Our next interview is with our Nonnie from Nonnie60.
1. What is/are the name of your shop(s)?
I use two business cards, depending on what kind of product I’m offering – one is “Stained Glass by Nonnie” and the other is “Nonnie’s Treasures.” Because it’s easier to remember, I use http://stainedglassbynonnie and http://www.nonniestreasures on my business cards. Both link back to my Etsy shop.
2. What kind of items do you sell?
I originally set up my Etsy shop as an experiment, and listed my angel ornaments to see if this was the right venue for my stained glass. Eventually I added stained glass, but before that happened, I had a lot of gemstones that I had purchased in parcels. I didn’t want to have them stored away in a box, so I set some of them as pendants and earrings. Meanwhile, I dabbled in other items as well, but I will most likely phase everything else out and concentrate on the stained glass, once I retire from work and build up my inventory of stained glass pieces. But the low-ticket items like the angels and the jewelry are bringing people to my shop, where they’re discovering the stained glass, so it’s all good!
3. How long have you been engaged in your art/craft?
I’ve been doing stained glass for a little less than four years, but I’ve played around in art for about 42 years. I’ve done lots of crewel embroidery, oil painting, watercolors, and I made the original angel ornaments 34 years ago at Christmas, and have made several every year for our family and friends.
4. Do you consider yourself a hobbyist or a professional craftsperson?
I consider myself an artisan, and since I’ve sold several pieces of stained glass, I believe that qualifies me as a professional. I’m a hobbyist in the other areas, though.
5. What inspires you?
I am inspired by all kinds of things – nature, birds and animals, music, dreams, fine art, etc. I can see fine art reproduced in stained glass. I created Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” for my daughter in an 18” x 22” panel. It’s also my avatar and appears on my stained glass business card. It’s my favorite piece so far.
6. Please share with us what a typical day is like in your workshop or studio.
Since I work full time at my day job, I’m not in my workshop during the week, unless I really feel inspired and energetic in the evenings. But first thing Saturday through late Sunday night I’m working in my studio. I have my favorite radio station on, and I am usually working on two different projects at once. If I’m not in my workshop in the basement, I’m at my kitchen table creating the artwork for the next stained glass piece.
7. What keeps you company while you’re working on a project?
My favorite radio stations – classical or smooth jazz
8. What is your favorite “task” related to your art/craft?
That’s a very difficult question. I don’t think there’s anything that I love more than every phase of a stained glass project, unless it’s finding a mistake and having to take it apart and fix the mistake.
9. What is your least favorite “task” related to your art/craft?
Taking stained glass apart to replace a piece of glass. I’m very careful at each step, but a mistake once in a while is inevitable, especially if I’m stressed from work and not totally “into” it.
10. What are some of the venues you use to promote your shop/ware?
I am not very sophisticated in marketing my product or promoting my shop, except for posting photos of all of my work on Flickr. I haven’t gotten into doing a blog, simply because I lack time for that. I participated in one craft show in the spring and made a lot of contacts, but the sales weren’t significant for me or for any of the vendors that day. Mostly I talk to people about my stained glass -- to shop owners, antique dealers, co-workers, friends, anyone who will listen to me without being bored to death!
11. Related to your craft, tell us about a strange, funny or unusual situation you found yourself in.
I built a window for my house to go in my entry hall. I designed it in a Tiffany style with flowers, hummingbirds, leaves, vines, and geometric borders. I measured everything, made sure my corners were squared up, and that everything would work. I had a co-worker in the CAD engineering group at work enlarge it for me. It went up several hundred percent to the 3’ x 5’ size. I put in 325 hours over a period of a year. I found an installer who had been in the stained glass business for 35 years. He looked at it, whipped out his squaring tool, and told me that I was ¼” off on the height, and ¾” off on the width. The tiniest error on the small design was magnified when it was enlarged. I was devastated. But I took the side and top apart (melted all the solder connections, which is a daunting task by itself), and made it right. It was frustrating, but worth it, because if I had not made the correction, it would have been very obvious once installed.
12. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t necessarily know about you by talking to you in the forums.
I obsess. I’m a perfectionist. I can’t live with my mistakes, even though someone else might not notice them. However, I am very forgiving with work that someone else does. I’m influenced by other artists and I read everything I can about the art. As I am a scientist by education, the right side of my brain is always warring with the left.
13. What is your favorite book and why, favorite movie and why, favorite kind of music and why?
I have so many favorite books. It’s hard to choose one. If I had to say, it would probably be The Kite Runner. It was beautifully written, and a wonderful story. Favorite movie is Dr. Zhivago. The story is fabulous, the acting and actors wonderful, the music wonderful, and the scenery glorious. It’s the ultimate romantic movie. Favorite kind of music is classical. It is both powerful and gentle, complex, it’s sometimes very sad (violins make me cry), and it’s relaxing and peaceful.
14. Would you care to share any words of wisdom with other aspiring artists or crafters?
Yes. When you’ve found something that you love to do, stick with it. If you want to do something badly enough, you can do it., you will do it, and you will do it well. Never underestimate your abilities.
Please leave a comment for the wonderful artist. She would love to hear from you!