit the site, especially to see the work of these emerging entrepreneurs.