January 19, 2011


Etsy Fort Worth Proudly Presents

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Christie Joy Tennison-Law Cone (Hence my logo "CJTLC" because my name is such a mouthful!!) I moved a lot growing up (Spain, Mexico, Brazil, NJ, Texas)  so I don't have a real hometown but I currently live in Irving, TX with my wonderful husband who supports me in all I do...even if it means me being busy all the time! ;)

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?

 Everything and anything. I used to get caught rummaging through the trash looking for treasures I could use in my next project. I was even nicknamed "the twash girl" by my family because I was always pulling stuff out of the "twash".

How and why did you make it?
I made things because it was so much more fun than watching tv or reading a book (oops..I admitted that I am not much into reading). I made cards for my family, or clothes for my barbies...anything that could be an art/craft project, I did! I had a whole box full of glue, tape, glitter, pens, and other necessary supplies to make my ideas come to life!

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Mainly I am inspired by my family. For instance, if I know my mom likes something then I try to think of a fun new way to make it for her. That is how I ended up making the first nativity set which is now my best seller.

What are your favorite materials?
Currently I am making ceramics and I love it. I never get bored because there is always something new to try and there is always the element of surprise in ceramics. When you open the kiln  you never know exactly how things will turn out and that is such a thrill. I also have to admit I am totally addicted to paper products and tape. Oh man, I love tape!

Any tips for selling handmade stuff?
Don't try to compete with the imported stuff...hand made stuff is hard work and you should not devalue your time or creativity!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Actually right now I am lucky enough to put all my energy into creating. If I am not making something with clay, I am baking something (probably with chocolate) or playing with my two dogs. Of course, I do all the routine things too- laundry, groceries, cleaning...ewww!

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My sisters and I each got a little hand built side table with one drawer when we lived in Spain. It makes me smile every time I walk past it.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Give it time. It can be discouraging to just sit there and not get noticed but particularly if your work is geared to a season give it some time. And relist items so that you stay current!

How do you promote your work?
I have a website, twitter, facebook, blog etc...you name it, I use it! I try to reach out via the web with promos but I also do about 10 shows a year to have face to face time with my potential buyers. I really like hearing what they say about my work and I definitely take their comments back to the studio when making new things.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I am an a-typical artist...I like things clean and neat so I usually begin by organizing my work space so I can work efficiently! I don't have a process though- I just make whatever comes to mind unless I am fulfilling custom orders or restocking items that people enjoy. 

What first made you want to become an artist?
I have an uncle (James Tennison) who is an artist and I have always admired him but I did not aspire to be an artist. Instead I just made things because I needed that creative outlet and now I am fortunate enough to get to do it as a full time job!!!

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