Sunday, July 29, 2007

INCrowd Interview, 7/29/2007 - Carolynn McLaughlin, nilochlainn

This week's seller is one of our newer members, Carolynn of the House of ni Lochlainn. Here's what she says about herself:

"I'm from Indianapolis, Indiana, though I grew up on Long Island in NY and have also lived in Southern California, Southern Indiana, and Upstate New York.

I make jewelry using wire-wrapping and bending, and lots of chandelier crystals, copper wire and glass. I use antique elements wherever possible, but I also like buying elements from my fellow etsyers. I make pendants, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and pocket rosaries. Some of my pendants also have religious or spiritual connotations.

I started beading when I was in my teens, I think. It's been that long; I don't even remember for sure! My mother and grandmother both knit professionally, and my mother participated in craft shows when I was a teenager and in my 20s. We'd sometimes share a booth or a table. She was so creative - she made amazing rainbow-striped, bold garments for infants. Everybody else was going pastel and cute, and she made this great, engaging work that sold really well. She also made classic afghans, but again, in interesting colors and textures.

My mom also taught me to sew before I was 10. She made our clothes for much of my life, and so I learned how to put together parts of multiple patterns to make unique items. I believe that this fed my interest in making jewelry and the notion that no two items should ever be alike. She was the darling of my heart, and I know she'd absolutely love the fact that I now combine history and jewelry in my current work.

I also like to combine unusual elements. I got bored with what I was doing (it looked like everyone else's work), so I started looking around for other elements. A friend challenged me to find inexpensive dichroic glass pendants for resale, and I realized I could do something that would involve my creativity more. I decided to go to some antique lamp stores, and I hit the jackpot - chandelier crystals in all sorts of colors and sizes! Then I saw natural and colored copper wire for sale in some catalogs, and I added that to the mix. I had a ton of glass beads already, so I just added a bit to that and bingo! House of ni Lochlainn was born.

The name is a bit of a joke between my mother and myself. I am not nearly as pretentious as I may sound! If you know the British TV series House of Elliott, you'll know the reference.

These are some of my favorite pendants:

I'm about to re-engage in my sewing passion and make an item that I hope will sell AND get a patent: Outer Tubes. They're like scarves and like traditional Middle Eastern head cover with ornamentation. That's all I'm willing to say for now!! I don't want all of you creative geniuses to pick up the idea and beat me to the patent office."

I, for one, can't wait to see what she comes up with! Check out her shop, House of ni Lochlainn, the first chance you get. I promise, you will not be disappointed!


  1. Love the chandelier pieces. Who woulda thunk it? Very crafty.

  2. Carolynn`you have sone a fine job of standing out! I think as our world expands and goes "global" standing out is a must. congrats

  3. Wow, beautiful pieces and so unique. Welcome to the IN Crowd. Great talent here.