Blog Carnival October 2010: EtsyMetal and Me

EtsyMetal turns 4 years old this month!  Happy Anniversary EtsyMetal! 

October Topic: EtsyMetal & Me
When/Why did you join? Is it what you expected? What does it mean to you to be a part of the team?

When/Why did you join?
I have been a member of Etsy Metal for a few years now.  I joined in January of 2008, and honestly, I can't even remember how I found out about it.  Someone mentioned it in passing, and I had a look at the EtsyMetal team page ( and sent in an application.  

Is it what you expected?
 I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was extremely excited to be a part of a group with such outstanding metalsmiths in it (Both Sarah Hood and Ann Jenkins were like celebrities to me in college).  I love that there is a private forum, which is very well organized, and the team really works as a team.

What does it mean to you to be a part of the team?
After first leaving college, I think a lot of metalsmiths need to find their voice--when you're in art school, it can be very difficult to transition from conceptual work to production work.  Four years on, I finally feel like I have a really solid grasp on "my voice".  I honestly can attribute a lot of this to being part of Etsy Metal.  As part of a team, I can turn to my team mates with problems and questions ranging from business techniques to technical issues, to personal problems.  And even if I'm not the one asking the questions, I can certainly absorb and contribute to other conversations.  I am still no expert in business or marketing, but I have a much better idea of what I "should" be doing as an artist.  
The other part of leaving school as an artist is that in many cases, suddenly you go from being in a studio with 20 other people, to being on your own.  It gets lonely!  I often find myself checking facebook and email multiple times a day just to have a sense of keeping in touch with other human beings.  I love knowing that a group of people who I have grown to love and respect are just a few clicks away.  

Outside of the forum, there is also a lot going on.  We are constantly holding challenges and projects (EtsyMetal Project Runway Challenge, Monthly Themes, and Charm Swaps are a few) that keep people motivated and trying new things, which is really important as an artist.  I actually took about a year off of making production work, just so I could play and really figure out what it was I wanted to make and how I wanted my business to look.  I had been losing myself in simply trying to make sales and producing crap that meant nothing to me.  I took part in a lot of challenges through EtsyMetal that helped re-awaken techniques that I love, and remind me of what's important to me.  And the whole time, I had a great support network to turn to.

If you would like to read more on this topic, check out other EtsyMetal Team Members' blogs!



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