1. How long have you been making jewelry?
I truly believe I was born making things. I’ve been making jewelry full time for nine years. But I grew up loving art class. I think for the most part it all started in elementary school with friendship bracelets. I have came a long way from those days of tangled embroidery floss and friendship bracelets.
2. Can you talk about your style and describe your products?
My style I guess I could be described as “rustic chic” — I find beauty in simple things. My signature item would probably be my reclaimed glass, especially the Mason jar glass. I crush up vintage Ball Mason jars; Coca-Cola bottles; even a local favorite, Dr. Enuf bottles.
I fire them in a kiln to create earrings and pendants. I also use a variety of mixed metals to create leather cuffs, kiln-fired enamel and etched necklaces. I pride myself in handmade. Handmade to me means just that ... made by hand.
3. What inspired you to start this?
I’m a mom to 4 boys. I was working full time when the last two arrived, twins. I was doing a little photography on the side and a little jewelry as well as working a full-time job that I hated. I figured when the twins arrived I would be working a job to pretty much pay for day care.
So I took a leap of faith and quit my “real job” in 2010. It was truly the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve been able to stay home, work from home and enjoy my kids.
4. What is your favorite part about making jewelry?
My favorite part about making jewelry is I never get bored. I have a variety of techniques I use to create several different items so one day I’ll work on the reclaimed glass, the next day I’ll work on metal, another day I’ll (work on) enamel. I won’t allow myself to get burnt out.
“If I start to get tired of making something I’ll just put it aside for a few days, a week, however long and I’ll work on something else. Being creative means it’s also hard for me to stay on task. I tend to get too many projects going, too many irons in the fire.
I also see people connect with things I make. That keeps me going. I overhear conversations like, “oh, this reminds me of my grandmother,” or “oh, my mom used to sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to me when I was little.”
When people connect to something I make, that’s the best feeling in the world for me. I’ve shared some tears and many laughs with customers in my booth. The stories behind their purchases fuel my fire. They are the reasons I keep creating.
5: What will you be selling at area markets?
I will have a simple setup of jewelry, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Simple grab and go gifts. I’ll even gift box anything purchased so that it’s ready to give. My boys and I are also working on some little ornaments (that) they will be selling to make some Christmas cash of their own.
Markland sells her jewelry locally at Boomtown & Co. in Johnson City; Mercantile on State in Bristol; Mercantile on Broad in Kingsport; and Red Chair Salon in Jonesborough. Along with the Hometown Holiday Street Fest on Friday, she will be set up at Cherokee Creek Farm in Jonesborough on Saturday, Dec. 8. She also hosts a Handmade Holiday Market at the Bramble in Erwin.
If you prefer shopping from the warmth of your home in this cold weather, Markland’s products can also be shopped via her Etsy store. All links to social media and Etsy can be found online at www.artisticicing.com.