ISOT ladies do.
My father is retired from United Airlines and my mother loves to travel, so growing up we travelled all over the world. My mom stayed at home to take care of me and my sister, but worked making crafts, mostly dolls and Christmas ornaments.
My sister, Sue, is an Etsy seller. Her shop is lulubugjewelry; she works in precious metal/silver clay. She has been designing jewelry for many years for other people, but after one year of selling on Etsy she quit her day job and is a full-time Etsy seller.
In 1998, I made a set of alphabet stamps that I cut out from erasers, and that is when I started making prints with words. I began making prints like the ones in my Etsy shop in January of 2009 and I can’t stop!
Traditional printmaking techniques are pretty complicated and precision is important. I’m impatient and I don’t follow instructions very well so I experimented and came up with what I call the ‘raw art letterpress’ process. It is essentially the same as traditional letterpress, but I use cardboard for my printing plates and I cut out each letter from playing cards. I have at least 200 different plates and I usually make a new one every day.
The printmaker I admire most was a Catholic nun named Sister Corita Kent. She was known as the “joyous revolutionary. Almost all of her later prints include words, her messages are political, but she speaks about peace not politics. I suspect she would have agreed with Ataturk: Peace at Home, Peace in the World. She is no longer living, at www.corita.org you can find out more about her.
I started selling on Etsy on June 26th, my shop was called “Project Speak Love” (this is the name of a program I am starting and is to be the shop for that program). I didn’t think I would sell anything, but I listed some prints anyhow. I was very fortunate in that my sister was the front page featured seller soon after I opened and, much to my surprise, I had customers! She makes jewelry from my prints that she sells in her shop, so I get a lot of customers through her.
I don’t know if this is true amongst Turkish people, but many people I know think they have little to offer creatively, or that what they make isn’t ‘good enough.’ A while back, someone with a lot of experience offered me this wisdom: we cannot know how what we create, no matter how small, influences others. What you have to offer is necessary for all of us, so stop holding on to your gifts, get out of your own way, start somewhere and make something!
Likewise there is no act of kindness too small: Nesrin wrote a brief note from which so many blessings have come to me. The print of Ataturk‘s quote won’t change the world, it is a small thing in and of itself, but making it has changed mine. Wow, I guess that was his point!
Thank you for inviting me to share my story and for the warmth and kindness you share with me and everyone on Etsy. I look forward to meeting all of the ISOT Ladies!
Warm Regards, Colette