Monday, February 7, 2011

Christina Thorne Bad Cat Creations

Christina Thorne is an entrepreneur, artist and activist. She has dual citizenship, born in Copenhagen, Denmark and now living in Bemidji, MN. Christina keeps very busy with her boutique, Bad Cat Creations and creating bold and beautiful jewelry. When she does find herself idle she enjoys camping, baking watching movies and raising (in her words teasing!) her three cats. She also enjoys collecting rocks, shells, bones, rusty metal bits, cat trinkets and silly bunnies. She loves to travel, and from personal knowledge, I know she would love to go to Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a passionate person who feels strongly about animal rights and will boycott anything tested on animals. She is just as passionate about human rights such as gay rights, slave labor, child neglect and racial profiling and will boycott and speak out in support of any injustice she learns about.

Please read my interview with Christina below:

Q: What do you want people to know about you and your craft?

A: I adore it and I work from a place deep in my soul. I allow all my designs to grow and evolve in an organic and free way.

Q: What do you feel differentiates yourself from other artists in you craft?

A: I’m a risk taker and don’t change my style depending on the trends. I’ve been told I have a bold and unique use of color combos. It’s all the daydreams in my head that swirl around and exit out my fingers!

Q: Did you have a mentor?

A: Nope- just loved jewelry!!

Q: What are your favorite materials and why are they are your favorites?

A: Wire- I love that you can bend it, wrap it, shape it into just about anything. I feel like so many problems can be solved with good wire usage :) Also enamels… they are like magic!!!!! Stones of course- I’ve always been a rock hound!

Q: Do you dabble in other mediums?

A: Oh yes- pretty much all of them at one point or another. If nothing else but to gain more appreciation for the mediums of other artists. I really like to crochet, take photos, collage, and sewing.

Q: How did you get started?

A: I started making jewelry when I was about 8 years old. As soon as I knew that it was a profession, I knew I wanted in. My Mom bought me books and materials and I dove in.

Q: How long have you been creating you art?

A: Professionally, about 9 years. But if we could say since I was a child, over 20 years!

Q: Do you sell on Etsy?

A: Yes

Q: How long?

A: About 3 years…? I’m terrible at keeping it updated. My designs sell pretty quickly in the shop, I don’t always have a chance to post them. (a good problem to have!)

Q: How did you find out about Etsy? Web surfing some years back trying to find exposure for my craft. The first time I stumbled across is I had no clue what it was. I came back to it a year or so later and it had evolved into something spectacular- I felt silly I hadn’t realized how awesome it was the first time I got there! I promptly joined and spent hours picking “favorites”

Q: Do you have your own website and/or blog?

A: Yes, both. Website is awesome, blog needs some work.

Q: Are you featured at any other galleries?

A: Nope ,none but my own shop at this time.

Q: Do you do art shows? How far to you travel to them?

A: The farthest was in South Dakota. I don’t plan to travel too far for some time.

Q: Do you have a special story about a piece you created?

A: I use to beat myself up all the time that I was never going to be an “artist” because I couldn’t draw- I just couldn’t make my hand draw the things I saw in my head. One night I got up out of bed because I had an idea for a necklace… when it was finished I remember saying “Yes! This is EXACTLY what I saw in my head!” It dawned on me then, that jewelry was MY medium, and that necklace means a lot to me because it made me see that which I had always had but never realized.

Q: What is your favorite pieces and why it is your favorite?  (see photo to the right)

A: I designed a necklace, one of the few I gave a title to, it’s called “Sailing the North Atlantic”. About a year before I had made it I spent a week on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Hatteras, NC). I was there with a bunch of friends that had gone in together to rent a beach house for a week during the end of October (it was the off-season, so we pretty much had the beach to ourselves). I spent almost every day I was there crawling around on the beach, shellin’, as we called it. I found some amazing pieces on that beach, and I remember spending a lot of time just staring at the power of the Atlantic- it’s wild and moving power. At the end of our week there, the weather turned nasty and a hurricane was down the coast- we were happy to be heading out. I can still remember the look of the sky, the wild waves, the power of the wind, the smell in the air…. It was amazing and daunting all at the same time. A year or so later I sat going through some of my beach treasures from that trip, there was one small piece of a shell that had natural holes through it, it was already naturally perfect for jewelry making… As I played with it I remembered the waves, the sky- the feeling came back to me. I wanted to capture the feeling and the colors, which I think I did- I adore that piece! It was later bought by a lovely woman I know, and she knew just the feeling of what I was getting at when I made it. I felt sadden to see it go, but happy it was going to just the right person. It will always be one of my favorite pieces, one of my “babies”.

Q: Do you have a special story about someone who has bought one of your pieces?

A: I once got a call from a gentleman I had met at one of my art fairs, he had a bag of beach pebbles him and his girlfriend had picked up on the beach in Spain. He told me they’d just been sitting in a drawer doing nothing and could I possibly make jewelry out of them for his girlfriend- he thought it would be pretty cool and so did I! So he sent me the pebbles and I sent him a couple ideas of what I thought I could do with them- he gave me carte blanche to do whatever I thought was best (my favorite way of designing custom pieces). I designed an awesome statement necklace using the soft gray beach pebbles, moonstones and sterling silver- it was a powerful necklace. I emailed off a blurry image and the invoice, he loved it and sent me the payment- I dashed to the post office to get it out to him (post office is just across the street from my shop). When I got back to the shop I went to send him an email that the necklace was on the way, but he had already sent me an email with some very interesting and exciting information. The necklace was a gift for his girlfriend, well now his fiancĂ©, they were to be married in a few weeks. He would be giving the necklace to her then, on the night of their wedding! Well, I can’t even tell you how thrilled I was to be a part of this!!!! I did see the lovely couple about a week before the big day, it was madness to keep my mouth shut and save the surprise! I did get an email sometime after their wedding, she loved the necklace and the thought and plan behind all of it. It was just an amazing thing to get a chance to create for someone- I love that story!!! I’m also glad he didn’t tell me his plan for it until after I was done- I think I would have been very nervous!! On a sad note- I never took the time to snap a GOOD picture of this necklace!! I was so excited once it was all done, I didn’t think of keeping a record of it. I have a bad habit of not getting photos of my work, I’m working on getting better at that now!

Q: Do you have a special project you are working on now?

A: A couple of them… I’m participating in a 2011 Handmade Challenge with a few friends. I’ve got 5 friends I will be making something for, and then I twisted the rules a little and said if anyone else wanted to do a trade, I’d add them to my list. I think I’ve got about 10 people on my list (and I put a cap on the list until I have those projects done). And then I’m milling around ideas for an enamel project I’d like to complete this year, but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.

See Christina’s amazing wok at the sites below!

Sailing the North Alantic


  1. This is great! What a cool way to get to know other artists!

  2. Love getting to more about Christina and how she loves to make her art! Great write up and feature!

  3. Thanks for giving me the chance to tell some of my stories :)

    I also have a blog, started some time ago, but just getting the hang of it now! Please check it out!