Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Member Spotlight - Paper Demon Jewelry

Name: Karen Kelsky
Age: 45
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Shop: Paper Demon Jewelry -

What kind of things do you make?
I make what I like to call "bold jewelry for bold women"! My jewelry is high impact jewelry made from natural materials like silk and plant fibers, bamboo, and copper. Much of my material comes from Japan but my aesthetic is modern and geometric, and above all, colorful. Japanese handmade paper is created in a mind-blowing range of colors that become even more saturated and lucious and translucent when the paper is treated with the resins and mediums that I use to harden them in the jewelry. It's the perfect combination of saturated and translucent.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I learned to work with fine handmade Japanese papers 25 years ago from an artist in the mountains of Japan. I've made endless different things with paper, but what I most love is transforming paper and other natural materials into durable, lasting, beautiful accessories that can be worn every day.

When did you start selling and what inspired you to start selling?
I started selling about a year ago. I wanted to liberate the papers and fibers from my 25 year collection and send them out into the world! I wanted people to be able to enjoy them as much as I do, and see the amazing things that can be made from them.

Is this your full time job?
It is now. I quit a career as a professor to pursue my dream! It is not paying the mortgage yet though.

What are your hobbies?I love to explore the incredible place I live in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, and funky Eugene, Oregon. Since my time is divided between Paper Demon Jewelry and family--partner and two kids-- I don't have time for other hobbies.

What is your favorite color?
Yikes, changes daily! But right now gorgeous teal.

What is your favorite color combination?
I am currently entranced with sky blue and lime green.

Which colors do you use most in your work?
I adore blues and purples, greens and oranges.

What is your number 1 tip for success?
Promote, promote, promote. I'm still learning that. But also, be real. I think that a person's personality and their story is one of their greatest assets. But it takes a long time to figure out how exactly to tell that story, and what versions of it are best for promoting a jewelry business. I'm still in process on that.

What do you think is the most fun way to promote?
I love my Facebook fan page. I have always loved Facebook, and I find it a very natural and intimate way to connect with fans, and keep an open dialogue with them about what I'm up to, and what they'd like to see Paper Demon Jewelry become...


Paper Demon Jewelry on Etsy said...

Thank you for posting this!

Rena Klingenberg said...

Every time I see Karen's work I love what she creates! She also has a gift for making amazing, wearable designs by recycling items other folks discard.

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