Saturday, February 7, 2009

International Interview, 2/07/09- Xin Wei aka xinxinemin

Being a Jewelry Artist and big lover & supporter of handcrafted jewelry myself, I can't help but drool over all the fabulous baubles on Etsy. Among them, Xinxinemin is definitely on my list of "Gorgeous jewelry I would love to have in my jewelry box". Colorful, bold, and a dash of whimsical, Xins' jewelry stands out in design with her choice of stones to the unique shape each piece takes on. Check her out:)

What's your real name?
My name is Xin Wei, from the Mongolian words of “New era”. I use “Emin” for my shop because this is my husband’s family name. We still haven’t decided to change my family name or not.

Where were you born & raised?
I was born in Inner Mongolia, China.

Where are you now & what led you there?
I currently live in Japan. I came here 4 years ago and just completed my PhD course in Saitama University.

What types of creations do you sell in for your Etsy shop(s)?
I sell handcrafted intricate jewelry. Most of my pieces are made of sterling silver, gold filled, and semi-precious gemstone.

What's your educational background, as it relates to your work?
I majored in computer graphics in PhD course. The research I did doesn’t involve creating beautiful pictures. It is tedious mathematic algorithm. But I learnt some basics of many graphical softwares; this might be the benefit I’ve got from my educational background. I didn’t have any troubles when I made banners, avatars, and I was able to construct my own website with the knowledge I learnt in the University.

How'd you get started creating?
My mother taught me how to crochet when I was 7. After that I practiced a lot in different kind of handcraft things. For me, Japan is heaven for handcraft. I can find materials and books for almost every kind of handcraft. Beading is the most popular one these years in Japan. I started beading with crystals and seed beads at 2006. And at the beginning of 2007, I started to create jewelry with semi-precious gemstone and wires. The passion of creating jewelry finally became a disaster. It overwhelms all of my life. It didn’t only eat up my spare time, but also my time for doing research. I postponed half year for graduation because I couldn’t prepare myself enough for graduation presentation and thesis. But luckily I managed to graduate last year.

I think my mother taught me crochet is the most important thing led me finally into making jewelry. I still crochet now. Crocheted silver lace flower is one of my signature designs in my shop.

What's your muse, or what turns that little creative light inside you on?
I think many different culture backgrounds gave me great inspiration. I get inspiration from Mongolian, Chinese, Japanese, and Western Art works. The nature inspires me a lot too. I created many pieces representing the plants, flowers and insects.

Do you belong to any Street Teams? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not?
Yes I am proud to be a member of Wire Artisan Guild of Etsy. In the guild we learn skills from each other, discuss the problems we met and encourage each other all the time. We also have theme challenge every month. Everyone creates a piece for the theme that month. I created a lot amazing pieces in theme challenge. My jewelry would not have such big variety if I haven’t challenged myself with those theme challenges.

What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
The best thing is that I always see many talented works here and that keeps me improving myself.

Recommend your five favorite shops on Etsy.
Naftali In this shop there are so many amazing clay beads. Haven’t bought anything there but I am sure one day I will.
gorjuss There are very cute cartoon cards and paintings. I love cartoons and this is my favorite shop. I wish I could have one shop like that in the future.
triz Before I make wire wrapped jewelry, I did a lot of beading. And this shop is full with fantastic beaded staff.
SuzyQJewelry One Swedish jewelry artist in our guild. Her work inspired me a lot.
julidadesigns Another guild member who’s work had great influence on me. I enjoyed a lot reading her tutorials. There are so many talented artist in our guild. Here I just listed two of them whom I admired before I had my own shop on Etsy.

Three pieces I chose from my shop are:
1. Earth Garden Pendant Necklace
This is created for the earth day (one theme from the wire artisan guild)

2. 3 Dimensional Pink Cage Earrings
My original three dimensional design with a beautiful deep pink color.

3. Crocheted Silver Lace Flower Ring
This ring looks amazing when you wear it. Very attractive, from my signature crocheted design.

Thanks so much Xin, and keep rockin' out the gorgeous jewelry!


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