Friday, 15 May 2009

Blog Interview: Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane

Company/Etsy Site:



Providence, RI
The recently self-proclaimed “Creative Capital.”

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
My Etsy shop launched July 5, 2007.

How did you get into crafting?
I can’t even remember, I feel like I’ve always been crafting! I remember making all kinds of things when I was younger. Looking back though, I think I was always drawn toward fiber related crafts. I later went to college to be a textile designer. I guess I can trace it all back to my “Knit Magic” and Fisher Price loom.

How did Etsy come into your life?
A friend I worked with opened a shop when Etsy was very new and was always raving about it. ( From the moment I heard about it, I thought it was awesome and eventually started buying on Etsy. I figured I’d give selling a shot, basically because Etsy made it so easy.

What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
Aside from just making stuff for myself, I didn’t have much involvement in the craft world. I remember thinking “I’m crafty, but not artsy.” I loved watching this Handmade Revolution start and I’m excited to have become a part of it.

Do you have a day job?
I have a day job working for a small graphic design studio.

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
I make mostly travel journals and have recently started making photo albums too. I do it all by myself in my small apartment in Providence. No one helps me beyond giving me lots of moral support, enthusiasm and keeping me well fed.

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
Make what you love; someone else out there will love it too! Take really good photographs, be as descriptive as possible and get involved with other local crafters. Plus, buy handmade. I’m a strong believer that if you want people to support what you’re making and doing, make it a habit of supporting other people trying to do the same thing.

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
Aside from periodically stabbing myself with a needle and trying not to bleed on the white paper I’m binding together, I’d say it’s finding the time to design new product. I find it more of a challenge to find the quiet time to devote to coming up with new products and working out new ideas then in actually binding.

Do you show your work locally?
I sell my books at Craftland in Providence every December. I’m hoping to get more involved this year in my local art scene and expanding where I sell my work.

Famous last words?
“Oh, I’ll never forget that.”
Yes you will! That’s why you need a journal!

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
I’m a bit of a bibliophile, so when I had a one-day bookmaking workshop back in college, I immediately took to it. I loved that it was also made of fiber, involved sewing and had a deep history; a lot of the same things I love about textiles. I didn’t do much bookbinding though for years afterward. Around 2005 I took a bookbinding class at RISD and have been doing it ever since.

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?
I’d say I’ve been pretty consistently making books since around early 2006. Once I opened my Etsy shop, it really picked up speed.

What is your favorite stitch/technique?
I do mostly Coptic journals. I love how flat they lie when open. I love any books with a gorgeous exposed spine.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
It would be a toss up between a nice sharp exact-o blade and my curved needle.

Materials you use for your books?
I do mostly travel journals, so I use a lot of maps for my covers. I buy a lot of old atlases in used bookstores and sometimes go to my local map store if I have a custom order for a specific place. I get a lot of custom orders from people going some place who want a special journal just for that trip. I love thinking that even if I’m not going to South Africa, or New Zealand or Hawaii ¬– at least my journal gets to go.

What inspires you?
Traveling is one of the most inspiring things for me. I think it’s the feeling of everything around me being new and unfamiliar that lets my brain get out of its comfort zone. I also love books (big surprise, I know) and am constantly flipping through books when I need a spark. Also, my textile background gives me a special appreciation for repeating patterns, texture and structure. I can get inspired just walking through a store with gorgeous papers or yarns.

Who is your crafting hero?
I love the journals of Hannah Hinchman. They’re just unbelievably gorgeous. I think I’d give the hero label though to anyone out there who is making what they love and is able to make a happy life while doing it.

Guilty pleasure?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Man vs. Wild

1 comment:

PrairiePeasant said...

Nice feature! Kristin's books are so lovely, and it's nice to learn more about the creator behind the books!