1. What is your name and what is your business name? Where can we find you through social media?
I’m Jessica Goodenbury and I go by Puccoon Raccoon. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram if you want to see what I’ve been up to.
2. How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?
When I look back at my life I feel like everything I’ve done has been leading me directly towards where I am now. Art has been my hobby and passion since I could hold a crayon, and I realized I might be able to make a career out of it in High School. I went to college to become an art teacher (I love teaching) but took a random job as a jeweler for fun one summer two years in. Right away I was smitten and actually dropped out of college to keep my job. I ended up working as a bench jeweler for 9 years learning everything I could until two years ago when my department was dissolved and I was laid off. I took this perfect opportunity that I was given, launched my own business, and never looked back.
3. Explain a bit about your process, please.
Sculpture was my passion and my biggest artistic strength, so I make my jewelry by drawing off of that. My process is mostly done through lost wax casting, where I sculpt and carve things like my tiny animals then cast them into miniature silver beasts. I mix in some hand fabrication here and there, but I really enjoy working with wax primarily.
4. What’s the comment heard most about your art?
“So you really make all these? How the heck do you work so small?”
5. What is one thing people find surprising about how your art is created?
That I hand sculpt the creatures in wax. Most people have no idea how jewelry is made and have a hard time wrapping their heads around the casting process.
6. What’s the one tool you couldn’t live without, in creating your art?
If I had to pick just one of the tools that I love dearly, it would have to be my flex shaft. It’s a dremel tool that I use every single day and I can’t imagine working without.
7. How has your art changed over time?
I’m always trying to make my work better, but lately I’ve been trying to make my pieces more dynamic with more life in them. I know I can make some really awesome pieces, and I’m trying to explore and push my self to do what I have in me.
8. What’s your favorite part about making your pieces? Least favorite?
I love stone setting and sculpting my animals. I wish I could do that all day. What I don’t like is cleaning up my pieces after casting. It’s tedious, dirty, and repetitive, but essential.
9. What’s your dream project?
I’m not sure if this is my dream project or more of a nightmare, but I might have an opportunity in the future to make the jewelry for a movie. It’s a long story, but I know a guy who knows a guy and my name got out there. The idea of it terrifies me, but that would be so incredible to see pieces that I made in a movie.
10. Where is your art available for purchase?
I sell my pieces on my Etsy shop, and you’ll find me at local art shows all year all over town. 😀