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Written by Morgue Anne

Monster of My Heart is an independent creator of jewelry and accessories from Spain. Working hard to bring her dark dreams to life, Imelda works tirelessly to create her pieces. Even though English is not her first language, she was kind and patient enough to tell me about her process.

Stephanie StripedSocks Lady, available for purchase on etsy.

Morgue Anne for Extollere: What materials do you use for your jewelry and accessories?
Monster of my Heart: I use specially polymer clay and metal. I have found an special kind of flexible polymer clay, so all my works created with this material are super durable and unbreakable, as super strong rubber. About metals, I have a little jewelry studio here in my country, where my husband and me work specially with sterling silver and also copper and brass. We work using artisan and traditional jewelry methods. We combine all that with other new materials and contemporary techniques.

MA: Which piece is your favorite?
Monster of my Heart: That’s a great question! Maybe I like especially the sterling silver creations made in collaboration with my husband, elaborated with an ancient method (casting in sand). I love to create also sugar skulls and happy mini skulls as brooches or key chains in polymer clay. I have received today a fantastic purchase of more than 12 kilograms of flexible polymer clay.

MA: Where do you get your ideas from?
Monster of my Heart: When I was a little girl, I don’t like princess or pink color: I liked witches and monsters. As now. So I return with my mind many times to my childhood looking for creepy and cute ideas. I also love works as the incredible paintings of Juan de Valdés Leal, a great painter from the Spanish Baroque (you can read more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_de_Vald%C3%A9s_Leal). Of course, I have a great influence of Tim Burton, specially because that’s what my audience demands. Many times, I get ideas from my brother, who taught me to love scary things, like a good big brother.

MA: How do you make the teeth? How long does it take?
Monster of my Heart: natural and real look. Each piece is created one by one, modeling with my hands and without any molds, of course. So each molar or teeth are unique, as the real pieces of our mouths. As I say, I use just my hands, my fingers, but there are not fingerprints in my teeth replicas. A teeth with fingerprints is not realistic at all. So my human molars and teeth receive an special finish to get their totally realistic look. About how long does it take… that’s really a very difficult question, because I never watch the clock when I am working. I just can say that I always need more time than anticipated for any craftsmanship.

MA: Some of your Monsters have names like Maurice and Toribius, do you like giving them personalities?
Monster of my Heart: I love to give personality to my monsters. I learned it of my very best friend, Víctor. When we were children, all his dolls and toys had names, always super funny names and very special personalities. This is the perfect method for giving life to anything. Children are always imagining, and I think that we never must forget that. I’m imagining things, worlds, characters and dreams all the time. Sometimes, the real life is too boring.
MA: Do you do custom orders?
Monster of my Heart: Yes, of course, I love to work by order, and so does my husband. This kind of works are very interesting and adorable. Specially because we know that this creations will be received by someone who love artisan creations, someone that needs to go further of the massive productions of the alienating factories. So we love to create special things for special people.

MA: I love your Corpse Bride necklace! Do you plan to do more large pieces like that?
Monster of my Heart: This sterling silver jewel is another collaboration with my husband, a great specialist in sand casting. The first one was a custom order (petitioned by an Spanish client). We loved the final result, so we decide to show it immediately on The Monster Of My Heart shop. Since then, we have sold some of them, always created by order and always shipped outside Spain. We bought the original doll from the USA to create this pendants. In this moment, we are not thinking in create more pieces of the Corpse Bride, but we can elaborate any work by order with the preferences of the client.

MA: How does living in Spain effect your art? Have you ever traveled to the US?
Monster of my Heart: The global situation in Spain is not too easy now for nobody, but maybe it’s a little bit hard if you are an artist. Something needs to change and many people is beginning to wake up. I’m speaking about the Spanish Revolution, a new pacific social movement of the ordinary people who are tired of living with lots of economic difficulties while Spanish politicians and bankers are billionaires. Many people have lost their jobs, many families have lost their home, but our corrupt politicians are just worried by themselves and their mansions. Ordinary people have not much money now, so this situation is not specially easy for sell artisan creations.

At the same time, many people are “narcotized” by the mass media with hours and hours of Spanish football. So too many persons can’t see farther of the football: they can’t see their real problems and they neither can’t see the value of any artisan work. The football in Spain is like the circus at the Antique Roman Empire (but the players have millions and millions of euros and there aren’t any lion waiting for them… unfortunately).

I have never traveled to USA, but… why not? Most of my Etsy customers are from USA. I have also clients from the rest of Europe, as Germany, France, Italy … Sales inside my own country … about three or four. Usually, my work shown on Etsy travels to USA. As I have said, the situation at my country is not very good. Maybe our future is not here, in Spain. My husband and me think about it many times, specially after watching the TV news. But really we don’t know which side of the world we have to choose…

MA: Do you live like every day is Halloween or are you only spooky when it comes to crafts?
Monster of my Heart: Ha, ha, ha… I love this question. As I have said, I love to imagine all the time. At the same time, I’m quite multifaceted, like my husband, Jose. So some days are Halloween for me, but other days are totally different. We have also another Etsy shop where we sell our “not spooky” handmade jewelry (http://www.etsy.com/shop/imeldasutil).

We also are creating and selling button badges and many other “not creepy” handmade accessories from polymer clay. We are selling our work through Etsy, but here in Spain we are selling our creations at craft fairs by all the country (and also at medieval markets and historic recreations). Our work is very varied, so we can’t live at Halloween all the time: we have many styles!

By other side, I also love vintage times. So I have created a new Etsy shop (Etsy is a little addictive for me…). In this shop, called Pear Age (http://www.etsy.com/shop/pearage), I’m selling Spanish vintage and the answer of the public is really good.

MA: How long have you been on Etsy? Do you have any sales goals that you want to reach?
Monster of my Heart: I have been on Etsy for about two years. My dream is sell all our work from home, because the crafts fairs are really hard and exhausting. We must to work all the time to create all the pieces, and then, at weekends, we have to travel by hours by van to reach different cities, where we must to install our own stand at the street, expose our work and try to sell something. Our dream is to live in a very little village, near the nature, in any place on the world, and sell our work through Internet or in our little shop. Here in Spain we also teach artisan jewelry at our studio, so this is something that we want to do in this utopic future too. Really, our goal is not to sell too much, if not just to need very little money to live.

You can find more of Monster of my Heart’s work on Etsy .

All photo credits Monster of my Heart and available for sale.