Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Q&A with Jackie from Amity Treasures

    Jackie Porter has been making jewelry under the name Amity Treasures since 2005. She attended the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, where she majored in art history. 

    Porter recently started teaching art at an Oklahoma City metro area public school. "I'm super stoked" to be teaching, she said. "I really love how every aspect of history can can relate with art, artists or artistic movements. My favorite period is prehistoric art. I love the uncertainty, the unknown, and the hypotheses formed around art of that time. 

    "I like fossils and dinosaurs, too. When I have free time, I really like to spend time with my wonderful boyfriend, ride bikes, discover new eateries, go on road trips, and play with my lomography cameras."  

When were you first inspired to create/develop Amity Treasures?
In early high school, I began making jewelry with seed beads and stretchy string. It was a hobby that i just picked up. I had a lot of fun. One day I realized I could incorporate old or vintage pieces into these pieces to make them super cool. Ever since then, I have been selling in stores in the USA and Australia. I've participated in shows in Oklahoma and California, and have had pieces worn by celebrities - thanks to social networks.
Oh, and the name Amity Treasures has a hidden meaning: "Amity" means friendship, according to the dictionary, and it is also the name of the town in the movie "Jaws". I chose "Treasures" because, well, I use only the finest baubles and treasures in my pieces.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Anything old! Anything owned by grandmothers and, especially, anything super kitschy and quirky - the crazier the better. Sometimes my customers aren't always on the same page as me, so I often have to tame it down. But it's all so much fun to make.

What is your favorite craft besides jewelry-making?
I really don't think I have a favorite other craft, which I'm kind of ashamed to say. Jewelry may be my only niche, but I enjoy supporting local crafters by shopping at their booths at local events and in local boutiques.

Recommend one craft tool that you cannot live without
Pliers - any type/kind. I've used anything from fishing pliers to heavy-duty wire pliers, and they all get the job done. I actually didn't own my first pair of "jewelry" pliers until last Christmas.

What do you like best about living in Oklahoma?
Route 66! It is so close to where I live, and there are so many spectacular sights to see on the "Mother Road." I may just be a sucker for cobblestone, peeling paint, and over-proportioned whales, but the nostalgia and the history are so intriguing to me.

Come and see Amity Treasures' jewelry and other artisans at Owl & Drum, now open in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 2810 E. 15th St. For more details, visit www.owlanddrum.com or call 918-742-1404.

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