Jenn Flynn-Shon is the proud owner of Chucka Stone Designs from Boston, MA. I am married with no kids and no pets unless you count dust bunnies; student going for an MA in English (online) which consumes most (read: ALL) of my time; I’ve written 2 manuscripts (one fully edited that I’m shopping, the other in the back of a closet somewhere begging to be set free someday); I blog daily; enjoy an eclectic artist lifestyle; about to move across the country in 9 weeks to Phoenix!
How did you get started in your chosen craft and what do you enjoy most about it?
The bulk of my company focuses on decorative wall treatments/faux finishing and I got started doing it when my husband and I bought a 150 year old farm house to renovate (about 9 years ago & no longer in that house). I loved what could be done with paint, plaster, glaze and a little tape, so I sort of muddled my way through learning a lot on my own. We moved out of state and I ended up working with a group of gals who were professionally doing faux full time, I fell in with them and started my company 2 years later! I love the creativity to do things one might never think of on the surfaces of someone’s home, using color as an expressive art, and of course being able to wear jeans all day doesn’t hurt either J
What inspires you?
I get my inspiration from the world around me, a lot of the time my finishes come directly from nature where the colors and textures are perfect in their imperfection! I like to try to create things that people say â€˜whoa, I thought that was real!’
How do you make your craft or Etsy store eco-friendly?
I always try to use what I have before buying anything new, that’s what got me interested in selling on Etsy in the first place! I had all this paint, topcoat, plaster and glaze left over from jobs (not to mention a slew of fabrics that I salvaged from the trash pile of a family member) and I thought about what could be done with it all. So after digging around my craft room I found a bunch of stuff to work with and just started painting. I knew that reuse was the best way to provide something beautiful and functional as art. Not to mention I try to only use low/no VOC paints/glazes/plasters/topcoats and won’t consider it at all unless it’s a waterborne product. There have been such amazing advances in products these days that a finisher doesn’t need to use oil to achieve the same looks, they just have to be willing to learn a new technique.
In one word, describe your creative process.
How has crafting impacted your life?
My work has allowed me to meet a great group of super supportive people online through the team (EcoEtsy) as well as exposed me to a new style of artwork. Instead of using an entire wall for a mural, its scaled down to a more manageable size. That was tough at first but after the first few I realized that makes faux more accessible to a greater population of people who I might never have been exposed to otherwise — due to installation cost or geographic barriers. I love the chance to meet people and teach them that faux isn’t scary, that it can be so many different things to different people (murals, natural effects, stencils, furniture refinishing, etc). It isn’t all about paint splatters and sponging anymore. Educating people on new approaches has been one of my greatest joys!
Where does the magic happen
Well considering we’re currently in Boston and living on one consistent income the magic happens in a teeny, tiny corner of our second bedroom which is also my music studio (I play drums), the office, and overflow for our teeny tiny first bedroom (bureaus). The conditions are not totally ideal but at least I can crank up iTunes and there’s a lot of light in the room during the day. Once we get to Phoenix I’m hopeful that most of my work can be done outside on the patio in the sun!
What are you currently working on?
My new obsession is measured out and realistic looking finishes — stripes, brick, stone, wood planks, tumbled tile — and I’m also falling in love with graffiti art so I’ve been working out a way to bring the two together with a little love twist, I should have a finished panel up in my shop next week. This is an example of tumbled tile and I’m working on creating coasters with this finish right now. Those should also be in the shop soon too. Honestly, being a student really takes its toll on finding time to create (but now I’ll have to do it because its out there)!
What is the most eco-friendly purchase you have made?
I’ve been pretty frugal lately in an effort to save for the move (both money and space in the truck!) but since my husband and I do an at-home workout program my tees were getting a little, um, how can I say this? Ring around the arm, if you know what I mean J Turns out a teammate, Picnic Basket Crafts, sells a laundry stain bar so I figured why not give it a go. Holy awesome! It wasn’t like a miracle first wash and done thing but after the first wash I noticed a HUGE difference in the yellowing actually starting to disappear! It smells great and is priced just right. She’s not wrong that this thing will last either, I’ve been using it pretty regularly since January and have well over half the bar left still.
Where else can you be found online?
I’m seriously all over the Internet (3 blogs, 2 FB, 2 twitter, LinkedIn, etc) but you can link to all those other links from a couple key locations
Website – chuckastonedesigns
Facebook – ChuckaStoneDesigns
Blog – randomnessandlunacy
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