letterpress business cards
artist interview, etsy

Interview with Ali of BURNISH + BONE Osteological Taphonomy. Interesting, uncommon, fascinating!

The interview with Ali of BURNISH + BONE Osteological Taphonomy follows the article in which i talked a little about creating her custom letterpress business cards. I promised then i would be back with inside info directly from the crafter herself. Luckily she accepted to share her story and details regarding the not so common activity she does.

BURNISH + BONE is all about cleaning and preserving animal bones, skulls, claws, tusks, teeth and horns for hunters, pet owners, collectors and enthusiasts. This is something that would catch anyone’s attention, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg! Ali’s interview will reveal a bunch of interesting details about this activity, so without further ado, please enjoy the read!

interview BURNISH BONE
“I received some beautiful custom letterpress business cards.”

1. Tell us something about yourself as a person and also as an artist and a crafter.

I love a good story, especially a good mystery. I think that’s why I like bones — they leave so much to the imagination, you can’t help but create stories around them. Likewise, artifacts of the past invariably teach us about our history, but also our present, and maybe our future. Preserving those moments and stories and learnings to share with other people so that they may feel and learn in their own ways is what really motivates me as an artist and craftsperson.

2. How did you start your business and how did you choose to create the particular items that you make? How did you first get interested in this field?

My business started as hobby that I learned for myself as a young person. When I was a teenager, my grandfather gave me a bear skull from a hunting expedition of his. I was delighted! However, after some time, I noticed it started to discolour and decay. I was desperate to preserve the thing, and so I taught myself how. Long story short, I fell in love with the process and kept doing it more and more. I guess I found a bit of niche market of people who dig it as much as I do.

3. Can you share a little inside info on the actual process of getting the skulls and bones to a finished sellable product? Basically the short version of the journey they go through from the time they get to you and until they leave your studio.

This usually depends on the state that I receive the specimen. If it is still fleshy, it lives outside for a while in a special box to let nature’s little critters clean it up as much as possible for me. This can sometimes take three months given the “freshness” of the skull. Once I think it’s had enough, I bring it in for a lot of soaking in different solutions of environmentally-friendly agents to degrease the bone from the inside out. Once the skull is nearly transparent, I leave it to dry in the sun for a period of time to whiten. Then I start detailing it; gluing the teeth back in, etc. As well as applying several protective finishes to the final product to give it a nice lustre and to protect it from water damage. No paint, no bleach, no varnish. Ick.

interview BURNISH BONE
“that’s why I like bones — they leave so much to the imagination, you can’t help but create stories around them.”

4. What would you say are the main aspects that characterize your work?

Water. Soap. and Glue. My studio always has this funky, sweaty, fresh laundry smell.

5. As an artist, crafter and seller, what were the biggest struggles you had to deal with in the past, but also at present?

The traditions we hold for the dead are very firmly sequestered in people’s minds, and getting people to open up to new perspectives of memorializing the deceased are challenging in their delicate and emotional nature.

6. What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of regarding your work?

Simply providing people with a new way to share and remember their stories and memories, and allowing them to proudly display the remains of their fallen animal brothers, rather than stowing them away in a dusty urn is a reward. For me, it’s like giving breath to the dead.

7. What are your plans for the future of your business?

I would like to have more retail stock for collectors to balance my commission-based work.

8. What did you purchase from Funky Box Studio and / or Funky Print Studio?

I received some beautiful custom letterpress business cards.

9. How did you come by FBS / FPS? (recommendation, google search, etsy etc.)

I saw them on Etsy and thought, “Romania? Cool!”

10. Please tell us your general opinion on the purchased items.

So so so impressed. Really, they are precisely what I wanted. Service, quality… everything, five stars. Top notch.

11. Also, what did you think of your interaction with FBS / FPS from a customer service point of view?

Communicating with Andreea was like talking with my best friend. I could tell she was genuinely concerned about the outcome of my business cards, and wanted to make sure I was 100% happy. And she did :) I am 120% happy!

interview BURNISH BONE
Double sided letterpress business cards BURNISH + BONE

Check out further details on Ali’s website.

