Eve at Talismana Designs talks to us about her design inspiration including symbolism and motifs of the natural world. Bees, bones, beetles, porcupine quills are just some of the materials she works with. She has lived the festival lifestyle for many years and now sells online as well. Leather pocket belts and festival wear clothing are included in her beautiful offerings, which are always popular for their unique style.
Talismana Designs- Eve Bennett-Jones
Transcription by Jade Rainsong
(Karen:) One of the things I love so much about Country Fair is the incredible artwork of the artisans. There’s so much variety, but there’s so much love and craft put into every item. All of the custom handmade artwork and jewelry. We’re here in the booth of Talismana designs with Eve, and she is an incredible craftswoman, designer and artist who makes just all kinds of beautiful clothing, mostly women’s clothing and beautiful leather hip belts with all kinds of great pockets, as well as gorgeous jewelry.
Everything from earrings and chokers to necklaces, bracelets. And so much of the work is designed by Eve, and I’d like to know a little bit more about it. So can you tell us a little bit more about the work that you have here, the beautiful artwork you’ve, you’ve created?
(Eve:) Yeah. My business name is Talismana Designs. After the concept of a talisman, sort of an enchanted good luck charm. And I love things that are symbolic and tell a story, usually a little bit of a mystical occult story. So everything I make tends to have a little symbolism in it. I do end up with a lot of skulls, um, slightly, slightly, but I call it granola goth.
Uh, like hippie, Gothic, um, lot of crescent moons. I can’t stop making crescent moon things. It just love it.
(Karen:) Did I hear you say that some of these earrings were made from beetle wings?
(Eve:) Yes. I went through a phase where I was obsessed with, uh, these jewel wing beetles from Thailand and they have really strong iridescent casings and it’s just a fascinating material that I like to work with a little bit.
(Karen:) How do you get the ideas for some of these designs?
(Eve:) I think I’m just a person that is moved by inspiration routinely. Um, and I go through different periods. I used to make a porcupine quill beaded earrings when I was first doing jewelry over 20 years ago, and I suddenly just got all enthused about porcupine needles again, and started working with those again.
(Karen:) So sometimes creative things come around. I see that some of the work, as you were talking about symbolism and motif, you’ve got some pomegranates with crescent moons down there and some different kind of bones… looks like hip bones and moths. And I just love the way that you put together these different things… the bee symbolism…
(Eve:) Well, thank you. Yeah. And with the bees it’s also supposed to be a dialogue starter about the situation for disappearing bees right now. So it’s nice to work in something meaningful like that, that I hope, you know, makes a little step in helping the environment, helping the bees.
(Karen:) So tell me a little bit about your ethos here, about being a vendor and, um, how many different festivals you do and what is your lifestyle like?
(Eve:) Well, it used to be that I was on the road all the time. I did get my start doing Grateful Dead tour. And that was a very fun lifestyle. And the business has really grown though. And I sometimes feel like a, I think this happens to a lot of artists. The business side of things distracts me from the creative side. I have to answer a lot of Etsy conversations every day from my online store and be there for everyone. And, uh, I wouldn’t mind returning to those Grateful Dead days.
(Karen:) Yes. Simpler, happier, maybe easier time selling.
(Eve:) But I will say that selling online has been awesome. I love being able to work from home. I’ve just always enjoyed that. It’s nice getting to, you know, wake up, put on my bathrobe, get some things done. The cup of coffee.
(Karen:) And how do you feel about vending here at Country Fair and how did you get started at country fair?
(Eve:) Well, I juried for over 15 years. It was really something just having to go through that process every year thinking I’ll probably never get in, but I guess I’ll just keep doing this.
And then. One year. I was like, Oh, that’s weird. I got in. And and then I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful booth partner, invite me to share the booth. Matthew, the drum maker has been very considerate, very hospitable, and I think I just got lucky and it’s great, you know, having different staff every year. The helpers for me this year, um, a couple of friends of mine, one is a nurse and one is a massage therapist, and I just feel very, you know, nice having such a, such gifted, caring people around.
(Karen:) Is there a particular product that’s a bestseller that people love or something that you love to create?
(Eve:) Well, pretty much everything I love to create and you know, they all take their turn in the spotlight. I will say anything with a Raven head on it has been of interest lately.
(Karen:) The bird motif. I see the bird motif a lot, so well, thank you so much, Eve.
(Eve:) Yes. Well thank you, Karen. That was great.