What are your name, Etsy name, profession and location?
My name is Charity Hofert and my business/ art name is chARiTy elise designs. Elise is my middle name, and i decided as a teenager that charity elise sounded more arty than charity pabst (my maiden name) and so i began signing pieces with that name back then. My etsy name is also chARiTy elise designs. I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Married? Single? Do you have children? Do any animals dwell with you?
I have been married for almost 9 years to a sweet guy named Dan. We have two small children- a boy who is four and a little girl who is two. They are my three favorite people in the world! We have a mixed-breed dog named "Bean" and my son has some other little pets that live in his room... a betta named Quincy, a hermit crab named Mozart and an ant farm. I don't think that any of them have names.
What medium/s do you work with and where did you learn how to do this?
I work in all sorts of mediums these days; paint on masonite, buttons and cut up credit cards combined with my handmade tiles in mosaic pieces, plaster, canvas, paper mache and clay mostly. These days i am working primarily with clay. I studied art in college and received my BFA from the University of Southern Maine in 1997. My concentration there was ceramics, but when i left school i didn't do much with clay for many years. In the last few years, after taking a few more pottery classes at a local art center, my love of clay has been renewed and i began collecting some of the equipment that i needed to do pottery in my home studio. The house that we bought 5 years ago came with a kiln (lucky me!) and in the last year we have bought a potter's wheel and an additional kiln, making it easier for me to produce a fair amount of work here at home.
Do you have a specific area you work in and how much time per week do you devote to your art/craft?
I have a small studio in the downstairs of our house. I do most of my work in the studio, though i have been known to spread myself and my materials all around the house. Since we have had small children i have needed to be more careful about this.... The potter's wheel is in the garage and so that is where i do any throwing. The kiln and all of our tools are also in the garage/ shop. I generally work about 20 hours a week give or take.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by so many things... this could be a long list... I am inpired by everything around me really; the colors and forms in nature, the ocean and ocean life ( i grew up on the coast of Maine), the patterns and colors that i have seen in the art and handicrafts of people in different parts of the world. I have travelled a bit in South America and lived in Western Samoa for a short time, and i often feel inspired by the spirit of the people and the art that i experienced in those places. Travels to other countries such as China and Israel also effects my work and inspires me. I derive immense inspiration from my children and their creativity, by the work and ideas of other artists, pictures in magazines.... and finally, by my own faith and feeling of connection with my Creator. I am a member of the Baha'i Faith and am greatly inspired by it's teachings and principles- such as the oneness of humankind and the idea that "the earth is but one country and mankind its citizens".
Is there a medium you haven’t tried that you’d like too?
I love quilts and beautiful fabrics and would like to do something with quilting one day. I am also fascinated with glass and glass blowing and watch every program that i can about blowing glass. I don't know if i will ever try it myself, but i am spellbound by watching it.
Now some questions from our fellow Etsian’s.
Question by http://www.luluvillage.etsy.com/:
Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?
I think that i would prefer to be an active small fish in a diverse and cooperative school of fish.
Question by http://www.marysusan.etsy.com/:
If you were trapped in an abandoned cave, and could only have three artistic materials with you, what would they be, and why?
I guess i would have to say paint, canvas and brushes (provided that i already had water to use with the paint). I love the bright vibrant colors of acrylic paints and the many different ways that they can be mixed and applied to canvas ( or other materials) to create so many different types of imagery. I would say clay, but having no way to glaze and fire it in a cave.... i probably couldn't do much with clay with only three materials....
Question by http://www.luv4sams.esty.com/:
What is the one item you created that you are most proud of?
I don't think that i could decide on one item that i am most proud of. There isn't one particular thing that i think best demonstrates skill or style... i am proud of a lot of things... but more proud of being able to step back and look at the body of work that has emerged over the last few years and to be able to see that i am improving in my skill and that the pieces that i create continue to be fresh and vibrant. I will include a picture of a piece that i love, but i wouldn't say i am most proud of. It is a current piece that i did for the Esty Mud Team's critter challenge, and i am proud of it because i haven't really done a lot of sculptural work, and i think that this piece represents a new direction for me, while also including some of the design elements that are typical of a lot of my work.
Question by http://www.ariaimages.esty.com/:
What are five of your favorite Etsy shops?
Hmm... tough... off the top of my head.... gosh it will be hard to narrow it down to five. I love ArtOfAndrewDaniel, honeybee, jenmaestre, BirdNerd and joleeromano. Man, that really isn't fair. i have so many favorites!!
Question by http://www.damselle.etsy.com/:
What is your worst time wasting habit?
My worst time wasting habit is sitting at this computer! I am a member of the Etsy Mud Team and i spend WAY to much time reading and making comments on our weekly thread in the forums. But, what can you do? i love my team!