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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custom letterpress business cards
artist interview, etsy

Interview with Femke of Dutch Origin Design by FEM. Chic, romantic, European elegance

When we decided to take this series of interviews, we knew that for our letterpress items‘ customers, we had to post Femke‘s interview first. We had really just purchased our new Heidelberg Tiegel (that we named Charlotte, as you may have noticed!) and we hadn’t even opened our shop and website when we took on her custom letterpress business cards order. She was our Charlotte’s first customer!

Femke is the artist behind Dutch Origin Design by FEM. She creates unique jewelry, but also paintings and drawings. In order to get to know her and her activity a little better, we managed to steal a bit of her time and had her answer a few questions for us.

necklace african tribe
Necklace – African tribe

1.Tell us something about yourself as a person and also as an artist and a crafter.
Ever since I was a child I have been drawing and painting but I also have a passion for creating jewellery with beads. After high school I moved from the Netherlands to Oxford to study Art & History of Art, but after a while I decided to go “safe” and got a master’s degree in Law. After my graduation I worked for international fashion companies such as O’Neill and Inditex (Zara/Bershka). As I traveled around the world for work, I got inspired by the different cultures and when I moved for personal reasons to Milan I started my own art & jewellery collection Dutch Origin Design by FEM.

2. How did you start your business and how did you choose to create the particular items that you make? How did you first get interested in these fields?
In Milan, I was constantly surrounded by fashion & design and became inspired to explore my ideas for my own collection. With gemstones, which I bought in Indonesia I created my first jewellery and I continued to source for more special & natural beads. This resulted in the launch of my website Dutch Origin Design.com which displays both my art & jewellery collections.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
People find it important to differentiate themselves among others with unique pieces of fashion or jewellery. However to find affordable pieces you often depend on the mass production of the fashion industry with little intrinsic value or actual uniqueness. The ambition is to provide people with fashionable jewellery which are unique because of the history of the components and look, but are still affordable. For both my art & jewellery nature plays a key role, natural colors & shapes inspire me to create.

funky box studio tags for dutch origin design
“For both my art & jewellery nature plays a key role, natural colors & shapes inspire me to create.”

4. What would you say are the main aspects that characterize your work and at the same time differentiate your work from others?
I would describe my paintings as abstract figurative art with harmonious compilation of colours & shapes. For my jewellery I always search for natural materials, handmade and vintage beads which result in one of a kind jewellery. The reason I use natural materials is the enduring beauty, little imperfections which add value and emotion. I prefer to source my materials from little boutiques, family companies and relative small artists. I believe their passion for their products will reflect in the end result.

5. As an artist, crafter and seller, what were the biggest struggles you had to deal with in the past, but also at present?
Finding the right balance between quality and price is subjective. For my own business I don’t have the constant pressure of meeting targets and I can focus on quality and one of a kind items. But the challenge to source unique materials for a reasonable price and not have to fall back on mass production due to price will always exist.

6. What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of regarding your work?
The combination of family life and my own work. To be able to express what’s in my head and hands works well for me. Currently I am working on multiple assignments (mostly paintings) for people who want unique but affordable pieces. The latest assignment was received with such enthusiasm, that it inspires me to continue creating & sharing my designs.

pen-ink-drawing-feathers-
“The reason I use natural materials is the enduring beauty, little imperfections which add value and emotion.”

7. What are your plans for the future of your business?
Painting is time consuming but personal rewarding and I hope to be able to focus more on painting assignments going forward.

8. What did you purchase from Funky Box Studio and / or Funky Print Studio?
Printed jewellery boxes , printed hang tags & letterpress printed business cards.

9. How did you come by FBS / FPS? (recommendation, google search, etsy etc.)
I was looking on Etsy for customized (printed) hang tags and jewellery boxes with the right look for my brand. During this ordering process, I asked if FBS was able to print good quality business cards as well. Not knowing that FBS was busy working on the opening of the FPS at that time.

10. Please tell us your general opinion on the purchased items.
Think it’s important that the quality, look and the price is right. The result of all my purchased products is what I wished for. The added value of the letterpress print for my business cards was exactly what I was aiming for.

