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INTERVIEW WITH Mary of "Vanti Designs"

I am very excited to introduce a long-running series of interviews with various Etsians, bloggers, and other folks I find interesting :) Today I’d like to introduce you to Mary of "Vanti Designs" She is a sweet and very talented person who makes luxurious felt accessories and jewelry …

Mary Georgis is a talented and creative felter and metalsmith. Though relatively new in these areas she has a life full of experience in arts and crafts. The one thing that never changes is her desire to design and create beautiful items around her.


Hello, my name is Mary Georgis. My whole life has been about art and design. I am a self taught felter and have been taking a few metalsmith classes over the past year. Before that I always had a new project or hobby. The best part of art and design is that there is always more to learn and I love it all!!

-Where are you originally from?

I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Athens, Greece with my family at the age of 14.

-How did you choose the lovely name for your Etsy Shop?
I wanted to choose something from the heart, something I would love always. The first thing that came to my mind of coarse is my daughter, Tina, and then a place that has mesmerized me ever since my teacher described it in grade 6, Vancouver, BC, Canada. I combined some of the letters and came up with ‘Vanti’.

-How did you find Etsy? How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I found Etsy while searching the web for felting and jewelry information.
I started my online shop ‘Vanti Designs’ immediately, it was February 2009.

-How would you describe your style? Have any other artists etc ...influenced your style?
It is difficult to define a specific style in my designs. I would say that what expresses my work at this point in time is a contemporary, minimal look with elegant lines and attention to detail. A very important part of my personality is that I always strive for perfection and I have very expensive taste when it comes to quality in materials and craftsmanship.

-What are your main sources of inspiration?
My love of natural materials such as wool, silk, silver, gemstones, and pearls inspires my designs. I feel that we are all better off with natural materials and I try to limit my designs to eco friendly products.

- How did you first come to art and creativity? How did your journey in art and creativity begin?

I was very lucky to go to a school where art was very important. There was something new to learn every day and my teachers always encouraged me. Being able to express myself through art and to better understand the world around me is a journey I never want to end.

-Have you had any mentors, or are you self taught?
I must say that I am very lucky to have an amazing metalsmithing instructor. The techniques I have been learning from him have been passed down through generations of Greek craftsmen. His hands on experience are immense and he always has a little trick to show us.

-Do you sell more at one time of year than others?
It surprised me but even in the middle of summer I sold a scarf, and although during Christmas there were a few more sales, I realized that if you have something special it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is.

-What is one thing about your creative process that you think most people don't know?
I think the most important thing people are unaware of is everything handmade takes a lot of effort and time. The entire process is more than the actual construction. There are times when an artist might have to start by gathering, creating, and preparing everything down to the raw materials. There might be experiments involved and a lot of dead ends, there are many times when you just start all over. There are things that go wrong and results you didn’t expect but sometimes welcome. When I get an idea I try to quickly make some notes and a sketch, I never know how long it will be before I make it but having it down on paper is the first most important step for me.

-How has life affected your art and art affected your life?
Art is everywhere in life, it makes it beautiful and complete.

-Do you have a favorite item you have made?
Every design is special to me. I especially love the items that fulfill their purpose to flatter and compliment the owner. When I have made my clients feel beautiful I am encouraged to make more.

-What is the best reaction you have gotten from one of your pieces?

I can’t choose a specific one, but someone once jumped up and down like a little girl holding a scarf and saying this is hers!!
I also love to get online feedback, such as “This is the most beautiful bag I have ever seen. Love it!!!!”, this was a very happy moment, this was my first felt bag and I am happy she ‘loves it!’. That’s what it’s about to me.

-Your message for all of us?

Choose handmade!! Choose natural products!!

Thank you so much Mary:)