P.S. Until further notice all profits from her shop are funding the special needs of her arthritic dog – so if you see something you like please help them out!
CZ: Tell us a little about yourself!
CTW: My name is Cutter, and my Etsy shop is Feral Wares. I currently live in central Florida, but I bounce around a lot. I'm from a small town near Buffalo, New York, and I find myself back there every so often. In the process of moving to Massachusetts, but begrudgingly. I may be one of the few Dark Siders that prefers the heat and sunshine to the cold and gloomy northeast.
CZ: What type of items do you sell?
CTW: My shop is mostly made up of various types of jewelry and accessories. I also am a photographer and sometimes list mixed media abstracts featuring my photos. I'm an all around artist and have a broad range of skills, so you can expect just about anything in my shop, including crocheted and knitted things, sewn accessories, housewares, vintage things reclaimed and reworked... My brain has creative ADD and there's no end to the things I can dream up.
I'd like to take this moment to discuss what sets me apart from a lot of artists and crafters. The materials I use in my work are not typical crafters' supplies. I use animal bones in nearly all of my work. The bones are mostly collected from road kill, and sometimes I'm lucky enough to just happen upon them. I personally am vegan, and an animal rights activist, and personally feel that my creative work complements, rather than contradicts, my lifestyle. Making a presentation of animals (that were NOT harmed specifically for my means), and displaying them in a beautiful and thought-provoking manner, draws attention to the typical disregard of humans for other species of animals. It seems to me, the more disgusted and appalled people are when they see my work, the more they themselves engage in the abuse of animals - eating meat, using cosmetics and products tested on animals, and live lifestyles that otherwise leave a sasquatch-sized footprint on our planet. I find this fact to be particularly interesting.
CZ: What is the inspiration behind your shop and what keeps you motivated?
CTW: As far as the jewelry goes, I love the way the organic bones mix with beads and old shiny costume jewelry. the dichotomy of something usually viewed as scary and repulsive (bones) put together with something flashy and bright and pretty (beads and costume jewelry and other found objects) creates a contrast that I find particularly magnetic. As for my larger artwork, I find inspiration in a photograph, whether found or taken by myself, and I build a story around it. I like to look at a weathered old photograph and dream up a story about a person, all of their dreams, fears, and secrets. Who knows? Maybe I guessed one or two of them right.
CZ: What is the greatest compliment you have received about your work?
CTW: I took a metal-working jewelry class with this really awesome, supportive woman (who on a side note was the mother of my co-worker at the time), and she was an executive at a local cutlery company. Apparently, her cat brought home an owl and she asked if I could do something with the skull. I made her an absolutely stunning necklace, showcasing the skull embedded in some Victorian-era lace. Seeing the impressed look on her face (not to mention the hefty tip on top of my set commission price) was compliment enough, but when I found out she traveled to Germany and Japan for executive board meetings and WORE THAT NECKLACE, I was floored!
CZ: When did you first realize that you weren't "like the other kids"?
CTW: HA. As long as I can remember. In catholic school (which may have been the first 'mistake'), the nuns took me out of kindergarten and had me sit in on third grade classes. Most kids made fun of me and I had nicknames like "brain baby" and that sort of thing. Needless to say, I didn't have any friends. I lived on a big (40+) acre farm, and I’d hang out in the woods all day and talk to trees and I had a pet hunk of moss who I would read stories too. I still believe gnomes are real. As a kid, I'd make the mistake of mentioning things like that to "the other kids", and they'd look at me like I had six arms and from then on I was a sort of leper. I don't mind, I rather enjoy not being "normal".
CZ: What's a typical day in the life of this Dark Sider like?
CTW: My days are anything BUT "typical". I don't have any sort of set schedule, and trying to hold onto a job is like trying to hold onto a hot potato for me. I can go for weeks without working on a piece, and then I can have a streak where I lock myself in my workshop for 20 hours a day and can't sleep because I'm working on 6 different things. I guess I'm pretty sporadic. But it works for me. Sometimes I wish I could be creative all the time, then I'd have a lot more to show and a lot fewer piles of pack-ratted junk and -in-progresses laying around, but I suppose I'd probably burn out pretty fast.
CZ: Do you prefer zombies or vampires?
CTW: Hmmm... Is it sacrilege to say "neither"?
In all seriousness, the entire horror genre terrifies me. I'm more of a sci-fi nerd. Zombies scare me because they are very gory and aggressive and holy cow.... THEY EAT YOU! Vampires might even be scarier because they seem to be every day, romantic sweet-talkers, and then all of a sudden BAM! They get you in the end. I think they're pretty sleazy. Gives me the shivers.
CZ: Which horror character do you identify with most and why?
CTW: I suppose probably Frankenstein. I think I appear rather repulsive (more by choice than by birth), and I'm rather misunderstood.
CZ: Which elusive creature do you believe is more likely to be real: El Chupacabra or Sasquatch?CTW: Sasquatch. Totally. I'm wicked tall and umm 'sturdy', and that was my nickname in high school. If people thought I resembled him, he must for sure exist.
CZ: Who is more likely to enslave the human race - aliens or robots?
CTW: This question is a little dated, I think. The machines we've created have already enslaved us.
CZ: What scares you?
CTW: My own squandered potential. That, and slugs.
CZ: When my undead masses take over will you be with us or against us?
CTW: But wait, I AM one of the undead.....
CZ: Any links you'd like included?
CTW: My Etsy store: http://feralwares.etsy.com/
My personal Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/cuttertwowheels has some pictures of completed works and also has a tab for my Etsy shop. you can friend me and be notified when I've listed new work.
Thank you SO much for taking the time to read my interview! And if it leads you to my shop, then thanks for checking that out too! :-) -Cutter Two Wheels