Today I am Featuring a great interview from Tessa Chandler, a proprietor of an awesome geeky shop on etsy where she sells her handmade belt buckles, key chains and other metal items! Thank you very much Tessa for taking the time to talk to us.
I can’t remember a time when some form of art wasn’t in my life, in high school it was the more traditional arts like drawing and painting then moving towards crafts while in college.
What is it about this art form that made you say “yes! that’s the thing I want to do!”?
I entered college for art education, but once I took a woodworking class my first year I knew that crafts and functional art was more my thing. I changed from art education to crafts with a concentration in furniture design (which is what I have a degree in) but also also took quite a few fine metals courses. Since I’ve graduated it’s been easier to set up a fine metals workspace than woodworking, so I’ve been creating more with metal.
The inspiration for the belt buckles I’ve been making lately actually came from wanting to do something with chainmail and I knew that I didn’t just want to make chainmail jewelry. I wanted to use chainmail in a way that I’d not seen before so I decided to use it in addition to other materials instead of it being the only material used. Before these buckles I’d never made chainmail before so it’s been a fantastic learning experience.
How did you come to creating items inspired by books and video games? Did you immediately decide to start creating geeky art or did that develop later?
I read through the Song of Ice and Fire series earlier this year and had also watched Game of Thrones. I was drawn to the house sigils in the series, so I married the two ideas (chainmail and sigils) together. I thought that the sigils and the chainmail would compliment one another since the series takes place in kind of an alternate/medieval inspired world. I actually started off making wedding/bridal jewelry, but as time went on I realized that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should. So I took a step back and started brainstorming and designing things with a geeky-er inspiration and found that the designs just started to flow out of my head. I’ve received a lot of positive comments and feedback for my house sigil buckles through this site and some others that I showcase my work on, so I started to think of other series that could fit into this chainmail belt buckle thing I started. I didn’t just want to start using designs from any series, for example having a Halo or Resident Evil design with chainmail made no sense to me, since chainmail has nothing to do with either series. As I thought more about series I’m familiar with I thought that designs/logos from Legend of Zelda and Assassin’s Creed would be a nice combination with chainmail.
I’m a huge Jill Valentine fan, she was the first female main character that I remember playing who was strong, both mentally and physically, and not half naked.
Is there any geeky book, game, movie, tv series, etc. that most people wouldn’t know of that you would reccommend?
I’m not sure how many people have read The Prydain Chronicles, I would recommend them even though they are a children’s fantasy series. It was the first fantasy book series I read when I was younger, I remember getting very into the mythology and characters of the series. I think I may have to dig them out and give them a re-read!
What advice would you give to other geeky artists?
To stick with what you know and to make sure you love what you’re making, it really does show in your work.
Finally, where can we find you and your work?
To make purchases – www.etsy.com/people/tessachandler
To check out my cosplay, photography, and other works –kenshin1387.deviantart.com/
My fancy and “professional” work – www.tessachandler.com