Looking for quality, handmade local stuff? Come join me (and .retool.) and over 60 other vendors at the 2016 SF Etsy Spring Indie Emporium. See you there!
We’ll be heading over to Rickshaw Bagworks in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood on Saturday, July 26 to participate in a pop up shop featuring Bay Area Etsy sellers. Hope to see you there!
Enflux – handcrafted jewelry
Every now and then we like to feature a fellow local artist. This time around, Ashley Reese, from Enflux was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. We love the clean lines of Ashley’s jewelry and we’re excited to share a booth with her next month at the Noe Valley Harvest Festival.
Let’s get started!
How long have you lived in the Bay Area?
I have been living in San Francisco for 12 years now. I came out to visit a friend and loved it so much I moved here.
How did you get started making jewelry?
I have always been interested in jewelry. My mother had a beautiful collection of pieces from her mother and grandmother, and my father’s love of geology always attracted him to the colored gemstones. I started making jewelry by taking a class at a bead shop on Valencia Street and after that, I was hooked. I continued taking classes in jewelry fabrication and metalsmithing at the Revere Academy in downtown San Francisco.
You use reclaimed metals in your jewelry. That’s awesome. What led to that decision? Where do you get the metal?
In a business where a lot is unknown about how metals and stones are mined, I think it’s important to do what we can to help minimize the negative impact we have on our environment. And luckily, many other jewelers agree. I buy my wire and sheet metal from a company called Hoover and Strong that does their own refining from scrap metals and sells back to the jewelry trade.
What are your go-to tools?
I haven’t met a jeweler who isn’t completely obsessed with tools, whether they do it as a hobby or are a professional. I have to admit I have this problem as well. The tools that almost never get put away on my bench are an assortment of pliers, my goldsmithing hammer, my saw, and my half round hand file. I do the majority of my work with these tools. One day I hope to acquire a rolling mill to texture and and customize the thickness of sheet metal.
Tell us a bit about your design process.
I come up with designs in many ways. Usually I draw out ideas first on paper and then when I start working with the metal it turns into another thing entirely. Other times I use a sharpie and draw directly onto the metal to get a feel for it as a finished piece. I’ve even been known to make sand drawings of an idea I have in my head.
Do you have any new designs in the works?
I’m working on a line of geometric pieces in brass. I’m liking the angular lines at the moment. We’ll see how it goes.
Do you sell your work in any local shops?
I sell at a shop in Hayes Valley called California Made Mercantile (formerly RAG SF) which sells home goods, art, jewelry and clothing made entirely by artists in California.
What’s your favorite local area/neighborhood to hang out in?
Besides the bar hi lo club on polk street for occasional happy hours, I hang out in the Mission area, mainly because most of my friends live there and it’s walking distance from my house. I’m always finding new shops and restaurants there.
To see more of Ashley’s awesome work, check out her online shop, Enflux, on Etsy. If you want to see her (and us!) in person, come stop by the Noe Valley Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10-5.
We’re turning the spotlight on someone else for a change and visiting with Kimberley from MultiFlasking.
Come hang out with us while we chat about the creative process and life in the SF Bay Area.
.retool.: What’s your story? How did you end up in the Bay Area, and where did you get those sewing skills?
Kimberley: I moved here 4 years ago for a job and stayed because this is a great city.
I learned how to sew when I was in middle school and did a few projects here and there throughout high school and college. In design school, I was friends and roommates with a lot of Fashion Design and Textile majors. They influenced me and I took a couple of textile and weaving classes and really fell in love with fabric. When I got my first apartment on my own, I also got my first sewing machine and just started challenging myself from pillows to wedding dresses.
.retool.: Where/how does MultiFlasking fit in to your life?
Kimberley: MultiFlasking is part time right now. It allows me to do craft shows and be involved in the Etsy community and meet great people.
.retool.: What led you to the decision to sell your products?
Kimberley: I didn’t see anything out there that was what I was making. I find joy in my products and thought others would too.
.retool.: Let’s talk a bit about design process and inspiration. Your cuff wallets and backpack laundry bags seem especially well suited for folks with busy, active lives. What sparks an idea for you?
Kimberley: Well, I’m one of those folks with a busy, active life! The cuff wallets were inspired by my brief stint in running with my friend, Barb, and a few nights out when I had no pockets. I really wanted something to hold my essentials that was fun, comfortable and just the right size.
The backpack laundry bags came from the apartment I live in. It’s the first place I lived where I had to go to the laundromat and I was tired of cutting off my circulation from our existing laundry bag that was a simple drawstring bag. I saw some other designs out there, but they were boring to me. And, I saw these big buttons at the fabric store and knew I wanted to use them. I love big buttons.
|See more of the awesome laundry backpacks here.|
.retool.: Once you have your ‘next great idea’ what happens next? Do you use family/friends as product testers?
Kimberley: I refine and edit a lot. I like to get the max out of the fabric so there’s a lot of sketching and calculations. There’s usually some cursing and a few trashed ideas. And yes, I use my family and friends as testers.
|Kimberley at work|
.retool.: What’s next for you and MultiFlasking? Any new products/projects in the works?
Kimberley: It’s spring! And I think it’s finally time to produce the picnic blanket that I’ve been working on for way too long.
|The MultiFlasking studio|
.retool.: What’s your idea of a perfect day in the Bay Area? What would you do, eat, drink, see, hear?
Kimberley: The day would start not too early with brunch. Plow’s my favorite spot right now, but I also love making brunch. I love eating brunch. It’s my favorite meal. Then, get a Zipcar and head to Mount Tam for a hike followed my some fish Tacos at Joe’s (in Marin). Cap off the evening with hosting dinner with friends with lots of laughing, the kind that brings tears to your eyes. Then veg out in bed while watching something on the laptop – probably some TV series – with my husband, Blake, and our cat, Anisette.
Find out more about Kimberley and MultiFlasking here.
Visit the MultiFlasking shop on Etsy here.