I met Erin Gursslin of Sunshyne Silverwear a couple of years ago, at one of the Mayday Underground shows I think. She’s just as sweet and friendly as she looks in the above photo!
I asked her about her process and she explained, “I recycle old spoons and make make them into little pieces of wearable art using a wide range of materials. Nothing is off limits, if it can be cast in resin, it’s fair game!”
One of my favorite things about Erin is how smartly she has constructed her display. She stores her pendants on the PVC pipe frame that she built – so her set up is quick and easy – just 20 minutes for indoor shows, she tells me. Brilliant! I thought she painstakingly painted her display but she told me it’s wrapped with patterned duct tape. Durable, colorful, again – brilliant!
Erin says she thinks of herself as a creator more than an artist. And she’s been creating for as long as she can remember. In the 2nd grade, she built her sister her very own Barbie mansion, out of old shoe boxes, strawberry containers and whatever was available.
And recyling and upcycling are still an important part of who she is. Her Green Mission is evidence of how passionate she is about preserving our planet. Notice she signs that page: Erin Gursslin, Ecopreneurist!
She offers a sweet deal for anyone interested in “paying” her in spoons:
~Each stainless steel spoon is worth 25 cents
~Each silver plated spoon is worth 50 cents
~Each rubber tipped baby spoon is worth 33 cents
If you can’t bring spoons to her at an event, you can ship them to her and she’ll send you a coupon for store credit, including the shipping fee. The specifics are found here.
“My favorite part is looking at the finished piece. I usually pour the resin about an hour before bed, and still to this day, the first thing I think of when I wake up is the new batch of pendants waiting for me in the studio. It’s like having a Christmas morning twice a week.”
“My least favorite part waiting for paint to dry so that I can go on to the next step.”
When asked what is the one tool she could not do without, she replied, “I use a ton of tools in creating my pieces, all of which are crucial to my process, but the thing I would really miss if it were gone is my stereo. I always work to music, it keeps me focused and helps the new ideas to flow. For me, it’s all about the ‘what’s next’ in the progression of my craft. Music helps me get there.”
More evidence of how important music is to Erin, is found in this little note on the Events page of her website, “***You can also find me ‘on shakedown street’ at a bunch of Phish and Furthur shows this year, details available soon.***”
Erin loves the interaction of meeting customers at her shows and events. The reaction heard most often is, “Spoons! These are made from spoons!!”
I have found that part of the allure of buying art created locally is getting to chat with the artisan – and Erin agrees. The thing that her customers find most surprising is how long it takes to make each piece. Each pieces takes about 3 days to complete – and she makes the pendants in batches of 10 at a time.
Erin goes on, “My technique has definitely improved. As far as the pendants go, I look back on my first pieces and kind of cringe. But there was something magical about those first pieces. There is a sense of reckless abandon and an ‘anything goes’ feel. Recently I have been thinking about bringing some of those old ideas back now that I have perfected my process.”
Erin is in the process of finalizing her 2012 show season. Her work is also available for sale at Maxim Salon and Spa (Park Ave), Fairport Pharmacy, on her web site Sunshyne Silverwear.
I asked Erin to describe her dream project and she told me she’d “love to collaborate with other jewelry artisans and harmonize our talents into creating some wild and crazy one of a kind pieces”.
I can’t wait to see some harmonized wild & crazy!