Craftland is excited to introduce you to Ola Silvera, the Bronx-based maker behind My Secret Music Box. We proudly carry Ola’s musical lockets. Follow her on Instagram.
What is your background and how did you get into creating what you make now?
You could say it started one day a little over a decade ago when I bought a broken musical box and tried to repair it. This very quickly became a desire to learn everything I could about music box repair and construction, which led to an email correspondence and eventually my first apprenticeship session in my mentor’s workshop on the far coast in a different country than where I lived at the time.
What is the source of your inspiration?
I’m also inspired by my childhood and the books I used to read, which were fantasy and fairytales chock full with magic mirrors, enchanted objects, leaping unicorns, talking cats… I still like discovering new fairytales.
I became a mother last year and the experience is more enriching than I really expected it to be. A stranger once described his life to me before parenthood as something like coloring a picture with a nice full box of crayons, and life after parenthood as suddenly discovering MORE crayons in the box and more colours to draw with than you knew existed. That’s what parenthood late in life has come to feel like to me, and yes there is inspiration there.
How has your work and career evolved since the beginning?
The big changes were when I moved from Canada to the United States and when I had a baby. Both changes happened at times when I felt I’d found a groove and positive momentum in my business, so I was anxious about breaking that momentum. And indeed I did break momentum in both cases and have had to shift directions, as well as cut off and add different facets to the business. However, I’m realizing unexpected benefits with both big changes and it turns out that losing momentum in one direction didn’t mean the end for me. I’m learning to be optimistic and to stay focused, yet flexible.
Is there another art form, material, or element you are interested in working with or incorporating your designs in the future?
Right now I’m focused on sound and the ethereal quality of this particular (and some might say peculiar) mechanically created music. I’m very interested in incorporating movement and playful imitations of life into my work. I’d also like to bring in more vintage materials because I feel they just carry more emotional excitement and weight than other materials.
Any advice for anyone who is also interested in pursuing their own creative career?
Be patient with yourself and listen to your heart…it knows things.