Today I bring you an interview with Jamie Dorfman, the designer behind ax + apple. Jamie has a great eye for vintage pieces that she turns into fabulous, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Her table at shows is always one of the prettiest, too, with her pieces cleverly displayed on vintage books & picture frames to draw you in.
Beth: First, please give us a little background on your studio.
Jamie: I have been a chronic thrift/antique/estate sale shopper since as far back as I can remember. I remember being 14 and buying tees at the thrift store and chopping them up or reinventing old clip-on earrings into brooches. As I got older, I started getting more and more compliments on my personal style and "where'd you get that?" sort of attention.
I decided about 2 years ago to take a stab at making pieces to sell. I started ebaying and selling in random boutiques wherever I happened to be living. The ax+apple line has only been around for about 6 months, but the reaction has been incredible. I have finally honed in on a look and feel that encompasses my passion for vintage fashions while keeping everything modern and fresh.
I work out of my one bedroom apartment, which can get a little intense. But I love that my work is always accessible. I get inspired at the most random times.
Beth: Where do you find the inspiration &/or motivation for your creative work?
Jamie: Antiquing antiquing antiquing. I can spend all day everyday in antique stores and never get tired of it. I let the charms and links I find speak to me. For example, recently I have been working mostly on my Pen Knife Collection.
Pen knives were originally invented to sharpen the tips on quill pens and designed not to interfere with the appearance of dress clothes. They were attached to the end of a watch fob chain and slipped in a pocket. So what I do is find old watch fobs and repurpose the links into necklaces. Then I very selectively find pen knives to hang on the chains. So the concept and materials are the same. But now they become neck pieces instead of being hidden away in a pocket. Vintage and fashion forward at the same time. The knives are so beautiful. They are statement pieces all by themselves.
Beth: Describe how a really productive day of making art goes for you.
Jamie: I have my studio set up in my kitchen. It is the simplest process ever. I pull all my materials out and lay them on the table, put my ipod on shuffle (I have to have my music) and stare at it all until something jumps out at me. That really is it.
Beth: What are your big-picture goals for yourself as an artist & your art-related business?
Jamie: Brick and mortar baby. The reaction to the ax+apple line has been overwhelmingly positive. And I would love to start sewing again. I do a lot of vintage alteration. I am hoping in 2 years time. Knock on wood!!