QB Artist Profile: A Tea Leaf
Queen Bee: Alissa, please tell us what inspired you to start making jewelry?
Alissa Thiele: Ever since I can remember, I've been into drawing and art. My mom was super crafty, so I think that's been instilled in me from the womb. Probably like a lot of kids, in junior high and high school I started seeing clothes and jewelry as a way to express myself. When Etsy launched in mid-2000's it opened my eyes to the fact that jewelry could be handmade by people and not just bought in a big box store. It dawned on me that I could turn my drawings into wearable art! So my first foray into jewelry making was creating pendant necklaces that displayed my original illustrations.
QB: You went to college for graphic design! We'd love to know how you feel that influences your jewelry and art?
AT: Yep, I went to college in the Midwest where I graduated with a graphic design degree. That gave me a great understanding of how colors and shapes can all work together to create different moods and a cohesive whole. It helped me take my drawing skills to the next level too, by layering and altering sketches in programs like Photoshop & Illustrator. Not to mentioned, it sparked my interest in patterns and logo design. I still use a lot of those graphic design skills in my work: from creating my packaging and website design to making greeting cards and postcards.
QB: What is your favorite part of what you do?
AT: My favorite part is the creating process. I love sifting through my vintage bead collection to make a pair of earrings. Giving them a new, modern life. And I love the repetition of creating necklaces and earrings over and over. It's meditative.
QB: Any new ideas in the works you'd like to give our readers a sneak peak on?
AT: I've been working on some statement necklaces that incorporate all vintage beads and putting a modern spin on it. I'm loving mixing these vintage patterns and textures.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, I really love these geometric necklaces that I've been putting together. They're made of laser-cut, raw brass. I'm so grateful that jewelry making has allowed me to explore my fascination with both modern and vintage design.
QB: What would be your ultimate Valentine's Day gift guide?
AT: I'm in love with the Rebecca Pearcy Textiles line. 'Poppy', 'Sprout', and 'Give & Take' are such vibrant, bold patterns! They feel like a touch of summertime for our gray winters.
Thanks so much Alissa for being one of our adored contributing artists here at Queen Bee! We love your work and are so happy you're apart of our local Portland designer community! Come check out Alissa's line, A Tea Leaf and get your sweetie something special for Valentine's Day! You still have today (and tomorrow, for the last minute shoppers) to get that special something for the one you love! You can also check out A Tea Leaf on her Etsy, at our store, on Facebook and Instagram! XO and Happy Valentine's Day from everyone here at Queen Bee! <3
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