Saturday, August 23, 2008

Featuring Jansjems!

Our featured Western Ma crafter is Jansjems! If you haven't taken a moment to stop by and check out her work, you should! She makes amzing jewelry that has so much attention to detail. She has pieces for every day and for that specail occasion!

Who are you? "I’m Jan Bajgier, I live in So. Deerfield, and my shop is called Jansjems."

What do you make? "I design and create jewelry primarily using genuine gemstones and precious metals. I create jewelry that I would like to wear but can’t find anywhere else. I prefer to make necklaces over anything else and it’s not unusual for me to start making a bracelet and have it become a necklace. My jewelry tends to create itself. And the jewelry in my shop is pretty eclectic partly because my ideas just come from everywhere and partly because my daughters also submit pieces when they can. We have everything from pearls to steampunk in long and short lengths."

How long have you been making it? "I’ve always had an interest in gemstones. I took some classes, read alot and eventually started buying faceted gemstones--some just to have in mycollection, some I actually had set into jewelry. This evolved, with a little encouragement from my daughters, into purchasing gemstone beads and creating our own jewelry. That was probably around 15 years ago. But it wasn’t until 2 years ago that my oldest daughter discovered Etsy and thought it would be a good idea to try to sell our jewelry. We opened our shop in February, 2007. Etsy turned out to be a perfect place to start a small business. It’s user friendly, inexpensive, and provides us with a community where we can ask questions and from whom we can learn."

What is your favorite piece and why? "That’s like asking me which of my children I like best. Each piece is my favorite at the time I’m creating it. My cluster necklaces are the most fun to make—large clusters, small pendant clusters and now charm clustered bracelets. I start with a pile of beads and add and subtract colors, shapes and textures until the pile is balanced and visually pleasing. Then I play with them until a design evolves. Some end up being very symmetrical and neat and others are more like modern art."

What do you love about Western Ma? "Western Mass. is eclectic, diverse, and encourages the arts. There’s always something to do—theater, arts and craft events, and every kind of music. And there are so many cultures are represented."

Is there any place other then Etsy we can find your work? "We have a few pieces on Mintd. But other than that you can see our work at several local craft events and markets this fall. I'll be at the Berkshire Open Market on Rt 7 in Lenox on Aug. 30, Oct. 11 & 25 and Dec. 13, stART on the Street on Park Ave. in Worcester on Sept 21, Roseland Cottage Craft Fair in Woodstock, Ct on Oct. 18 & 19, Shepherd Hill H.S. in Dudley on Nov. 22, and at the Heirloom Artisan Expo Holiday Show at the Tri-County Regional High School in Franklin, MA on Nov. 30 (this is run by some Etsy crafters)."

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