For most casual fans of music, the forty-five minutes that a band spends on the stage is all they can see. However, when the guitar cases are closed and the venue’s floor is littered with empty beer cans and trash, most bands load their gear into the van and return back to their normal lives.
Mother Church Pew’s Off The Stage is a series that celebrates artists’ paths to where they are and the things they do behind the scenes to stay there.
Zac Little, frontman of Ohio-based folk-rock outfit Saintseneca, studied sculpture in college; “I enjoyed metalworking, and it eventually became more interesting to me to make things that you stick in your pocket and take home rather than spending hours and hours on something that was too big to do anything with besides throw in the trash,” he says. “I started giving those things to friends, and then eventually it became its own little enterprise.”
This little (or Little, see what I did there?) enterprise has turned into a successful Etsy-based jewelry store called HeroKing. Little’s inspiration to make jewelry comes from his desire to make art more accessible, to make things to which people can relate. “One of the things that was always frustrating to me about sculpture was that sometimes I was making these pieces that were sort of esoteric and people would say, ‘Oh, hey, that’s cool.’ To me, it was more interesting to make things that people would respond to and use to express themselves,” he explains. “In terms of the imagery, I grew up in southeast Ohio; it was pretty rural, and I think I was always inspired by exploring old barns and finding old artifacts, tools, whatever was leftover by people and their stories. That kind of sensibility is what creeps into what kind of objects I’m interested in making. In terms of design, it’s pretty spread out; I make a lot of necklaces, but people buy more rings than anything else, that’s probably the most popular article.”
He’s received orders from and shipped his creations to the far reaches of the globe; “I’ve shipped all over the place; Singapore, Dubai, I’ve shipped to Australia, all over Europe, South Africa, all over the world. Maybe not the North Pole just yet,” Little says with a laugh.
For Saintseneca’s latest release, Such Things, out in 2015 on label Anti- Records, he designed a special piece that fans received when they pre-ordered the record. “I wanted to make something that was inspired by the imagery in the artwork for the album. In the insert of the record, there’s this motif that’s like these three eyes, so I worked on a couple of different designs. That eye imagery is what I settled on, and I did a necklace of that,” he recalls. “It was fun. I’m always looking for a way to join those two worlds, it seemed like a new way to try. I feel inspired when bands find unconventional ways of packaging or presenting their albums; I appreciate records, but when there’s another level of consideration and thought moving outside of just the old-fashioned way of doing it, I’m excited to see people doing that. I imagine I’ll continue looking for things like that to do.”
Saintseneca is on a nationwide tour, so be sure to keep an eye on their sites for updates. To check out HeroKing, click here:https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeroKing.