This weeks featured artist – Ragnazidnar – is a wonderful gal who’s a fellow member of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team! Our opening picture today is a journal/sketchbook she made from Andersen’s Fairy Tales. It’s one of my favorite pieces she has because for one, I grew up reading his stories, for two, that’s my maiden name, and for three, I’m apparently related to him way back somewhere in the mists of time! Hmmm… maybe I need to buy that book eh? Anyway – on with our interview!
1. Tell us your story…what first got interested in crafting?
I always have been interested in art and crafting since I was a little kid, which eventually led to me going to college for an art degree. (I just graduated this June.) I don’t really separate my fine art from my crafting because they really inform each other, especially with my book making. My interest in paper goods comes from being a draftsperson who’s interested in the subtle nuances of papers.
I took a drawing/mixed media class where one of the drawings we worked on had to be a small series that was done inside an old book- sorta like an altered book. I loved this and decided to make something similar for a friends birthday and just kept making them. Eventually I started making them into sketchbooks because I’ve always hated the ugly or plain covers that come on artist’s sketchbooks. I felt like they should be as unique as the person using them and inspire creativity as much as what’s inside.
2. You sell a variety of crafts in your store – can you give us a list of the types of crafts you do?
Haha. Yes, I do sell quite the variety. I am one of those people that has to try everything! Usually I see something I find interesting and immediately say, “Oh, I can do that” without knowing ahead of time what I am getting myself in to. I doubt that will change and I will continue to have a lot of variety in my shop.
I do fine art (which is not in my shop at this time) which is mainly drawings and paintings on wood, I also carry my journals and sketchbooks that I am making out of recycled hardback books as well as a variation with handcrafted covers, then with the leftover pages from the books I am making paper flower embellishments and more recently paper beads. I also received a gocco from my loving husband as a graduation gift so I am creating stationary with gocco’d designs on them and making envelopes to go with them. The last item I am offering for the time being is resin jewelry- mostly pendents with items embedded.
Whew! That was a mouthful! I didn’t even begin to cover my plans for the future, but I will keep you guessing on that one so when you come back to my shop you’ll be surprised!
That led to a follow up question: What is gocco? I’m not familiar with that term and I bet most of my readers aren’t either.
A gocco is a self-contained screen printing set up. They come from Japan where they originally used them to print New Years cards and such. They are small and compact and come with pretreated screens so you don’t have to go through the mess and hassle of making your own. Think of a mix between stamping and screen printing. There is a great article/how-to on etsy here:
3. What are some of your favorite pieces you have up on etsy right now?
I just completed a journal that was created out of a weekly reader title “Little Bear’s Friend” it is so whimsical and fun. The paper inside the covers gets a lot of oohs and aahs from people who open it up. This is one of the first hardbacks that I used an open spine with and I really like the design.
I think she sold this one folks because I don’t see it! Kudos Randi!
There are also two sets of greeting cards that I am particularly happy with. One is a set with a black octopus gocco’d on brown kraft paper. I was so happy with myself because this was my first attempt at envelopes and they are totally handmade- glue and everything! A second set on white paper that is embellished with green rhinestones is another favorite of mine. I spent hours at the kitchen table with tweezers gluing tiny rhinestones on the “suckers” of the octopus.
4. Where do you do your work and what do you watch or listen to while you work?
Where don’t I work? I really have taken over the house with a lot of my craft projects. Most of my items are made at the kitchen table during the wee hours of the night when everyone else is in bed. I work late (or early depending on how you look at it) and usually wrap it up between the hours of 2 and 4 am. The only exception to this is with any custom graphic design I do- that is done at the computer desk- and my resin work which has to be done outdoors.
I usually have a pretty interesting mix of music on my phone, which doubles as my mp3 player. Right now I spend my nights crafting to Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan and Sara, and the White Stripes. I listen to pretty much everything. I like upbeat music if I am working on crafting late, but listen to melancholy female vocalists when I paint.
5. Do you participate in farmers markets and craft fairs? If so – can you tell us a little about what that experience is like?
I don’t currently participate in farmers markets and craft fairs, although I have in the past. There is a local art event in our area called Art on the Green that is huge. It takes place at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene and it is a 3 day event that you have to apply for by sending in slides with an application. I did this for 3 years, but haven’t returned in recent years while I was working to finish college. When I did do this event I loved meeting all the people and getting the feedback I needed on my work. I sold some work, but found that my fine art didn’t go as well at this event as small handmade goods like jewelry and soaps.
6. Tell the readers one fun and random thing about yourself!
I have two passions, aside from art, motorcycles and heavy equipment. My dad and I started riding motorcycles together when I was a teenager and I continue to be an active member of the biker community today. I don’t own a bike of my own yet, but have my eye on a trike or sportster. I love any kind of heavy equipment there is, I even know how to operate a front end loader and backhoe. My first job was at a gravel quarry working as a scale operator. I met my husband at that same quarry and he taught me to operate and maintain equipment. I worked in that field for 5 years before resigning to focus on academics, but I still love everything about that field of work. My husband comes home from work with dirt in his pockets and smelling like diesel fuel and hydraulic oil and I love it because it brings back memories of the summers working outside.
Here’s an adorable picture of Randi on a motorcycle from her wedding!
Plus I can’t let you leave with out seeing some of her resin work!
This piece is my favorite because its just so wild and fun!