Saturday, March 26, 2011
My name is Lori MacIntosh and I'm the designer for Brandy Brook Designs. I live in the beautiful North Country of Northern New York ~ located in the real upstate, not Albany or Syracuse, or Buffalo ~ but right on the St. Lawrence River, which is the border to our friends to the North, Canada. I named my studio for the brook that I travel over at least 20 times/day ~ or I did when I named it I have four children and the brook runs between my house and the school ~ therefore I did a lot of traveling over it. My studio overlooks the incredible front meadow and is a constant source of creative ideas for me. My shop can be found at www.brandybrookdesigns.artfire.com
I began creating jewelry about 15 years ago when I discovered polymer clay. It was so much fun, but at that time, people didn't see it as a viable jewelry medium to invest their money in. I then moved onto wire sculpture about 7 years ago and have continues to evolve as a jewelry designer and working toward metalsmith. I've begun playing more with metal, while incorporating wire into my designs. I still love to wrap cabs, but I feel I can be more creative with metal. Copper and brass are my new favorites!
I love to use organic materials ~ either to create impressions in my metal, or actually as a piece of my jewelry. I have a stock of birch bark that I'm working with in my designs right now. I love sterling, but with the prices right now, it's forced me to look elsewhere and it has really opened up some possibilities for me. Things that I was afraid to do in silver, due to the expense if it didn't turn out well, I have found the freedom to do in copper and brass. Love the organic colors and textures! I've begun etching and playing with fire to create color on the metal. I'd love to work with enameling ~ but that's in the future!
Nature never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I live in a very rural area on 40 acres with a marsh and many walking trails. I walk all the time and take in the changes throughout the seasons. The wildlife is abundant and I love to watch them all. My favorite pieces reflect the nature that surrounds me. I am also inspired by many artists ~ Rebecca Bogan at Adobe Sol Designs, Lynn Merchant, Connie Fox, and many, many more that constantly amaze me.
My life has always revolved around my family. We have 4 children ~ only one left at home ~ and as the children began leaving, the parents began moving in. We've had all four parents living with us (three at one time) and the two that are left (my dad and my husband's dad - who just turned 90) still live with us. It makes for a chaotic household ~ but full of life. We also have 2 chocolate labs and 3 cats ~ when my son and daughter bring their dogs home, it gets pretty crazy!! But I wouldn't change one little minute of it ~ it makes living interesting
Don't take yourself too seriously ~ don't lose the wonder of creating by focusing on the sales or the marketing. I've gotten caught up, at times, but thinking that sales means I'm doing well ~ all it means is that you've been found. I've realized that as long as I'm creating and pushing myself to explore new techniques, I'm doing fine. Don't forget the pure joy of looking at something and knowing that you created that ~ with your vision and your own two hands ~ that's a wonderful thing.