Set of 3 Beachcombing Photos - by Quercus Design
Hey, readers! Wouldn’t it be great to RSVP to The BIG THAW now so our vendors can get all excited to see you? Visit our Facebook event page here.
Jenn Boohers of Quercus Design joins us today for an email-interview we shared. We love Jenn’s meticulous arrangements, stark white backgrounds and turning the artifacts of the ocean and woodlands in Maine in to contemporary art!
20"x20" Sand Dollar by Quercus Design
The BIG THAW: How did you hear about The BIG THAW? What made you want to apply?
Quercus Design: I first heard about the Big Thaw in an etsy team forum thread about craft fairs in Maine. I had never done a fair, although I’ve been to plenty, and was doing research to see what was involved. When the Big Thaw was proposed I realized that the timing was perfect, before all the summer craziness starts, and what could be better than a fair full of team mates from etsy? I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone!
8"x8" Beachcombing Series No. 28 by Quercus Design
TBT: Your photography combines contemporary art with rustic, Maine subject matter with a fresh, clean aesthetic. How did you arrive on this process?
QD: I’m 43, so there’s a range of experience packed into things I make. I’ve been an artist all my life, and I come from a family of artists, doctors and scientists. It’s hard to say which images are more deeply ingrained, my mother at her microscope, my father at his computer (back in the days of tape drives!) or my grandmother in front of her easel. I’ve been a landscape architect for about fifteen years, myself, which has been a very satisfying way to blend sculpture and engineering. Along the way I studied art history, historic preservation, sculpture, and Japanese. And I live in a National Park on an island!
All of that got mixed together last winter when I decided I had run out of room and needed to sell off my enormous collection of sea glass on etsy. I started taking pictures for listings, and got caught up in arranging the pieces in huge grids. It was playful, but very very intense, and all sorts of things I’ve learned over the years pop up in these images. Everything from negative space to Linnean nomenclature! I wasn’t a photographer at that point, and had to learn about lighting and cameras quickly as I became more and more obsessed with taking these pictures. I googled everything! I learned an awful lot on Flickr, too. Those early photos are a little embarrassing, but I keep them up on my Flickr page so other people can learn the way I did. I’m very very grateful to the online community! I still consider myself more of an artist-who-takes-pictures since my technical skills haven’t quite caught up to my ambition. They’re getting there, though!
Beachcombing Series No. 17, 8"x10" by Quercus Design
TBT: What items are you stocking up on to sell at The BIG THAW?
QD: I’ve got half a dozen images printed extra-large (20×20 or 20×24) that look fabulous, and I can’t wait to see them up. Check out the enormous sand dollar! I’m bringing a lot of 8×8 and 8x10s, as they are more affordable and are very popular in my etsy shop. And of course I’m bringing a good stock of my postcards.
8"x10" Golden Leaves by Quercus Design
TBT: What do you love most about Spring in Maine?
QD: Winter is frozen, to me it is the smell of snow. I know it’s spring when I wake up one day and smell DIRT! It’s the most wonderful smell, because it promises everything else that follows – snowdrops and crocuses and that bright chartreuse new grass…
Oh, and Peeps. I sure do love me some Peeps!
Mmmm, we love ’em too, Jenn! And with The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage sale just one week before Easter you can throw handmade, local goodies in the basket with those Peeps! The BIG THAW will be held on Saturday, April 16th at Mayo Street Arts Center (10 Mayo St) in Portland from 10am-4pm. We look forward to seeing you there!