I deliberated for awhile before deciding to open an Esty shop. I was trying to answer the question, ‘Why does the world need another Etsy shop?’
I typed paragraphs answering my question. But I decided to pare down the response: I can sit back and watch others succeed or fail. Or I can jump in.
My art is whimsical and made with thought and heart. It started as Art Day in my dining room during COVID-19 and the Shelter in Place directive. If I didn’t have an outlet I’d have gone bonkers. My initial art projects were experiments with markers and paint. The early days I was still holding back and not realizing what I could do.
But then I took a sharp turn and I experimented with interesting tools and materials: a Dremel, a hacksaw, a Japanese handsaw, diamond drill bits, hardwoods, a wood burning tool, a soldering iron, resistors, cicada wings, rusty found objects… to name a few.
A note about the Dremel
I have to publicly thank my friend Colleen Bell for the Dremel she gave me a few years ago. It is only now that I have really unlocked the many amazing uses it has – from drilling glass and metal to cutting wood and plastic to sanding glass tile. It is the best tool I own. Thank you, Colleen!
The story behind the name, Empirical Whimsy
I toyed with other names but they were wildly unimaginative. So I went to my word sleuth, Tore Bellis, and he handed me the name, Empirical Whimsy.
Empirical: “capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment”
Whimsical: “a fanciful or fantastic device, object, or creation especially in writing or art”
When you combine “Empirical” with “Whimsy”, you get something that doesn’t make sense.
Imagine conducting an experiment to definitively prove something is fanciful! That is what I have attempted to create with my Etsy shop, Empirical Whimsy.
My art pieces are one of a kind. The materials are either from my collection of items, found objects or donations from my friends and family who want to see what I can make with their items. I also find special items from antique stores and estate sales.
Many of my pieces are interactive. I don’t have a mechanical mind but I’m trying to develop the skill. You’ll find some of the art pieces have elements that can be moved or manipulated. I love this feature.
Details. If you know me, or spent a moment on my blog you’ll quickly see I love details. Whether it’s ephemera from historic buildings or a random object picked up while hiking at the LBJ National Grasslands. The details add interest and meaning. My art pieces incorporate such details even if it’s nothing more than the process of learning how to use a hacksaw to cut allthread in my dining room or drilling a piece of glass for the first time. And if you’ve never done either one, it’s time to try. Go to your hardware store and treat yourself. While you’re there, pick up some JB Weld (kinda stinky but a great product) and Plasti Dip (also stinky in a rubber tire sort of way).
Here are some products in my store. Moon and Resistors. The rusty bolt was found at the LBJ National Grasslands and the resistors are from Tore. The wood (painted blue) is from my tree. My neighbors were so bored during Shelter in Place they volunteered to trim my tree and slice some branches for me.
Shake a Leg Dinner Bell (works great for Coffee Breaks too) 😉
- Visit my Etsy shop for more products or to purchase.
- Follow Empirical Whimsy on Instagram.
- Donate your dolls, cicada wings or other unusual objects to see how they get repurposed. 🙂
- I’ll post updates on the blog for behind the scenes and other details about the art pieces.
Thank you friends and family who have facilitated this process!