Artist Highlight: plastique*

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Today, I am happy and honored to introduce our guest artist, Jen, who runs plastique* on Etsy (as well as her own site here and on Supermarket). Her chic, modern design is clever as well as fashionable. Make sure to check back tomorrow for a special double giveaway!!

1) How do you make your products? How did you get into acrylic jewelry?
I first started getting into acrylic jewelry about a year and a half ago when I saw a few random necklaces and rings floating around; most notably by: AMT's diamond ring ( I thought, "I can do that!" Except I didn't have a way to cut acrylic. Then I stumbled upon Ponoko one day and it changed my life. At first I made a few simple pieces for myself only. I really liked how they came out so I started making more and thought I should try selling them on Etsy. And here we are...

The way I go about making my jewelry is first I come up with the ideas in my head and sketch them out. Then I transfer the sketch to Illustrator and sometimes I print out the designs to get a better idea of scale. Then I send off my files to Ponoko and when the acrylic comes back, I add the chains, diamonds, or whatever else the products may need to end up in their finished state.

2) You are also a graphic designer. Where do you get your inspiration for design and jewelry?
I read a TON of blogs every day. I get inspired a lot by what other designers are doing and I think blogs are the fastest way for people to get new information. It's really easy to find a ton of new and awesome designs just from reading blogs everyday. I also read a lot of design books and magazines for inspiration. I'm also a big music fan. When I listen to music sometimes design ideas pop into my head. But then sometimes designs pop into my head at the most random moments such as when I'm eating my breakfast or riding the train to work.

In terms of my actual jewelry and where the designs come from, I am a huge fan of very simple, straightforward, clean design. I am never one to over-embellish anything. This is why all my pieces have that kind of look to them. I decided that with the prevalence of acrylic jewelry in the marketplace, I should set myself apart by taking a very "design driven" approach to my jewelry. It started with the "helvetica" necklace and went from there.

I also have my music-related jewelry which is spawned from my aforementioned love of both music and retro things. This is why I have a cassette tape ring and a turntable necklace rather than some rendition of an iPod or a CD. Retro things are just really fun!

I am an avid traveler, having been to over 40 countries on all seven continents. This is what inspired the landmark rings. I wanted to bring a piece of the world to your fingertips. Literally.... These rings are newer pieces for me and I'm planning on expanding the line to create more world landmarks. I'm even thinking about doing them as necklaces and earrings.

3) Name three of your favorite artists, musicians/bands, and websites.
This is a toughie since I am really bad at picking "favorites" for anything. I'd have to say that some knee-jerk reaction favorites would have to be:

Josef Muller-Brockmann
Robert Doisneau

Radiohead forever and ever. Then two current faves would be Fleet Foxes and The Black Ghosts. But really if we wanted to talk music that'd be another interview entirely since I'm always listening to new music.

Websites: (these are three MUST reads on a daily basis)
Aisle One (
The Dieline (
ISO50 (

4) What's your favorite/least favorite part of running your own business?
When I first started my Etsy store, business was really slow. I'd sell a few things here and there. So it wasn't too challenging to balance everything. But now that it's started to pick up, I realize just how tough it can be. After all, plastique* is a side business. Trying to manintain the balance between plastique* and my actual day as a designer at a design firm is a challenge. I spend a lot of "free" time dedicated to my business. But I find it really rewarding to see people taking an interest in my work. Working as a designer for a firm, most of the things I do are just part of a larger project. But with my jewelry, it's all me. When I wear one of my designs out and people compliment it, they are complimenting my work. And that's really exciting. So for all the time and effort it takes out of my day to run this small business, it's rewarding when others are happy about the jewelry I've made for them.

5) What's your favorite color/color combo?
I am a huge fan of shades of grey and pink together; anything from a dark charcoal grey and fuchsia to a light grey and pale pink. To me, grey and pink are the new black and red – similar colors but with a slightly more interesting twist!


suki said...

great interview with jen! i love plastique*.

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