Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Bada-Bing Crafter Interview with Freshie & Zero

Describe your business and work:
Freshie & Zero jewelry is handcrafted in Nashville, TN by “Freshie” Beth Lawrence while her dog, Zero sleeps nearby. Mainly drawing inspiration from geometry, she uses wire and a hammer to create jewelry that is simple yet bold, modern but classic. Each piece is formed from sterling silver or gold-filled wire and hand hammered for a unique texture. Semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls, and irregular wire wrapping add a dash of color and delicate edginess.

How long have you been a crafter or designer?

Since I can remember – I started selling my creations when I was about 10 or 11!

How did you get started with your craft?
I have always made jewelry, but I after being so busy with school and my other art endeavors, including drawing, painting, and photography - I had forgotten all about my jewelry making days of childhood. In 2001, I was living in Atlanta and working two jobs, when I got laid off from one of them. The job I still had was working in a craft gallery and I thought the jewelry we were selling (for a lot of money) would be so easy to make, so I went to a bead store and bought some supplies and started making jewelry again for extra cash. My goal was and still is to make jewelry but sell it at an affordable price. I initially started out recycling vintage earrings and pins and adding them to beaded necklaces, but my style has evolved over the years into the simple hammered shapes that I am creating now.

What are your influences?

I love the simple shapes used by designers like Orla Kiely, Angela Adams, and Lotta Jansdotter – I think there is an element of a line drawing in a lot of my work, so I really relate to their aesthetic. Geometric forms are so versatile – for example, I have several different circle-shaped necklaces, but they are all different sizes, or repeat in a different way, so each one appeals to a different person. It’s fun to watch people pick out their favorite!

Do you have a particular item you want featured?
I love the Simple Post earrings – they are actually my best selling item! They are long and sexy but since they’re so skinny, they seem small, and they’re light as a feather!

What do you like best about Spring?
Dodging tornados! Just kidding. I just bought my first house with my husband in the fall, and spring has been so fun since we had no idea what our yard would look like. Every day we find a new plant blooming or a new tree sprouting leaves. We have two dogwood trees – who knew? I have never realized how beautiful dogwood blooms are. It’s like seeing spring for the first time.

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