Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Inedible Jewelry :: Handmade Holiday Vendor Feature

Business Name:  Inedible Jewelry
Owners:  Jessica & Susan Partain
What is your newest crafty creation?  Is there specific item you'd like to feature for the show? 
Our newest creation is the Star of David sugar cookie, for Hanukkah!  This year, Hanukkah starts the same day as the Handmade Holiday show, so you can do super-last-minute shopping for it!  We also whipped up a fun Bûche de Noël cake, for Christmas; it even has a wee "marzipan" mushroom on top!
Is there a story behind your shop name? 
Susan came up with our name, Inedible Jewelry.  We're a family that loves to play with words, and the name seemed a perfect description for our tiny food jewelry.  It's also fun to see folks who don't know our work wander past, then do a double-take on our name: isn't most jewelry inedible?  This play on words works especially well when we're selling at the Charlottesville City Market, which is primarily farmers and food vendors.

Describe your studio.
My (Jessica's) studio (where the majority of sculpting happens) is a cozy room with a huge tile-topped table for sculpting.  There are all kinds of real kitchen gadgets repurposed for clay work: a pasta machine for mixing clay colors; foil, toothpicks and other dental tools for textures; a lazy susan for storing pigments, handmade clay sprinkles, and other bits and pieces, and even a big awesome toaster oven for "firing" the finished pieces.

To the left of the table is a series of drawers holding extra clay, glitter, and random awesome things that mimic real foods in miniature.  Directly behind the table is a huge cabinet that serves as the pantry for works in progress.  The remainder of the space is assembly space for finished pieces, a shipping table, and the desk for doing all that other work that's not nearly as fun such as bookkeeping.  I try to spend as much time as possible at the fun sculpting table!

On the walls are fun prints that generally all have a food them, including some of my all time favorites by The Bees Knees, purchased at Craft Mafia shows in years past!

What is your favorite thing about the Holidays?
It's so hard to choose one thing!  Favorite things: hot apple cider, my mom's sugar cookies, watching people pick out fun handmade gifts and getting so excited to give them, getting to see my husband's family in Colombia (which means real mangos and passionfruit and sunshine in winter!).

What are your influences?
Food!  In all its forms, and especially if it's particularly colorful and fun, or has a great story behind it.  Susan and I love to brainstorm new ideas, read foodie blogs and magazines and get sucked into the pinterest vortex

Our most fun inspiration is our customers and fans, who are constantly coming up with great suggestions! There's nothing more fun for us than to spend a whole day at a show laughing with folks about food, and we can't wait for the Handmade Holiday show December 8!

Fun Fact:  These sisters were on the Martha Stewart Show! Wow!!

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