Paula from AlteredEras creates wonderful steampunk & vintage-styled jewelry and accessories. And I’m actually a proud owner of one of her bobby pins made from watch parts!
And now, on to the interview:
What inspires you?
Oh EVERYTHING!! Obviously for me literary works, films, history, fairytales but also travel & people.
Sometimes I just come across an object & think ‘I could make something lovely out of you’ !
British Crown Steampunk Styled Necklace
What’s your favorite crafting technique?
Hmmmm… that’s a difficult one. I am completely self taught so I don’t know that I use any techniques in particular. But I DO have 2 new techniques I plan to teach myself & to put into practice over the coming months!!
Do you have a technique or material you dislike immensely?
I have tried using a resin to encapsulate objects & that was SO difficult to use as the air bubbles were so difficult to remove. I wont be using that again!
How did you become interested in steampunk?
I see steampunk as an extension of Victoriana (which I have ALWAYS been interested in) mixed with a touch of sci-fi.
I love that you can really let your imagination run with you – there really are not limits with steampunk & I don’t do less is more!
Steampunk Doctor Who Brooch
Do you think growing up in Scotland or living in the Lake District has influenced your work?
I think growing up in the centre of Edinburgh probably influenced me in the way that I lived in a relatively bohemian & artistic area where there were lots of influential people and shops. Also there was never any shortage of good theatre & interesting exhibitions to see.
I don’t think the Lake District influences me a lot as I DO miss the city SO very much.
What do you find most challenging about running an etsy shop?
It is hugely challenging to fit everything in – from designing & creating, photographing & listing to packaging & shipping and marketing on top of it all! But it IS incredibly rewarding and I feel so lucky to be able to do this.
Wooden Butterfly Necklace
Do you have any advice for new Etsy sellers?
The best advice I can give to new sellers is to learn from more experienced sellers. Find yourself a few good teams to join – its best to join a few as some are better for somethings than others – and try to get involved in them as much as possible or as much as your time will allow you.
I am actually team captain of British Sellers on Etsy & we are forever growing with new members – both buyers only & sellers – & love to try to help in anyway we can.
How do you balance life and work?
Ahhh!! Guilty as charged – I DON’T !!
I find working from home a huge problem in that I actually never stop. If I am not creating pieces & doing all the things that go along with that (listing, packaging etc), I am in the teams & forums on Etsy or on Facebook or Twitter catching up there.
I frequently get to midnight & realise I MUST stop to get some rest!!
Wuthering Heights necklace
What question do you wish I had asked, and what would your answer have been?
I wished you had said ‘I am great friends with Eddie Izzard/Johnny Depp/Brandon Flowers – would you like to meet him/all three?’ And I would have said yes!
He he he – seriously now – How about any favourite quotes?
I would have said “The secret of life is to be surrounded by people who get you — just the people who get you.” – Jeffrey Tambor
Where can people find you?
My Etsy Shop – www.AlteredEras.Etsy.com
At Things British – thingsbritish.co.uk/
On facebook – www.facebook.com/AlteredEras
On twitter – twitter.com/AlteredEras
& if you would like to join us at British Sellers on Etsy – www.etsy.com/teams/6966/british-sellers-on-etsy
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Thanks for answering my questions Paula! I so wish I could introduce you to Eddie Izzard & Johnny Depp!!