Meet the Team - Interview with Christine Street
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
My name is Christine Street. I always enjoyed making things as a kid but it was never encouraged. I came from a family of accountants and nurses. Finally my last year of high school I was allowed to take one elective class of my choosing. I took ceramics and knew that I had found something I loved. I enrolled in college to become a nurse and dropped out after one year to go to school for Fashion Design. I have been pursuing some sort of a creative career ever since. Åfter having my son I decided not to return when maternity leave ended and I began “Chocolate and Steel”. One of the best decisions of my life (next to marrying my husband).
Have any special hobbies?
I enjoy sketching and taking photos. I am considering buying a fancy SLR camera so I may actually take a photography class to learn the in’s and out’s. As of now, I just play around with my camera until it works. My other hobby is drinking wine. My husband and I started a blog called www.brownbagsommelier.com. We meet once a month with friends and do wine tastings of wines under $13 (hence – brown bag).
What is your business name and website address?
Chocolate and Steel at www.chocolateandsteel.com and my shop address is www.chocolateandsteel.etsy.com
Do you sell in any shops other than etsy?
Yes, I sell on Shopflick and Dawanda.
How did you find out about metalclay and then start working with it? How long?
If I remember correctly I read about it on the Rings n things website. I asked my family for money for my birthday and Christmas to buy the tools that I needed to start. I think I had $120. I got it and then got scared. I finally tried it after almost 1 year. The first thing I made broke the minute I put it on. I didn’t understand the firing procedure. Then I saw a one day class that was being taught by Lora Hart. I’ve been hooked ever since.
What drives you to make jewelry?
I really just like to make things. Jewelry has been the thing I have stuck with the longest. At first I think I got into jewelry because it was small and didn’t take up too much space. I could make something and then pack up all my supplies in a little box and put it away in the closet. Now of course my “hobby” has taken 1/4 of my living room. I am most “driven” to make jewelry when I just sit down and play around. Sometimes the pressure of this being my business can really zap my creativity. I have to just allow myself to create when I feel like it. Rainy days really help too
Are you disciplined or do you go with the flow and work when you feel like it?
I try to be disciplined because I want to help my business grow. But in the end, it’s not really how I work. I’m best when I just allow the creativity to flow.
My Heart Belongs to...
Do you do any other type of art?
All of my hobbies are art related. I love to make cards, knit, draw, take photos, make robots out of play-doh, collage with glitter, glue, and googlie eyes (ok, the last two things I do with my son)
What is your art sensibility - precise or organic?
My gut is to say organic, but the simplicity of my designs also is a tiny bit precise.
When did you feel you had more confidence in your abilities?
Maybe next year.
What is your favorite tool for working with metalclay?
Cocktail Straws – great for making bails and tiny little bezels
Where do you work?
I have taken over the corner of our living room. I tried to make it stylish so it doesn’t look too cluttered.
What is your favorite thing to make?
Do you ever add commercial components?
Yes, probably just stones
How do you work, and when? (for ex. assembly line or one at a time)
Depends. Wholesale orders are usually done in an assembly line. Everything else I take as it comes.
Do you have any kind of creative ritual?
I love to listen to my iPod when I work. Although usually I realize halfway through the day that I’ve been working in silence. Maybe subconsciously I like the silence.
How do you hold onto ideas that you don't have time to pursue NOW!
Do you ever teach classes?
No, but I take them.
Do you make a living at it?
Yes. I pay myself a salary so months when I make more can fill in for months when I make less.
Do you do custom orders?
Absolutely. I really enjoy custom orders. It usually gives me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and do something a little different.
What are you working on currently?
Currently I’m using my time to get organized. Do taxes, book shows, research casting options. None of the fun stuff.
What's next on your agenda to make?
Petals and Dew
How do you make time for everything you want to do?
Good question. I’m still trying to figure that out. Recently I’ve decided that I don’t need to be available every moment of the day. I allow myself to not respond to emails on Saturdays and Sundays.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I love this group
Thank you Christine,
It has been a pleasure getting to know you.