- You may remember an interview I did with two adorable artists/jewelry designers on the streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania last year for Fig Magazine. Since then I have stayed in touch with one of the designers and thought it would be fun to catch up with her about Hobo Queen, inspirations, goals, and where to buy her work. Let's all take a moment to hear a little more from one half of Hobo Queen: Frances.
- Snapshot Fashion: What inspires you when you are designing jewelry?
- Frances of Hobo Queen: Peeling paint, graffitied dumpsters, grandma stuff, Chinatown, fake diamonds and gold, Mexican folk art, pastel chalk pastels, hole in the wall buy and sell shops, old school nail salons, neon signs, dirty car garages, and bodegas.
- SF: Use three adjectives to describe the designs of Hobo Queen.
- HQ: Gritty, complex, and adorable.
- SF: Tell us about the first piece of jewelry you ever created.
- HQ: The first piece of jewelry I created was about seven years ago, before the birth of Hobo Queen, and it was a pair of earrings that looked like little robots. They were very simple..I was working at the front desk of a historic library in Wilkes Barre, and one day I snooped in the drawers of the very vintage employee bathroom. I found two little silver colored fluorescent light fuses, and took them home and gutted them to make earrings. I just loved the look of them so much I had to wear them on my person! That is why I make found object and mixed media jewelry. Sometimes the aesthetics of a little tiny thing are so amazing it has to be displayed...I look at myself and people who wear my jewelry as walking, talking art galleries. There are mishaps sometimes...Hillary (my HQ partner) and I were working on some jewelry one night and we ended up in the emergency room...We were trying to drill a hole through a ceramic bird's head- I said, "Here, let me do it, you hold it," and brrrrt! I drilled a tiny hole RIGHT through her forefinger...luckily it was okay, no permanent damage, but we learned that you can't drill a hole through any old thing with a household drill...Haha.
- SF: You use found objects in your jewelry designs. What was the best item you have ever found to incorporate into your jewelry?
- HQ: Ahh...there are so many...I try to take photos of my work but sometimes they find homes before I can get to it. The most unique thing I ever made was a piece out of was an antique sepia photograph that I found in a dumpster of a woman from Germany. There was a note on the back to her husband in her handwriting..I cut it out and turned it into a pendant, coated it with clear enamel. A high school girl bought it downtown on Prince Street a couple of years ago. I hope she still loves it!
- SF: Where do you hope Hobo Queen is professionally in 5 years?
- HQ: Well, my vision is to have Hobo Queen known in the underground art scene as a "lifestyle brand." I have begun to mark my street art pieces with Hobo Queen or HQ, as well as my gallery pieces. It's a lot of work to keep up with the networking and marketing side of art, and I am working on balancing that and my creative surges.. I admire the Philadelphia artist Sean Martorana- he balances his business and art really well, and does everything!
Be sure to stop by Hobo Queen's Facebook page for the latest updates! There you can also contact Frances if you would like custom pieces made. Hobo Queen uses PayPal for online payment.
Please note that if you are in central Pennsylvania, stop on by Rhyme and Reason in Lancaster. They are a new vintage shop downtown that is selling Hobo Queen's jewelry.