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Featured Shop: Kari Herer

Oct 26, 2015

by Kari Herer

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Kari Herer, and I’m a photographer based in Yarmouth, Maine.

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I was trained in ceramics, and for a while I made pots and did a lot of sculpture, creating porcelain bird bones and decorating the crevices with flower decals. I started taking pictures of flowers after my daughter was born. Back then, I was living in a house in Kennebunk, Maine, that had a peony garden. One afternoon when I was playing around with old woodcuts of bugs, I started putting flowers on top of them, and noticed that the shapes in the flowers were just like the shapes in the bugs. I found that parallel really interesting, and kept going from there.

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My parents and my childhood are important sources of inspiration. My mom was a really great illustrator and my dad was a seventh-grade science teacher. I grew up with all kinds of animals in the house: We raised ducks and watched monarch butterflies hatch from their chrysalises under the kitchen table. My dad kept hissing cockroaches in cages in the basement, and he did taxidermy as well, so sometimes we’d find dead animals in the freezer. This exposure to animals and to life and death got me interested in nature at an early age.

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kari-herer-process

I get ideas for what to sketch from my daily life. For example, when my daughter Colette was asking for a pet hamster, a hamster ended up in my sketchbook. Or my recent woodpecker print, which I created after days of hearing a woodpecker pecking on our window. My process is to draw on my computer, print the image, and then arrange flowers on top of the image; the final step is photographing them both together. I mainly use flowers from my garden and yard, but sometimes I also source blooms from the Boston Flower Exchange. Arranging the flowers is a tedious process that involves toothpicks, tweezers, and a lot of micro movements. All of the pictures are made in my studio, which is basically just a garage with a heater. I used to rely on natural light, but now I work mostly at night when my kids are asleep.

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I believe that sticking with a project is really important. I started making these photographs in 2007, and I’m still working at it. Every day I’m learning and pushing myself to get better, whether by positioning the flowers differently, lighting them differently, or waiting until just the right moment to photograph them. The differences between the images I make today and the ones I made several years ago are subtle, but very important. If you stick with something for a long time, you can really refine it; you do it until it’s tired and overdone, and then you do it some more. I wouldn’t put my work on a gallery wall — it’s not ready yet — but that’s where I want to see it go in the future. In the meantime, getting a mention in Martha Stewart Living or a contract with Anthropologie — rewards like that keep me going. People in the Etsy community have kept me going along the way, too.

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Without Etsy, I wouldn’t be doing what I do. Etsy has allowed me to show my work to strangers all over the world — strangers who are kind enough to send me supportive messages and pictures of my prints in their homes. I love being able to give an Etsy customer something that is of unexpectedly high quality. I makes me feel good to surprise them with fast shipping, great paper, beautiful packaging, or a note to show my appreciation. I have a satisfaction-guaranteed policy kind of like L.L.Bean’s: I want my customers to know that if something happens to their print, it will be replaced. And it goes both ways: Over the years I’ve learned that I can also trust Etsy customers, and that they’re on the same team as me.

Follow Kari Herer on Facebook and Instagram.

Maker photo by Mathew Robbins, all others by Kari Herer.

Shop Kari Herer

 

flora_no_8
flora_no_8
kariherer
$30.00 USD
antler botanical_no_5
antler botanical_no_5
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_22
dark botanical_no_22
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Dark Botanical No. 71
Dark Botanical No. 71
kariherer
$30.00 USD
whale_no_1
whale_no_1
kariherer
$30.00 USD
No. 9899
No. 9899
kariherer
$30.00 USD
insects_no_3
insects_no_3
kariherer
$30.00 USD
horse UNO
horse UNO
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Your Choice Large 11 x 14 print
Your Choice Large 11 x 14 print
kariherer
$50.00 USD
antler botanical_no_6
antler botanical_no_6
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_6
dark botanical_no_6
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_11
dark botanical_no_11
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_49
dark botanical_no_49
kariherer
$30.00 USD
ostrich
ostrich
kariherer
$30.00 USD
rabbit_no_2
rabbit_no_2
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical no. 67
dark botanical no. 67
kariherer
$30.00 USD
insect
insect
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical
dark botanical
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_21
dark botanical_no_21
kariherer
$30.00 USD
black and white_no_9
black and white_no_9
kariherer
$30.00 USD
baby elephant_no_1
baby elephant_no_1
kariherer
$30.00 USD
baby giraffe_no_1
baby giraffe_no_1
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_3
dark botanical_no_3
kariherer
$30.00 USD
fox_no_6
fox_no_6
kariherer
$30.00 USD
insects_no_8
insects_no_8
kariherer
$30.00 USD
rabbit_no_4
rabbit_no_4
kariherer
$30.00 USD
rabbit
rabbit
kariherer
$30.00 USD
rabbit_no_3
rabbit_no_3
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Your Choice Large 11 x 14 print
Your Choice Large 11 x 14 print
kariherer
$50.00 USD
light botanical_no_16
light botanical_no_16
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Lovebirds No. 1
Lovebirds No. 1
kariherer
$30.00 USD
horse
horse
kariherer
$30.00 USD
ferret_no_1
ferret_no_1
kariherer
$30.00 USD
fox_no_8
fox_no_8
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Peony Photograph No. 9588
Peony Photograph No. 9588
kariherer
$30.00 USD
peacock no. 1
peacock no. 1
kariherer
$30.00 USD
pink flamingo no. 1
pink flamingo no. 1
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Your Choice Large 16 x 20 print
Your Choice Large 16 x 20 print
kariherer
$150.00 USD
dark botanical_no_10
dark botanical_no_10
kariherer
$30.00 USD
light botanical_no_12
light botanical_no_12
kariherer
$30.00 USD
light botanical_no_13
light botanical_no_13
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Your Choice Large 11 x 14 print
Your Choice Large 11 x 14 print
kariherer
$50.00 USD
Dark Botanical studio No. 074
Dark Botanical studio No. 074
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Dark Botanical studio No. 073
Dark Botanical studio No. 073
kariherer
$30.00 USD
insects_no_5
insects_no_5
kariherer
$35.00 USD
Giraffe 88238
Giraffe 88238
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_17
dark botanical_no_17
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Flower Photograph No. 88248
Flower Photograph No. 88248
kariherer
$30.00 USD
fox_no_2
fox_no_2
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Antler No. 6944
Antler No. 6944
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_13
dark botanical_no_13
kariherer
$30.00 USD
light botanical
light botanical
kariherer
$30.00 USD
light botanical no. 04
light botanical no. 04
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_2
dark botanical_no_2
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_3
dark botanical_no_3
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Dark Botanical studio No. 003
Dark Botanical studio No. 003
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Dark Botanical studio No. 006
Dark Botanical studio No. 006
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Dark Botanical studio No. 004
Dark Botanical studio No. 004
kariherer
$30.00 USD
Dark Botanical studio No. 007
Dark Botanical studio No. 007
kariherer
$30.00 USD
dark botanical_no_51
dark botanical_no_51
kariherer
$30.00 USD

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