Artists ~ Laura Henkin ~ North Kingstown

Artist’s name: Laura Henkin
Shop name: LnKDesigns

1. Tell us about your work. 
I'm a little bit different from some other crafters because I work in three different mediums. I hand-carve Swedish Star Lights from bass wood and then assemble and add LED lighting to the lights. I also absolutely love to make Swarovski Crystal jewelry and dog collars/leashes and I hand-paint glass jewelry as well. Finally, I make Treasure Soap in fun shapes and sizes (think Titanic sinking ships and Death Star soap or small owls or bricks and minifigures for party favors) and I embed Lego and Disney minifigures in the middle of a bar of soap for fun to encourage kids to wash their hands! Basically, I try to make beautiful things that make people feel happy and peaceful.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer? 
Believe it or not I was the musical one in the family. I played the flute and several orchestras, dabbled on piano and recently started playing the Irish tin whistle. Otherwise, I did not consider myself artistically creative in any way. Originally, my sister Kate and I planned to start a company where I would be the business manager/social media director. She was to be in charge of all creative activities. I was still recovering from a serious health issue and Kate and I were together grieving over our dad's recent passing. We started making jewelry together and I found the work to be very therapeutic. I loved to go to art fairs and festivals and really put my work out there. It was nerve-wracking and rewarding at the same time and I absolutely love running a small business and seeing it grow. My sister ended up concentrating on her demanding and booming cooking career in Boston. I ended up on both sides of the business, creatively developing new products and marketing and selling it in public and online. My new career is as much a surprise to me as to anybody else. I have been developing a new side of me that I did not know existed.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration? 
My inspiration is drawn from my family, from the strength and beauty of nature, specifically the seashore. A lot of my jewelry is ocean-themed. I have a lot of very happy and peaceful items that are an explosion of colors and uplifting.

4. What’s your favorite item to create? 
I really love to hand-carve Swedish star lights. I started making them in honor of my father and my Swedish heritage. I find carving wood to be a very peaceful way to spend my time, although primarily I save this task for something to do after my three boys go to sleep at night as it is a dangerous thing to do while distracted!

5. What’s your best seller? 
This is a two-part answer. Online my best seller is my Save the Lego Guy Soap and specifically, people like to "save" Harry Potter, Emmet and Star Wars characters from being in the soap by washing their hands. At art fairs and festivals and other "in person" events, my best sellers are Swarovski tennis bracelets, bangle bracelets and my new Swarovski Victorian Romance Rings.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island? 
We moved here from Boston about 11 and 1/2 years ago.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island? 
I absolutely love the slower pace of a rural farming town with a thriving art community, a series of fairs and festivals and of course, the beauty of Wickford and the beaches of Narragansett Bay. My neighbors and friends are fantastic! Oh, and it's hard to forget the Blue Angels flying over my neighborhood!

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add: 
Please feel free to Like my Facebook page and follow on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and of course, Etsy to see my new ideas and discover when I will be setting up my white tent outside so I can meet you in person!!


Popular posts from this blog

Places to go, things to see in Rhode Island

Artists ~ Deanna Agresti ~ Cranston

Artists ~ Jerilyn Spaziano ~ Johnston