The Etsy Blog

Featured Seller: Charlotte Burkhart

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I am 22 years old, and I live with my boyfriend Andrew in Wellington, NZ. We are utter geeks  —we love to watch lots of movies and TV programs together and then analyze them after. I guess you could say I’m a little kooky? I mean how many people have collections of teeth, hair and human intestines in their house? (And no I am not making the intestines into jewellery, they are purely for decoration purposes.) I like to cook and have random bouts of obsessive recipe gathering (mostly trying to find the perfect gumbo, roast pork or boeuf bourguignon). I adore making jewellery and the fact I do it at a flimsy $100 dollar MDF table doesn’t matter — as long as I have my tools, silver, teeth and other found objects I am set!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
My boyfriend and I are avid movie and television lovers. We adore watching old episodes of Friends, South Park or a collection of British comedies we have on DVD while cuddled up on the couch. My man and I are planning our trip to the U.S. and UK in November and that is pretty exciting. We are going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I’m also really excited to visit New Orleans because I love food. It will be a culinary dream come true to experience NOLA.

What would be the title of your memoir?
May Contain Traces of Nuts. Pretty self-explanatory (I’m a little nutty!)

Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from all around me. I can walk down the street and see something and a new design is born. That being said, I mostly draw my inspiration from books, movies and television.

What does handmade mean to you?
It means that it has been made with love, not by a low-paid worker who hates their job or by a factory.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
I would have to say my parents. Ever since I was a kid I have been making things: Barbie clothes out of Sellotape and tissues, plasticine animals and a whole lot of random crazy things! My parents always encouraged me to do it even if it made a mess.They always taught me to be myself and to never try and be something I am not. Because of their support I am incredibly happy doing something I love.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I’ve always been artistic. The problem was I never knew which media I needed to express my artistic ability because I’m not great at painting or drawing. I thought special FX makeup could be my calling but it never happened — I could never handle the crazy hours, plus the work just crumbles off after a day! I began making jewellery out of beads and Fimo and Paua when I was 10 and made an amazing profit at a young age, but I always got bored of it. Eventually I decided to enroll in a night class for silver jewellery making and suddenly my path was clear.

How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is pretty random. Sometimes I will sit down drawing heaps of images trying to perfect a piece and make it aesthetically and creatively pleasing and sometimes I get a random vision and have to make it as soon as I can.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
J.K. Rowling. Everything she has written is art. She created this whole other world in minute detail that readers cam immerse themselves in by reading her books. What she has created is magic itself and has been my main source of inspiration. I fantasize that one day she will invite me into her home and hand me books of back stories on all the Harry Potter characters while we drink iced tea and discuss what happened to Harry Potter’s grandparents.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
This is the hardest question ever! I have lots of handmade items I love. I recently made a necklace out of my baby hair and my wisdom tooth that I find incredibly special.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I imagine myself in a house full of light and handmade objects, with my own proper studio that’s not in my living room. Hopefully I will have a steady jewellery business and be well recognized for my work. Maybe I will be starting a family by then, too. But most of all I want to be well and healthy!

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