Today’s Feature – Jalex Studios

Oh my goodness, I think I’m in love!

When I went to the Etsy forums to ask for shops to be featured, I found Jalex Studios amongst the many replies. I immediately knew that not only would I have to feature this shop, I’d probably be back to buy something too! This shop is simply amazing!

Take a look at this wall art, for example

Dissipation Wall Art

Dissipation Wall Art

Absolutely stunning!

Or these candle holders

Modern Candle Holders

Modern Candle Holders

I fell in love. Completely and utterly in love.

So, I sent my questions away and here is what he had to say.

Q. Tell us a bit about you and your craft.

A. I initially started my craft the first year my son was born (2003). The prior Christmas, my wife and I made a resolution for the next
Christmas, to not go out and buy gifts, but rather make something. We felt that it was too easy to be like everyone else and just buy something. But to make something by hand — now that would make for a memorable Christmas that would never be forgotten. 

Well, needless to say August rolled around and my wife comes to me and says — So how’s my Christmas present coming along? I, with a look of horror and fright claimed amnesia (don’t worry, for those of you that are married, if your husband hasn’t given you this look by now, in time he will!!). So, I hastily began to design a modern armoire for my wife. Well, I held up my end of the bargain and come Christmas day, my wife got her handmade modern armoire. I think at that point, the seed was planted.

Q. What inspires you?

A. I get my inspiration from everyday life. It’s kind of funny — I would always ask my wife why does she buy so many shoes? I would always say to her “You don’t have an outfit to match those shoes so why buy them!!” My wife would respond – “Honey, if you buy the shoes, the outfit will come”. Needless to say, she was right (Yes, I just admitted that she was right!!).

So you may ask, what does this statement have to do with my inspiration. Everything, because many of my inspirations come about in this manner. Whenever, I find an object that intrigues me and I’m hesitant to use it, I go back to what my wife said but change it to “if you use it, the design will come”. So, many of my inspirations come from ordinary objects that I feel have a unique quality that can be fused together to create designs that are intriguing and thought provoking and hope that someone might say “Wow, I never thought of using that object in that way”.

Q. Why is it important to you to use eco-friendly materials in your items?

A. I think it is important to use eco-friendly material such as bamboo because I think it looks great and most importantly it is sustainable. I also try and use discarded wood that I find from building sites.I think how I came up with the idea about using reclaimed material such as bamboo was the fact that I live in area that has a lot of development and have seen how much material that is wasted when building a home. You would be amazed at how much waste is generated. After realizing this, I guess I had a light bulb moment — why not go to these sites and see if I can reuse the material that they are ultimately going to throw away. And so I thought that if I could responsibly use this material, just maybe it wouldn’t end up in some landfill.

Q.What is your favourite item and why?

A. They are all my babies!! But one of my favorites is the L-modern coffee table

The L-Modern Coffee Table

The L-Modern Coffee Table

It is made out of recycled brazilian walnut flooring, a recycled door and shelving.

Q. If the world could only know one thing about you, what would you like that to be?

A. Over the last year before I opened up my shop, I was in an artistic slump, self-doubt, etc.. (if you will). What I mean by this is that, I felt something was missing in my life, there was a hole somewhere, but I didn’t know where. One day scanning through the channels on cable, I ran across the movie RENT, and was mesmerized by the message of this movie. So, if the world could only know one thing about me, I would like that to be this: “Whether you are fellow Etsians, or contemplating becoming future Etsians/Artists — “Forget regrets, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way. No day but today”. I think this says it all, have no regrets, do it your way, and seize the day!!

And a couple of fun questions

Q. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A. Kellogs Frosted Flakes

Q. If you were a colour, what colour would you be and why?

A. Green, because that is the color of my eyes, which is my best feature :).

Q. If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be?

A. Frank Lloyd Wright or Le Corbusier

Do yourself a favour. Stop by Jalex Studios and do some shopping. You will not be disappointed!!

Today’s Feature – Woodland Woodniks!

Welcome to the very first feature on My Eco Finds. I went to the Etsy forums and look what I found! Woodland Woodniks! And much to my surprise and delight, Woodland Woodniks wasn’t the only shop! This lovely lady runs Wood N Goods on Etsy too! Two gorgeous shops, all run by one fantastic person? I had to have them as my very first feature. 😉

Here are a couple of my absolute favourites from her shops.

Wild Mustang

horsewoodngoods1

Isn’t this just absolutely stunning? The colours, the detail…It’s gorgeous!

Patchwork Mittens Made With Recycled Sweaters

mittenswoodnik

These look so cozy and warm!  I can just imagine slipping my hands into these on a cold winters day. Gorgeous!

So, I sent off my questions. Read with me, won’t you?

Tell us a bit about you and your craft. I live in the woods of Northern Michigan with my family. I’ve been crafting for most of my life, but began scroll sawing about 10 years ago. I began creating my own patterns when I couldn’t find what I wanted in commercial patterns, and have had some of my designs published in various magazines. For the segmentation and intarsia projects I make, each segment of wood is cut using a scroll saw, shaped, then hand sanded. All of the pieces need to fit toghether with minimal gaps. With intarsia, the different varieties of woods used and the grain direction give the project its completed look. With the segmented projects, I use a base wood (usually pine) and use many layers of stains, dyes, and paint to give it color.

 

What inspires you? The color, scents, and grain of the wood that I work with. I love taking a dull piece of wood and transform it into something with a rich and warm color.

 

Why is it important to you to use eco-friendly materials in your items? In addition to being a woodworker, I am also a forester. As a forester, I know people can use trees and wood in a sustainable way. I have also seen what happens to the earth when harvesting of wood is not done with thought and care. The waste of beautiful trees that are burnt and destroyed to clear a piece of property saddens me. When I found a company that takes those trees and makes useful lumber out of them, I knew I had to support it!

 

What is your favourite item and why? It is so hard to choose just one favorite!  The Sea Turtle intarsia was the first special request I received after opening my shop on Etsy. It was also the first intarsia pattern that I designed. I also enjoy making the smaller projects like the angels and bears (designed by Kathy Wise) on my site.

il_430xn_25722883 

 

If the world could only know one thing about you, what would you like that to be? “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I don’t think anyone knows the whole me – I have many different layers and interests and you may only be seeing one or two of those layers.

 

What did you have for breakfast this morning? A bowl of raisin bran. What I would have liked – a piece of home-made carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! I may have to bake this afternoon. lol

 

If you were a colour, what colour would you be and why? Dark Red, that flares to bright red at times. 🙂 A little like my moods I guess.

 

If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be? Mother Teresa.

 

Be sure to stop by and visit both sites to see the wonderful items she has! You will not be disappointed, trust me!

Welcome To My Eco Finds!

I’m so glad you’ve found your way here. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee or tea (or your drink of choice) and enjoy the Eco-Friendly Etsy and Artfire shops I’ll be featuring here.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks for stopping by!