Saturday, April 3, 2010

Interview with Jorgensen Studio

Meet Joanna of Jorgensen Studio:

Who are you?
I never thought I would be an artist. I always thought I would be a collector and donate my collection to a museum upon my death, so somewhere there would be little brass plaques that said "From the collection of Joanna Jorgensen" Instead life took a different turn. I am a potter turned metal smith, a mother, a wife, and a lover of history, anthropology, art, and all things made by hand. I started pottery in high school but was never a stand out at it even though I adored playing with clay. When my third child was born I needed a night away from the house to have a grown up conversation so I started taking pottery classes. I met great people, had great fun and kept most of my sanity while my children were growing up. The progression went from clay to metal clay to metal and that is where I am now, a much better metal smith than I ever was a potter.

What do you create ?
I create jewelry from Sterling Silver, vintage bits of goodness, and gemstones. I try to look at the materials in a new way, combining bits a past a present to make something new and unique. The materials fuel my work and I am always on the lookout for something to use in my jewelry. Sometimes I buy supplies without knowing what they will be and sometimes I spend months trying to find the right vintage component for an idea.

How did you come about your store name?
It is my name so it was pretty simple. :)

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
My torch and my flax shaft are the things that I use to make each and every piece in my shop. I am lucky to have two really fabulous Fretz hammers which are beautiful to look at a dream to work with. I never thought hammers would do it for me, but they are like works of art.

What is your favorite material to work with?
I really enjoy working with vintage pieces in my work. I love the history behind them and the uniqueness of how things were made before everything was mass produced.

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
Two of my children are grown and in college so things are a bit quieter for me & the Mr. We still have the activities to go to with our youngest and spend many days at the field in the park. While I am not much of a sportsman I have managed to raise 3 very sporty children. I help my husband with his business. I have also begun to vend at craft shows in my area this past year. I have slowly gotten a booth, tables and displays together. It took me a while to get over my terrible fear of public speaking while doing craft shows, but now I am much better at it although only while in my 10 by 10 tent. lol.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
My favorite feature on Etsy is the forums. There is so much incredible information about Etsy, business, crafting techniques. If you need the answer to an Etsy question it is probably there. It is also great fun to chat with other Etsians when I have the time.

What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
I love shopping on Etsy, and I try my best to look there first if I need to buy something. I feel really strongly about supporting other handmade artists. For the past three years most of my Holiday shopping was done through Etsy. I wish I could buy more of my clothes there.

Is there an online "tool" that you like to use?
Two of the most useful tools I use are both free from google. (I love the google)The first one is Picasa. If you are not using some sort of photo fixer for your online pictures you must start. Photoshop was too expensive for me to purchase so I found Picasa. It helps balance the contrast, whiteness, and crop your pictures. I cannot say enough about how this helped my business. The second free google tool is analytics. You can sign up to track incoming clicks to your Esty site and see where your advertising dollars are working and where they are not. It also helps to see what people are searching for to find you, so important for titles and tags.

Where in Florida do you live?
I live in the western communities of Palm Beach County. In a community called the acreage. It is beautiful, small, and friendly. We will be moving soon because as you may have seen on the news it just has been declared a cancer cluster for pediatric brain tumours. It makes me sad to leave this wonderful neighborhood but I just can't take the chance with my child's health. Many tears have been shed but it is the right decision for our family.

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
We live right near Lion Country Safari. It is a fabulous place where the animals roam free and you are the one behind glass. They also have cool rides and a water park.

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
I have a blog which is sorely neglected most of the time, but you can see my chickens there. I have a Facebook fan page as well it is nearly as neglected as my blog. Not enough hours in my day to keep up.

What “super” power would you like to have and why?
If I could have a super power I would want it to be time travel. I would love to see the Egyptians building the pyramids, the Native Americans on the prairie, the amazing makers of things we see in museums. I would love to be able to peer over their shoulder and see how it was done.


  1. Wonderful interview and beautiful work.

  2. I love your metal work - you are so talented!! I hope you and your family are happy in your new home, wherever you end up!