Wednesday, May 5, 2010

an interview with Corrie Alvaro

Corrie Alvaro of Corrieberry Pie sells unique wearable textile and found-object jewelry as well as garlands and banners, all of which you an find in her Etsy shop. What I love about Corrie's work is the appreciation for found objects that is so evident in her jewelry and the simplicity of her style. She lets the object or pattern speak for itself. Corrie also has a passion for re-using materials in order to create pieces that are sustainable and unique. From my own creative process, I've come to understand that all artists and craftsman that believe in sustainable practices and using re-purposed materials have even more to be proud of at the end of a day. I love meeting other artists who understand and believe in that concept!

Let's start with you. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am quite fond of being a wife and mom. During my "spare time" I feed my need to create by making textile jewelry, garlands and other homespun miscellanea.
I make one of a kind (or few of a kind) pieces, incorporating vintage and reclaimed materials as much as possible - I'm a huge fan of the found object. My creations are inspired mostly by nature and romance, along with an effort to find balance in the juxtaposition of textures, beauty and function, old and new, etc.

I love the way that you juxtapose materials in order to create unique wearable pieces. What's your creative process like?
(Thank you!)
It's all about balance. I love the challenge of finding a mate for an odd or unique piece that will steady the overall composition aesthetically. There's no rule or formula for me, it just has to fit and feel right.

How has being a Mom influenced or affected your creative process?
Right now, I'm using all my creative energy on creating a new little person...we're expecting our second baby early next fall! So life revolves around sleep and food! I keep telling myself that the urge to create will come back in a few months, just like it did with my first child. But to be quite honest, right now it's a bit of a discipline, something I make myself to do for the practice, to "stay in shape."

Is jewelry making your primary creative outlet?
I've always made (and remade!) jewelry for as long as I can remember...starting with fatty plastic beads and those awesome friendship bracelets of the 80s! But before my son came along I was in school focusing mostly on painting and drawing. Once he arrived, I decided to focus on adjusting to life with a new little one, then we moved and I lost my studio space so I am definitely out of practice in that department. It's something I plan to revisit once my kids are in school and I have longer stretches of time in the day to devote to it. Until then I'm content working with jewelry and textiles, sewing, crafting, baking...etc. The focus for those comes in short snippets - that's about all I have these days! :)

I'm so happy to see more artists on and off of Etsy that predominatly use eco-friendly and sustainable materials. As an artist, what is it about using reclaimed and recycled materials that really resonates with you?
Aside from wanting to incorporate a "make do and mend" mentality, the challenge of reusing and remaking vs. using new materials makes me feel even more proud and resourceful when a piece is finished. Also, I can find things that are not around anymore, that are made better, and that don’t look like everyone else. There's more inspiration for me in these old pieces. And to be quite honest, new materials sometimes intimidate me. They sit in my craft closet unused for quite a while.

Since your first sale, what is the most important thing you've learned as an Etsy Seller?
Be yourself. Try new things. Be kind to others. Pretty simple things that resonate throughout life, but they play out with such clarity in a community like Etsy.

Where would you like to be in 5 or 10 years? 
Back in school, painting my little heart out, playing outside with my family, and eating lots of cake.

I love finding out what other artists are reading and looking at! What are some of your favorite books and websites?
I just finished a quaint little novel called Home - By Marilynne Robinson, and am slowly working my way through a collection of essays in a book called Cold Tangerines, by Shauna Niequist. After that, I'm craving a good page-turner and welcome any suggestions! :)
As far a websites go, I don't really have any that are constantly on my check list. I bounce around and usually get lost on craft blogs and all the recommended blogs they list! Oh, and of course Hulu. We don't do TV in our house, so we've got to keep up with Lost and The Office somehow! 

Corrie and I are both a part of an Etsy team named "Artisans Collective". Visit our blog to find other talented Etsy creators from all over the world! 

You can contiue to keep up with Corrie on her blog, on facebook and EVEN on twitter. Thanks Corrie for participating!

No comments:

Post a Comment