Name: Shannon Lea Egan a.k.a. “Square”
Etsy shop name: www.SquareEffects.etsy.com
Location: Syracuse, New York
1. What kind of materials do you use in your creations?
I love working with copper wire and silver-plated materials. I also have a fondness for turquoise and crystal, especially Swarovski. I also do a lot with copper and gunmetal findings.
2. How did you get into this form of art?
I was at a craft store about 18 months ago and wandered by their clearance section and saw some intriguing beads. My significant other is an avid reader, so I had the thought to make him a ‘manly’ beaded book thong. After 45 minutes in the bead aisle, I was hooked. And he still uses the bookmark to this day.
3. What inspires you? Do you have a plan before you make a piece, or do the materials “speak” to you?
It depends. Sometimes I have a specific purpose in mind, and the finished product turns out close to how I envisioned it. Sometimes I will have a customer ask me for a specific item, sometimes a customer will have a vague idea of what they want and after discussing ideas, the design will take shape. Other times I find a certain material I really enjoy or a new technique I’d like to try, and I follow where the beads take me.
I also find inspiration in ‘odd’ places. I love working with copper and wire, so I will come up with an idea walking through Home Depot or Lowe’s. I’ve been inspired for projects with resin in the grocery store.
4. Do you have any particular influences?
My grandmother is a huge influence in my designs and my life. She was a divorced single mother of three at a time when this simply wasn’t done. She is an incredibly strong woman, and for all her hardships over the years she’s always been the first one to do something for another, especially in her family. When she got to a point where she was living comfortably, she did a fair amount of travelling, and purchased several hand-crafted turquoise pieces out west in the 50’s and 60’s. She’s given many of these to me, and turquoise is absolutely one of my favorite materials to work with. She also collects Swarovski crystal, and my mom has bought her the Swarovski snowflake Christmas tree ornament every year for over 20 years. I am attracted to the simple brilliance of Swarovski, the superior quality and craftsmanship of their crystal, and am starting to invest in these for my creations. Both my mother and my grandmother have influenced me in that I don’t mind paying more for something of quality.
5. Do you have a certain design style?
I’ve been told I do, although it’s very difficult for me to define it for myself. I like balance in pieces, but this doesn’t necessarily mean symmetry. I tend to limit colors within a piece, working with shades of the same color, or two coordinating colors.
6. What is your favorite technique?
I really enjoy chainmaille, and am trying to expand my ability with different weaves. I’m also having a very enjoyable time experimenting with resin.
7. Other than Etsy, where could someone find your creations?
I sell locally (my mom is my best marketing manager and brings my inventory to work with her a few times a year). I also have a website that is for now a gallery/showcase but eventually I hope to do all my online sales through my own site. I also sell on iCraft, which is an online marketplace based in Toronto, Canada http://www.iCraft.ca/SquareEffects as well as on DaWanda, which is an online marketplace based in England http://en.dawanda.com/shop/SquareEffects . I also sell my photography and related items at CafePress: http://www.CafePress.com/SquareEffects
8. What is your favorite part of being a member of EtsyBEAD?
I enjoy being exposed to other artisans with different talents, styles, and abilities. There’s a constant sharing of information, and I’ve found the members to be very willing to share of themselves, their individual gifts and strengths. I am truly amazed on a regular basis just how many incredibly talented people there are, and also at the variety in style among the different members.