Friday, April 6, 2012

Feature Friday: DragonNerd

Meet DragonNerd: Mike and Shaunna: they make fractal and geeky jewelry. Mike handles the metal bending, fractal research and about half of the design. Shaunna handles the jewelry assembly, shop maintenance, PR, socializing and half of the design (usually pointing out where Mike can make something better).

Mike is a bit of a math geek and after discovering the Dragon Curve he had the realization that this was a fractal that he could MAKE. So he made a huge wall art installation of this fractal, and gave it to his wife. He then made a hoard of smaller ones to make into a cube of Dragon Curves for himself. His wife saw the individual pieces, and suggested to turn one into a necklace. His wife wore that necklace out with her friends. So that first necklace turned into another for her friend, then another for that friend, then another for the friend's friend. Well, you get the picture. 

And here's what they have to say to us today...enjoy!

What is your favourite item in DragonNerd and why?

My favourite pieces are my Dragon Curves. I love how no matter how many times I repeat (and grow) the pattern, it still slots together just right. I really like how the earrings have turned out; the tight turns really bring out the pattern. My preferred metal is the bare copper. (Mike)

I think my favourite are the Kochs. Or the hearts... hmmm... or... I think I'll choose Kochs this time. My favourite of them is still in drafts waiting to be published, so I'll choose part of it as my favourite. (Shaunna)

Long term aspirations for  DragonNerd?

Well in the real long run, quitting jobs. But in the real life version, being able to explore new shapes and combinations and maybe even paying for most of the crafting materials that come in the house would be great.

Any advice to jewelry makers and fellow geeks who might want to open an Etsy shop?

Learn to take pictures of your products. Read a couple of amateur photography blogs and find out what some of the settings on your camera do. Also, make sure your pics are focused. If they click on the picture to see it bigger, and can't, that's a killer.

Also, from my own limited experience, take a little time and practice a bit first. You might *think* you have your craft down flat, but after you make 10 in a row? You'll develop shortcuts, or make improvements. Then you'll look back on your first attempts and be amazed at the difference in quality. (Mike)

Make sure that you get out there and spread your name. Join teams that share your interest and region. Comment on blogs and such of people who share your opinion or interests. Be friendly and talk to everyone (for me - WAY easier through a keyboard!). The more people know about you, the more can find you. (Shaunna)

I like crafting because I like making something with my bare hands. (Mike) ... I like seeing a project evolve from raw materials into something to be cherished. (Shaunna)

Some of the crafts that I make are: 3D geometric forms and string art. You can see some here. (Mike) Currently I am obsessed with crocheting. I also dabble with plastic canvas and painting (acrylics). I'm sure I do other stuff, but I haven't had time recently. This blanket was made for Mike for Christmas. (Shaunna)

I choose handmade because it is more original than mass produced stuff. 

I am currently reading... Bloom by Wil McCarthy (Mike). Legend by David Gemmell. I also just read some GREAT books by Robin Hobb too. I couldn't put them down! (Shaunna)

I am currently listening to Energy 106.2 fm at home and Power 97.5 when we are out.

I combat creative blocks by...

Truth be told, I have a list of about 2 dozen ideas to try out after I am done filling out my stock. If they work, I'll have dozens more to make, trying out different colours. But I do go seeking inspiration and I keep a list of what I want to try and what I "need" to make. If I am ever stuck for an idea, I know where to go to get them back. (Mike)

I normally have WAY too many projects on the go - sometimes to the point that I freeze and don't do any of them. This is particularly bad because I seem to prefer BIG projects. When I can really see them going I don't want to stop--but starting can be awful. Sometimes working on a smaller project helps, so that I can be finished something. Sometimes planning helps (I love me some lists!). And some days I spend WAY too much time on Pinterest. :) All in all, I want to make more when I am making. But I stop, and it can be hard to get the momentum back. (Shaunna) 


  1. Thank you for featuring us! The article came out great!

  2. Great feature! What I like best is to hear how your business started, and how you've taken something you really enjoy and run with it!

  3. Love getting to know you through this feature! Great interview!


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