Saturday, August 2, 2008

INCrowd Interview, 8/2/08 - Sandy Baker aka crescentwench

Where were you born & raised?
Born in Connecticut and raised all over the East Coast/New England till my family settled in Indiana through some bizarre fluke.

Where are you now & what led you there?
In Bloomington, Indiana. A lot of things led me here – I went away for college – I was desperate to leave after 12 or so years here. I worked all over the country for several years doing costuming for theatre and finally decided I was sick of moving about and wanted to go home and start a life where I didn’t have to start from scratch every 6 months. It certainly didn’t hurt that Bloomington is sort of a mecca for the arts in Indiana – the opera, theatre, galleries and lots of crafty folks. It just felt like the perfect place to me to be, and I was right. After moving back to Bloomington, I won a local alternative fashion show and met my sweetheart in the first few months!

What types of creations do you sell in your Etsy shop(s)?
I make and sell all kinds of clothing and accessories. I use dye-work and screen printing to upcycle old clothing as well as screenprinting new clothing made of organic cotton and recycled polyester. I do all of my screen printing by hand one print at a time and each design is drawn on paper before being transferred to a silkscreen. I do all the work in my apartment without any fancy equipment.

What's your educational background, as it relates to your work?
I’ve always loved fashion, particularly historical fashion. I grew up doing reenactments and renaissance fairs. I struggled for a while trying to figure out what to study in college – I knew wanted to study design but not fashion or interior or any other kind of design that I knew about. That’s when my friends introduced me to theatre. I’m an introvert by nature and fell happily into the backstage world of theatre. I’d been raised going to opera and theatre but for some reason it never occurred to me that someone actually designed the costumes! So naturally, I decided to study Costume Design for Theatre. I got my BFA at College of Santa Fe.

How'd you get started creating?
My mother is really creative. Arts and Crafts was a huge part of my childhood. Fingerpaints, clay, needlepoint, crochet, sewing – the whole nine yards. My sister is really creative too – she does glasswork. I think it’s just in our blood.

What's your muse, or what turns that little creative light inside you on?
I don’t think there’s anything specific. I think my light is always on and it’s just matter of quieting down all the bugs buzzing around it. I don’t really know how to explain how I feel about this, so I’ll give you an example. I took a drawing class in high school based on the “How to draw on the right side of the brain” book. (Right brain is the creative side, the Left brain controls logic, numbers.) As we worked our way through the book doing these exercised I realized that I was already doing this naturally. No one ever taught me, I just automatically went to my right brain any time I was being creative. It was an epiphany for me!

Do you belong to any Street Teams? If so, which ones and why?
The INCrowd, of course, and I’m also part of the Etsy SteamTeam – a steampunk oriented virtual team.

What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
When I set for a live show and someone says, “I saw you on Etsy!” I get exposure and make friends with folks I never would have.

Recommend your five favorite shops on Etsy.
I have so many favorites on etsy, but these are shops I find myself drooling over time and again.
Thecandythief – awesome felt headbands.
Roseyeskova – gorgeous draped clothing – I’ve got a tunic and it never fails to get compliments!
Molecularmuse – the nerd in me rejoices at molecule jewelry and wine glasses
Echarrow – absolutely adorable artwork. I met her at ICE in Atlanta. A lovely lady – I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next
Oppulentoddities – old things made new in jewelry form. She has a great eye for design and all her pieces are one of a kind.

Show us your three favorite pieces, of your own work:
Vintage Seersucker Dress

Betta Fish Tie Top

Hypodermic Syringe Necktie

Anything else to add?

I was featured on Man Made Market – a blog about internet clothing shops for men:

Also, I’ve got several up coming shows –

Craftin' Outlaws - Columbus OH, August 16th, noon to 7pm at BOMA

Strange Folk Festival - O'Fallon IL (outside St.Louis), September 26th & 27th at Community Park

IUPUI Fine Arts and Craft Fair - Indianapolis IN, November 22nd, 10am - 4pm at the IUPUI Campus Center

We'll see you there, Sandy. Thanks a ton!

1 comment:

  1. We're going to rock Strangefolk. I am really psyched to see your work up close, especially that tie and its kin!