Friday, June 7, 2013

In Residence: Interviews With Creative People

No. 2
This is the second in the In Residence series, which features creative people telling us more about themselves and what they do.
I really enjoy learning more about creative people and their process.
Up today, Bev Feldman of Linkouture. If I remember correctly, I met Bev through the etsy team I captained for two years. She has a lovely spririt and a great sense of humor, and creates really wonderful chainmaille jewelry.
Meet Bev.
MM: What is the first thing you remember creating?

Bev:  One of the first things I remember creating was when I was in preschool. We made candlesticks out of some foam and covered them in tinfoil. I thought they were the coolest things. My mother held on to them for many years, and kept them in a cabinet among her fancier silver ones.
MM: Where did you grow up and do you think it has an impact on your current designs. If so, how?

Bev: I grew up in New Jersey, in the suburbs of New York City. I don’t know that this had any impact on my designs, but I think perhaps our summer family trips to Cape Cod (and a love of traveling) might have had an influence on some of my jewelry. I love collecting beach items: stones, shells, sea glass. I have a newer line of necklaces and bracelets that incorporate beach stones that I have collected in my travels and set myself. They remind me both of my travels and where I have been, as well of course the beach (which is one of my favorite places to be).
MM: Was your creativity nurtured as a child?

Bev: Yes, very much so! I always had art materials at my fingertips. Our family’s basement was like my own private studio, especially since it was only partially finished for so many years. I was constantly making things and trying new mediums and doing pretend play down there. I also remember one day in fourth grade when I was home sick I decided I wanted to learn right then and there to knit, so my mom went out to buy me my first skein of yarn and knitting needles and taught me how to get started. My parents also enrolled me in several art classes at our local community arts center, which I loved! Although academics were very important to my family, they definitely nurtured my creative side as well.
MM: How do you nurture your own creativity now?

Bev: I nurture my own creativity through multiple channels. In addition to making chainmaille jewelry, I take a jewelry metalsmithing class once a week, where I have the opportunity to make things I do not have the equipment to do at home, and to learn new skills under a very talented jewelry metalsmither, Laurie Savage. I blog regularly at For my 30th birthday last year, I received my first DSLR camera from my parents and husband. I love experimenting with photography and playing around with editing. And periodically I will take a break and try a new craft, either to enhance my jewelry or as something to do just for the sake of trying something new.
MM: What’s your favorite thing to listen to while you work?
Bev: I often have the television on in the background while I’m making jewelry, but when I’m writing I usually put on the radio or Pandora. For some reason I work really well with music that makes me want to dance. Periodically when I’m making jewelry I will listen to a podcast, either story slams from The Moth or the latest Freakonomics podcast. Although now I am also starting to enhance my Russian (my husband is originally from Russia), so I’ve been listening to the Pimsleur Russian CD’s.
MM: How did you come to be a jewelry designer/maker?

Bev: I have always dabbled in jewelry making, but it wasn’t that I discovered chainmaille about three years ago that I really started getting into it. I started with the Byzantine weave, moved onto the mobius weave, and then decided to experiment with different size rings and incorporating different weaves and other jewelry-making techniques that I had learned into my chianmaille. I just fell in love with the look of chainmaille and the process of making it.
MM: What tool can’t you live without?

Bev: I absolutely cannot live without my flat nose pliers; they are essential for making chainmaille. They have soft, cushioned handles (and it doesn’t hurt that the handles are my favorite color, purple) and make the process of opening and closing hundred of tiny rings so fluid and easy. I had been using a different pair of pliers for awhile before I got these, and I was constantly nicking the metal.
MM: What’s your favorite thing about creating?

Bev: I really enjoy watching the transformation process. Since my jewelry often starts with a pile of rings, it is amazing to see them go from just that to something that you can wear.
MM: Is there something people would be surprised to learn about you?

Bev: I think people tend to be surprised to learn that I backpacked around South America for 5 months with my husband at the beginning of 2012. I know my friends were surprised to learn I would be quitting my job to do that! Until that point, I think it was something completely out of character for me, but it has opened the doors for me to try things I wouldn’t have otherwise (including being a self-employed creative business owner!)
MM: Messy or organized?

Bev: Oh man, I am so ridiculously messy. But it’s a organized messy--organized chaos, if you will. I usually know where things are. Periodically I get to a point where I going on a cleaning binge, but usually the fruits of that labor are short-lived.
MM: Just for fun.......favorite movie genre?
Bev: I’m such a sucker for romantic comedies. I consider myself a pretty cheesy person, and many romcoms are pretty cheesy. They tend to be so predictable, but sometimes you’re just in the mood for a happy ending!
MM: Favorite place?

Bev: Right now, my favorite place is my front porch on a beautiful, sunny day. I love to have my morning cup of coffee and read out there as my day as getting started, and to do work on my computer out there. Even though I live right off of a major street, it is surprisingly calm and peaceful, especially early in the day.
MM: Can you share two pieces of advice with other creators? Yes two.
1. Connect with other creators. The advice and support I have received from others in the handmade community has been invaluable.
2. Do what you love! If at some level you’re not creating for yourself, it is going to make the process so much more tedious and take the joy out of creating.
You'll find Bev in these places.
Twitter     Facebook      Google+
A big thanks to Bev!
So, is there something in particular that Bev shared that speaks to you? Did you check out her shop? What's your favorite piece?
I'm over the moon with the combination of natural rocks/stones with the silver chainmaille. Gorgeous work.
If you want to find out more about me, hop on over to Linkouture today for the interview I did with Bev! Thanks again Bev.
Freeform Friday
Since Bev is a sucker for romantic comedies, a clip from one of my handsdown favorites. I don't know why, perhaps because I love Goldie, but I could watch Overboard again and again and again. OK, I have watched Overboard again and again and again. I laugh just as hard everytime. Even Gar loves it. If you don't know the premise, Goldie plays a very rich, insufferable, horribly mannered woman who falls overboard from her yacht and ends up with amnesia. Kurt Russel plays the carpenter she jipped, and he's the only one who shows up to claim her. He brings her home in hopes that he'll at least get his money back by having her act as the 'Mom' and clean the house. It's a classic Gary Marshall flick complete with Roddy McDowell as Goldie's butler. There are just little comments throughout this film that bust my gut.  Click here if you're reading by email or if you're reading on the Muse (the embedding was disabled).
And to get things going on this Friday, here's a song that just makes me feel good. For some odd reason it reminds me of the 80s. I really have no idea why. Go figure. [click here if you're reading by email].

What's hot for the weekend? It's bascially rainy and miserable and supposed to stay that way through tomorrow. Who knows, maybe we'll throw a tarp up by the campfire before the Bruins game tonight. You just never know with us. Hoping we can pull out the last win we need to cinch the series tonight.  No real plans other than watching the Bs. A bonus video because the Bruins Bear makes me laugh. He does an excellent robot.

Have a great Friday and thanks for being here.
Ciao for now,


  1. Thanks for the beautiful feature, Pam! The photo collages you put together are awesome. And I have seen Overboard several times myself, great movie!

  2. that bear. Overboard is a wonderful movie!!! and meeting Bev was very nice! I am so afraid to even try chainmaille...I have enough trouble dropping my beads all over the floor. lol


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

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