In order to kick off my interview series for 2011, Alisa of Clonehardware has graciously agreed to answer a few questions about herself, her craft, and her inspiration.
I've admired her ingenuity and creativity since she first joined Etsy and the Oh Canada Team, and it's been very interesting for me to get to know a bit more about both the woman, and the process, that are behind the creation of what she terms, "upcycled computer electronics into wearable art jewelry".
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do...
After I received a degree in English and Art History (several thousand years ago) I decided to pursue a career in graphic & web design. But during the years of slaving / working in that field my creative energy was being slowly stifled.
Upcycling computer parts from both new surplus items or retrieved parts from computer and electronic waste, I create unique pieces of jewelry and accessories such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, headbands and keychains. Clone Hardware specializes in kick ass industrial, ultra cool steampunk, super spiffy pretty and simply modern hardware.
By creating beautiful and unique pieces of wearable art out of what would otherwise end up in landfill, I hope to educate. Our landfills are still being overloaded with these products. It’s up to us to dispose of them properly and try to reverse some of the adverse effects on the environment created by this modern waste.
2) How did you become interested in creating with outmoded computer parts?
E-waste is a modern problem most businesses face. My husband’s IT business cluttered the house with computers that were discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken.
One day I stumbled into the warehouse of a computer recycling business with boxes and shelves filled with beautiful and unique baubles, bits and pieces. I had a lightbulb moment. I had never really been interested in conventional, mainstream jewelry, and with all these lovely and interesting things within my grasp I became inspired and empowered to create.
3) Is this your only artistic or crafty endeavor, or have there been/are there others?
I’ve always been a creative person. I paint and sew too. My grandmother was a seamstress and artist, and though I never got to meet her I am sure that some of my passion for creating comes from her. Though admittedly with 2 kids under 5, I have little time to spend on all 3 creative endeavors. Since starting CLONE HARDWARE I have been astonished by my local following and how quickly my business has grown. My focus is on creating one of a kind (OOAK), unique pieces while furthering the cause of responsible e-waste recycling.
4) Where do you find your parts?
Initially I used whatever obsolete or discarded computers and electronic parts my husband brought home in the course of his IT business. Recently, I found a local E-Waste Recycling business, Pothast Technologies. They have become an incredible sister company to my own. They, like me, are committed to responsible electronic recycling within North America.
5) As a busy mom, when do you find time for your art and your shop?
I am lucky to be a stay-at-home-mom. I also am very blessed to have a supportive family. My son is in SK now and my daughter sleeps in the afternoons. That affords me MUCH more time than last year.
I have about 3 hours a day to spend creating, photographing and listing my items. As everyone on ETSY knows, that is not enough. I built up a considerable inventory before starting my etsy venture in October 2010, which has helped me maintain online interest in my pieces.
6) If you had to choose one favorite item out of everything that you make, what would that item be and why?
I love resistors. I love the variety of colours and sizes they come in.
Probably my favourite pieces are the resistor cluster necklaces and circle resistor necklaces. They go so wonderfully with the simple modern resistor dangle earrings or the resistor post earrings. Honestly, I started making this jewelry for me, so if I make something, I love it. Otherwise, I take it apart and start again until I do.
7) Are there any new directions that you see your shop taking in 2011? I got a new piece of machinery this fall and I’m THRILLED with the new cuts and styles I can make with circuit boards now.
I’m also very excited about the many new colours of circuit boards I have found recently. Also hoping to expand into more masculine line of accessories. Not a lot of IT guys I know wear jewelry so…wallets, business card holders and a variety of bookmarks are in the works for 2011.
Many thanks to Alisa for being so open and giving of her time ☺
Alisa's unique and original Clonehardware jewelry can be found:
in her Etsy shop
on her website, and
on her Facebook page.
Copyright 2011 Littlebearsmom and Clonehardware
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