The Etsy Blog

Featured Seller: Artifact Bags

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Outside the shop, I spend my time being a husband and a father. I enjoy scouting vintage equipment and materials for Artifact Bag Co., as well as acquiring oddities at auctions, flea markets, antique shops, etc. I love reading and listening to podcasts.

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade is subjective, but to me it’s a process where a piece is designed and intimately constructed by the artisan. Often it shows the mark of being handcrafted in being “perfectly imperfect.” For example, even if I tried, I could not make every hand hammered rivet identical. I wouldn’t want that.

Dana Damewood and Jackie Sterba

Who has been most influential in your craft?
I’m influenced by the generations of craftspeople working in leather and textiles before me. Many of their methods are superior in hand and function, but they were phased out due to inability to scale in mass production. It pleases me to use “old world” techniques in my work.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I created art and music at a young age, but I didn’t think much about it. For better or worse, I never let go of the uninhibited feeling a child has when they imagine and create.

Dana Damewood and Jackie Sterba

How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is unstructured. Thoughts frenetically whirl around in my head. They inspire and/or exhaust me.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
The first thought that comes to mind is one of the IDEO locations. I’ve seen videos and documentaries that feature IDEO and I am fascinated by how they collaborate.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have a Martin D-28 I am pretty fond of.

Dana Damewood and Jackie Sterba

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I don’t really have ruts. I always have several projects running concurrently. If I become stagnant on one project, I walk away and work on something else. I only work on something when I am inspired to do so.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I’m at a good place now, but I want to continue to develop my craft, my work, and Artifact Bag Co. There are so many things I want to make and do. I’m filled with optimism.

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