11. Also, what did you think of your interaction with FBS / FPS from a customer service point of view? 
The communication with FBS/FPS was very effective. FBS/FPS listen well to the customer’s “wishes” but give their professional feedback when necessary to achieve the right result. FBS/FPS is in my opinion very reliable for quality and delivery time, it’s important that suppliers don’t make promises they cannot keep.

custom letterpress business cards
“The added value of the letterpress print for my business cards was exactly what I was aiming for.”

Check out Femke’s updates on her Website.

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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artist interview, etsy

Interview with Dana of DanaBassotta. Romantic, eclectic, elegant accessories collections

Here’s the second interview we prepared on the occasion of Funky Box Studio turning 2 years old and finally starting working on Funky Print Studio as well.

Dana Pelnika is the artist and designer behind DanaBassotta. We are really honored to be the ones creating the personalized packaging for her unique bow tie necklaces! Without further ado, here’s a glimpse into Dana’s world:

danabassotta
Silk headband

1. Tell us something about yourself as a person and also as an artist and a crafter.
DanaBassotta is a brand created by Dana Pelnika, born in Latvia and currently based between Rome, Riga and Paris.
While accomplishing studies in Academy of Arts of Latvia, Le Arti Orafe Jewellery School in Florence, and École Boule in Paris, Dana developed her personal creative activities as DanaBassotta.
DanaBassotta is specialized in decorative hand engraving on jewelry and different gift items, as well as portrait and landscape engraving.
Adding to hand engraving DanaBassota focuses her activities on silversmithing, custom jewelry and stone setting.

2. How did you start your business and how did you choose to create the particular items that you make? How did you first get interested in these fields and where do you get your inspiration from?
It began as a nostalgic and sentimental fairy tale… Walking through the charming streets of Montmartre in Paris area with my faithful friend, my cute dachshund Rex, I received a valuable flash of inspiration. Le Marché Saint Pierre with its colorful and chaotic stores tapes, fabrics and buttons, enchanted me and so i have decided to create something special, using the magic and charm of those magnificent colors.

3. What would you say are the main aspects that characterize your work and at the same time differentiate your work from others?
DanaBassotta is innovative and at the same time it represents unique and very original timeless classics, which bases its strength in the use of high quality materials and craftsmanship.

bow ties packaging
“It began as a nostalgic and sentimental fairy tale…”

4. What are your plans for the future of your business?
The future plans of DanaBassotta are quite big! I would like to expand my business and collaborate with other fashion brands. DanaBassotta already was noticed by some important fashion magazines like GQ UK, GLAMOUR UK, JUTE fashion magazine and others. Besides that creations of DanaBassotta have participated in several photo shootings for the fashion blogs and reviews.

5. What did you purchase from Funky Box Studio and / or Funky Print Studio?
From the Funky Box Studio I purchase the boxes for my bow ties.

6. How did you come by FBS / FPS? (recommendation, google search, etsy etc.)
I found this nice provider occasionally. Was struggling for a while with the ‘’perfect wrapping’’ search for my bow ties. One day going through Etsy I came across Funky Box Studio and I am fully satisfied with their products.

7. What did you think of your interaction with FBS / FPS from a customer service point of view?
I appreciate our collaboration with Funky Box Studio also from the customer service point of view. With them all the client’s ideas are taken in consideration and their replies are very punctual! Funky Box Studio is trying to discuss and offer the best solution for the client also regarding shipping and price. Excellent service!

bow ties boxes
“I appreciate our collaboration with Funky Box Studio (…). With them all the client’s ideas are taken in consideration”

Check out Dana’s updates on Etsy, Facebook and Website.

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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artist interview, etsy

Interview with Alex of Alex Malex Designs. The mysteries of unique jewelry

Since we’ve recently turned 2 years old with Funky Box Studio and just started working on Funky Print Studio, we were really curious to find out more about customers, their activities, their goals, but also their opinion on working with us. Therefore, we’ll have a series of interviews with some of the artists whom we’ve had the pleasure of interacting and working with.

Alex is the master mind behind Alex Malex Designs and since we’ve had the honor and pleasure of working together many times now, i was really ecstatic when she accepted to do this interview. Without further ado, here’s the story of this talented crafter:

alex malex design 1
White sea glass pendant

1. Tell us something about yourself as a person and also as an artist and a crafter.
My name is Aleksandra, I am born in a small town North Bulgaria. Although I have the education for being a historian and philologer, my true passion is photography and jewelry making. I am a controversial person appreciating both classics and experiments, so in everything I do I am trying to keep a balance between these two approaches. My free time is usually filled with friends, European cinema, books and music.

