Friday, March 15, 2013

Beadmaker Interview: Carol Dekle-Foss of Terra Rustica Design

Today I am happy to introduce to you Carol Dekle-Foss of Terra Rustica Design

I first found Carol through a blog post that she did about a display. I was quickly captivated by the etched stones that she created and was fascinated to learn about the in depth process that she has pioneered to create these intricate designs. I have learned that she is branching out into other areas and I can't wait to see where she takes that! I love Carol's sense of style that is romantic and rustic and earthy. I am also a happy customer...I purchased some of her unique pendants in the fall as a present to myself and a good friend. I am happy to share Carol and her company Terra Rustica Design with you.
1: What is your name, your company name, where are you located. Does your company name have any special meanings? 

My name is Carol Dekle-Foss and my company is Terra Rustica Design, located in Lotus, California.

My business name translation from Italian:  
Terra: earth, land, soil, shore, world. 
: rustic, rural, countryside. 

Rustic land design, meaning jewelry created with nature in mind and a love and respect of the natural world.

2: What background do you have that lead you to this art medium? How long have you been doing this work?

I have always loved art and expressing it in different ways has been very fulfilling. When I was very young I would study things like leaves, flowers, and trees and pencil draw them. I later graduated with an A.A. degree in interior design and went on to work as a designer for many years. I started Terra Rustica Design in 2011 and taught myself basic jewelry techniques with books and how-to videos. The sandblasting process I learned mostly by trial and error and it was very challenging.  My education in design helps me with my jewelry making process in many different ways.

3: What are your creative inspirations?

I love to be inspired and I find inspiration everywhere. I seek it in art, architecture, music, different cultures and of course the natural world. I attain some of my best design ideas from hikes taken near my home or small trips to different locale here in California.  Also the Art Nouveau style with its use of bold curves and organic forms inspired by nature play a major role in my designs. Of course I am inspired by other designers as well, such as the talented Miss Erin with her ability to take beads and make jewelry that tells a creative story or Miss Heather with her cleverness for bringing nature to life in her designs. (I especially like her woodland beads, her Fantastic Mr. Fox is just adorable!).

{Copper Ore Jasper}
4: What sort of materials do you use? What is your process? Are there special tools that you use?

Stones are very hard substances and wouldn’t you know it, I choose to carve impressions in them.  I use a sandblast cabinet with silicon carbide grit which is a fine black sand substance. You can see process here: 

Some of the stones I like to use are African green opal, fossil coral, petrified wood, and my recent favorite,copper ore jasper. It has mossy to emerald green colors with rich brown accents. 

{Tree of Life etched and enameled pendant}
 Lately, I have been experimenting with two new techniques and I am having so much fun! Torch fired enamel (inspired by Barbara Lewis) and metal etching.  For the torch-fired enamel I am using mapp gas with a special torch. For etching metal I am using an old car battery with special film purchased from Sherri Haab.  I use a variety of different materials for stringing, whatever inspires me, such as sari silks, African beads, ceramic beads, semi-precious gemstones, and handmade beads.

{Fallen Leaf etched in Tiger's Eye}
5: What is your studio space like?What does a typical day in your studio entail?

My studio is a simple finished two car garage with a large window. I love being able to open the garage door and have a ton of light and fresh air. It’s great when I’m sandblasting or using some chemical that requires ventilation. When I first started my business I wanted a functional workbench that would be the heart of my studio. I roped my husband into helping me build one.  You can read about the laborious process here: In the morning, I find myself doing more computer work like inventory or bookkeeping (okay, Pinterest, too!) than making jewelry. So to get me in the studio, I turn on some upbeat music and make myself a cup of gyokuro green tea to give me energy. When I am in the zone creating I get lost in what I am doing and don’t quit until well after the sun goes down. 

{I am very smitten with Carol's attention to detail in her pretty packaging. It was like opening a very special treasure when I got my pendants!}
6: How do you stay motivated?

To stay motivated I do lots of outdoor activities, exercise, take classes such as the French class I am taking now, and take pictures. I have found photography as another outlet for creativity and also a way to capture my inspiration. There are times when I just have to step back and recharge so I take mini trips to San Francisco, Napa, CarmeI, and Lake Tahoe.  Also every summer my family and I hike to a place called the University Falls. It’s amazing there, huge granite slabs that are turned into nature’s waterpark with three slides. The water is icy cold (snow melt from the Sierras) and the hike is tiring but the adventure provides me nourishment for future endeavors.

7: What new directions do you plan for your business and art in the future?

My goal this year is to have my own free standing website with product lines that I can make when ordered or keep them in stock. So far I have designed my website and added a few products with more to come. I also plan on doing more festivals, getting published in magazines (crossing my fingers) and selling more. Oh, and have fun doing it!

9: Any other information you would care to share with us?

I keep chickens, love to garden and hunt for meteorites in my spare time. We had a meteor explode here in Northern California and thousands of meteorites fell in the city where I live. I love gems and rocks so hopefully one day I will be able to include a meteorite to my collection.

Thank you, Miss Carol, for the interview! You have a beautiful and unique collection and we are so happy to have the chance to get to know you better. Please visit Carol and Terra Rustica Design at the following places:

 Carol is offering a special discount code just for the Art Bead Scene readers in her Etsy shop

Use MERCI for a 20% discount. Hurry! Expires on March 31st 2013
Keep checking back in her shop for more goodies to pop up!


Leah Curtis said...

Your work is stunning, Carol! I've never seen anything quite like the stones you do. Very inspiring, thank you for sharing!

Julie said...

I've long been a fan of Carol's. Wonderful article!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Thank you for sharing Carol's lovely work, Erin, and her insights and inspirations. I just love that she is taking on a new language... a sign of an open and questing mind! I have been "following" Carol's Etsy shop since coming across her unique carved art last autumn. I'm sure she will find her work becoming even more appreciated (deservedly so) as she expands her markets. Good luck in your future endeavors, Carol!

IIJInstitute said...

Your work and guiding steps are convening. You pendant design is excellent and i will try to make some creative work out of it.

Carol Dekle said...

Thank you ladies for the nice comments! I am very grateful to Art Bead Scene Blog for having me. I have been a follower since I started my small venture and admire all of you immensely! Thank you!!!

Belcho USA Jewelry said...

Your Tree of Life necklace is beautiful!

Belcho USA

IshanEducation said...

Your motivation and new direction plan steps are wonderful. Your Fallen Leaf design is eye-catching and I hope to have more creative work out of it.Fallen Leaf