You are in for some eye candy today for the Indie Artist Fixx since I interviewed Alice Matsumoto of The Carrotbox. Alice has a self-proclaimed obsession with rings, but she can’t wear metals, so she went out looking rings she could wear made from all kinds of materials including glass, Lucite, plastic, jade, agate and wood. Her collection grew and she started sharing her collection online and learned that a lot of other people like non-metal rings just like her. She decided to open up a shop to sell duplicates from her collection and other rings she discovered (I might add it’s one of my favorite shops to visit). In the shop, you will find all sorts non-metal rings for sale including Alice’s own line of drooliscious glass rings. You can also check out Alice’s own collection of rings , a great page about the different kinds of plastics used in jewelry and Alice’s blog on which she shares all kinds of everyday and art rings she comes across on the Internet.
The rings are gorgeous, the product photography is stunning and the site is fun and really well-designed so make sure to visit, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Plus, read more about Alice and The Carrotbox below.
The rings featured below are all by Alice (except the kimono rings) and you can see more here.
1. What’s the name of your business and what do create and sell?
I am obsessed with rings and run The Carrotbox, which sells non-metal rings of all kinds: glass, Lucite, wood, etc. (including glass pieces I make myself).
2. When did you get started with your business and why did you decide to open your own indie biz?
I’ve been open for five years now but I’d never planned for it to be a business! I started my site as a showcase for my personal collection of non-metal rings, which itself was started because I have weirdly sensitive skin and can’t wear metal on my fingers. People kept asking if they could buy from my gallery so, one day, I decided to sell some of my duplicate rings — and the rest just snowballed from there.
3. What’s the creative process like for you?
I try to sketch ideas when they pop into my head but I normally just end up going where the glass takes me. Besides, by the time I get to the torch, new ideas have taken over and most of what I’ve jotted down never gets made. I have to remind myself to focus on one idea rather than jumping to the next one right away. I have bags and bags of discarded styles, which is not a good thing!
4. If you could meet 5 famous or infamous people (dead or alive) who would they be?
– any ancient Egyptian ruler
– John Kennedy Toole
– Steve Buscemi
– Tina Fey
– I’m having trouble coming up with people so I’m going to go with Frederic Fekkai, as I really need a haircut.
5. Tell us one funny/goofy/silly thing about yourself.
I have a fear of cracking eggs because I’m afraid that one of these days (warning, this is about to get gross), a half-formed baby chick will fall out. I know all the reasons this couldn’t actually happen but they don’t change the fact that it WILL.
6. What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
Best: it’s a tie between getting enthusiastic messages from people who genuinely love their new rings and having a ring turn out just right when it comes out of the kiln.
Worst: Canada Post’s prices. Insane.
7. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at?
I spend way too much time on music blogs! (I had one myself, briefly, years ago.) ObscureSound.com is a good one; he puts so much thought into each post.
I’m not much of a magazine reader. My dad lives in Tokyo most of the year and I used to request Japanese fashion magazines, but then I pictured this 60+ year old man having to line up at the bookstore with a copy of non-no and I stopped asking.
For shopping, I usually stick to local shops (I live downtown in a boutique-heavy neighborhood), though I normally only go when I need something specific. I also browse a *lot* of jewelery sites for my blog, which I guess counts as window shopping!
8. Were you an artsy craftsy kid? If so, what kinds of things did you do?
My mom’s side of the family is quite artsy and my younger sister’s a professional comic artist but I don’t think I myself was that artsy as a kid — I just liked to draw and make beaded jewelery, that sort of thing. My main thing was writing more than crafting. Oh, wow… answering this question, I just remembered something I haven’t thought about in years! In fifth grade, I wrote and illustrated short “books” (really just notebooks), mostly mysteries. I think I tried to put a cliffhanger at the end of each one. I even pasted faux library slips inside so people could “sign them out.” I believe that’s what they call delusions of grandeur.
9. List 3 things you wish you had if you ever become stranded on a deserted island?
Glass, torch, kiln.
10. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
There are so many ways to look at “indie” but I think it boils down to personal freedom and good intentions.
11. What are you reading, watching and listening to?
I’m just finishing Kenzaburo Oe’s Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age! I think next up will be the Daniel Manus Pinkwater anthologies I received at Christmas. He was my favorite author as a kid and I still have my old copy of The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death on my shelf (any other fans out there wish they could eat a buttery potato at Beanbender’s?).
I’m watching the Stanley Cup playoffs!
Currently listening to Handsome Furs, Les Savy Fav, Beirut, The Epochs, Maps, Headlights, Modest Mouse, Delays, The Shins, Stars, Cold War Kids, Kelley Polar, Fink, Electrelane, Film School… but all I really want is the next one from Mew. As I write this, I’m playing the soundtrack to The Insider, which is moody and great for nighttime (can’t believe that film is nearly ten years old already).
12. What are your inspirations?
I love minimalism. I’m drawn toward Scandinavian and Japanese product design, graphic design, architecture, etc. I don’t know if that comes through in my glasswork, but it’s what I like to look at!
13. What’s new for 2008? Any new plans or products that you want to share?
Well… I don’t want to jinx myself 🙂