March 23, 2009

Weekly Featured Artist - Ben & Dani of finchbird and Mangofrog

For this weeks Featured Artist we have a husband and wife team - Ben and Dani from finchbird and Mangofrog. When I was floating through the finchbird shop I feel in love with so many of their gorgeous pieces - so unique and when I clicked on the finchbird 'profile' page and read the quote Ben and Dani have there I knew these guys are on to a good thing - "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" William Morris!! Visit Ben and Dani today at or, I bet you'll find something you believe is beautiful - I know I have!!!
Oh and mangofrog currently has an awesome sale going... you just have to check it out!

Tell us all about yourself and your craft?
Ben and Dani Finch are the husband and wife team behind finchbird. Ben holds an honours degree in Jewellery and Object Design from Sydney University and currently teaches Design and Visual Art. Dani (that's me) is the chatty one ... I do all the promotion and administration, I run the Etsy shop and the Blog and design and make the finchbird packaging. I also make the mangofrog range of jewellery incorporating Czech Glass and Sterling Silver.
Ben's designs are modern, organic and minimal. He loves clean lines and pure forms - I'm the lucky one who gets to try out all the new pieces!

How long have you been creating your craft?
Ben has created jewellery since the mid 1990s and has worked mainly on commissioned pieces since then. He has only recently started selling a production range to the world!

What is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt about your craft & selling it?
We are learning all the time! One of Ben's steepest learning curves has been that of believing in himself and his work. Putting a piece of yourself 'out there' for others to see and critique is a giant step!
I am learning lots about the world of online selling ... photography, promotion, pricing agaaah!!! My greatest discovery so far has been the incredibly supportive DUST team on Etsy ... those girls rock!

Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
The moebius bangle was originally created for travelling exhibition that went around Australia. We put a copy of the original bangle up on Etsy and almost immediately received a convo from Lisa in the US asking if we could custom make a cuff for her in a similar style. Lisa was fabulous to work with and we all had a lot of fun communicating and designing for someone thousands of kilometres away .... and she was thrilled with the result!

Is there a basic ‘household’ item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual ‘tool’?
I LOVE this question..... Ben is a traditionalist and uses beautiful tools in the proper way!... I'm a big fan of improvising though and when I make the mangofrog 'hoop' earrings, I wrap the wire around the kid's Panadol bottle!!

What is your favourite candy bar & why?
Give us a block of Belgian Mint Chocolate any day... pure indulgence!

If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
I think we would travel back to Japan. We traveled there in the mid '90's and were so inspired by the Japanese aesthetic and the idea of wabi sabi - the beauty of imperfect, impermanent simplicity.

Thanks to both Ben and Dani for sharing with us!!
To stay up to date with all things finchbird be sure to drop by the finchbird blog.


finchbird said...

Thanks so much for featuring us Amy!
xx Dani

Anastasia said...

great interview - love their pieces! they look SO well made!