2. How did you start your business and how did you choose to create the particular items that you make? How did you first get interested in these fields?
When I started Alex Malex Designs in 2012 my conception was to sell only hand knitted items. At that time I already had experience in jewelry making, but I wanted to try something new and different. I found knitting to be a very charming activity, but with time I realized it is too slow and seasonal. So I reconsidered the concept of the shop and realized that I still have an itch for jewelry making, but I wanted to learn how to do it properly. I needed to learn more than using premade beads and wire to create a pair of earrings for example. The first time I took a sheet of copper, cut it and started hammering it, was like opening a door to a wonderland. Patiently I started learning new techniques and the biggest push was last summer when a friend of mine introduced me to soldering. Afterwards it all just started happening, I could create most of the ideas I had, so all I had to do was following the path.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
My main and biggest inspiration are ancient jewelry. I spend lots of time looking and reading about artifacts and gold treasures. I am amazed how people could create such beautiful items without the tools we have nowadays. Except that I find inspiration in different kinds of art, objects, lines, shapes and textures.

alex malex design 2
“The first time I took a sheet of copper, cut it and started hammering it, was like opening a door to a wonderland.”

4. What would you say are the main aspects that characterize your work and at the same time differentiate your work from others?
My jewelry is a bit eclectic, I like different styles and that I think shows when you look at all the pieces I’’ve done. I try to make simple but unusual designs, using mainly raw materials. I am also really drawn to rustic look, that’’s why all jewelry is hammered, scratched, patinated with raw looking textures.

5. As an artist, crafter and seller, what were the biggest struggles you had to deal with in the past, but also at present?
My biggest struggle as a crafter is creating my own style, a recognizable jewelry with a character. As a seller I still have problems with getting to wider audience. It is an ocean of jewelry makers out there, so reaching customers is really a mission. I also find it difficult to be a seller and crafter at the same time, so a lot of my energy goes into learning how to find balance between this two aspects of the handmade business.

6. What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of regarding your work?
I don’’t think I can point such. Maybe the fact that most of the techniques I know I learned myself with hints from a very good friend. I have never visited classes or workshops for jewelry making. Finding my way through is probably the biggest accomplishment so far.

7. What are your plans for the future of your business?
I want to grow my business and turn it into my day job. I put a lot of efforts in doing so by working hard everyday. My dream is to have my own real shop where I will work and sell the jewelry I create. I like selling online but I also like selling in person, the real touch with the customers is something really rewarding.

alex malex design 3
“I try to make simple but unusual designs”

8. What did you purchase from Funky Box Studio and / or Funky Print Studio?
Two types of flat boxes, square and rectangular. I love the square ones, as almost all of my jewelry fit in them.

9. How did you come by FBS / FPS?
I was searching on etsy for craft boxes made in Europe as I needed them to arrive quickly. When I saw a type of small square boxes, that are ready to be assembled, I knew this was exactly what I needed.

10. Please tell us your general opinion on the purchased items.
I love the boxes I’’ve been purchasing from Funky Box Studio. They are really easy to assemble and due to their plain look one can personalize them. And that’’s something I think every craft business needs. I wouldn’t’ put my jewelry in whatever package, I want it to fit the vision, the concept. So I take the kraft cardboard boxes, I put my logo on them and with a piece of twine, I have a finished clean look of the package. As I use these boxes only for selling in person, I like that I have a minute more with my clients, while I assemble the box. That way I can have a small chat with them, which is important for me.

11. Also, what did you think of your interaction with FBS / FPS from a customer service point of view?
Andreea is a kind and helpful person, one can reach her easily with different kind of questions. I am a happy customer of Funky Box Studio.

alex malex design in funky box studio boxes
“I love the boxes I’ve been purchasing from Funky Box Studio.”

Check out Alex’s updates on Etsy, Facebook and Blog.

We’re really really grateful that we’re able to share all these interesting things with you, so thank you, Alex!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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