One of the goals of our blog is to take you behind the scenes, to let you meet the talented people behind the shops on Etsy. Along with our Studio Tours, we also have our Meet the Makers series. Here we ask artists about how they got their start and how they ended up opening an online shop. We hope you enjoy!
The Maker: Anna Duhame
The Shop: Studio by the Forest
Location: Ocala, Florida
Get in touch: Facebook
When and why did you open an online shop on Etsy?
I opened a shop in 2006 originally to sell jewelry and my lampworked glass beads. I was a stay at home Mom who wanted a way to earn a little of my own money and to help pay for supplies and equipment.
What got you started in your craft?
I've loved sculpting animals since I was a young child but I didn't get really serious about ceramic art until I realized I couldn't safely make lampworked beads anymore. I've got fibromyalgia and I would have issues with my hands that would make them go numb and I would drop hot molten glass beads into my lap while I was working on them. So I decided to seriously pursue another medium. I started out with a tiny hobby sized kiln and 50 lbs of clay and learned about ceramics through books and the internet.
Who or what influences your style the most?
I guess you could say nature is the strongest influence in my artwork. I love animals of course, but I also really feel attracted to natural elements such as botanicals and stone. I love the rustic, especially when combined with a modern element.
I like to have a lot of hands-on inspiration to get me really motivated to create. I have a few things that I do that really help to get the creative juices flowing. One thing I love, is to go hiking. I'm lucky because I live right near a National Forest so it's easy to find someplace to go. When I'm on these hikes I like to take photos of trees, bark, mushrooms, and lichen for inspirational reference.
I also volunteer 3 days a week at an animal sanctuary called Animis Foundation. (www.facebook.com/AnimisFoundation)
I love the people and the animals that I've met since I started here. They ALL inspire me tremendously. It gives me a very unique opportunity to really study and learn the personalities of all kinds of fascinating animals such as deer, opossums, squirrels, and foxes.
A big thanks to Anna for sharing her story and we'll have another exciting shop to share with you next month.