We had the good fortune of connecting with Sally Ray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sally, what inspires you?
It may sound cliche, but inspiration is everywhere. I’m one of those people who has at least 50 browser windows open at a time, and over 100 Pinterest boards. Nature, science, traditional crafts, antiquities, architecture, folklore, graphic design, world religions- I rarely feel uninspired. The problem comes in the culling of ideas or in choosing which rabbit hole to follow before moving on to development. I find the exploration and research stage so captivating that it is at times difficult to move forward into production.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Currently, the handmade products that I fabricate are somewhat diverse. I am unsure why I hesitate to call them ‘art’- while they are made to delight, they are also made to be functional. I prefer to make things to be both admired and beautifully used. The materials that I use are varied- wood with traditional finishes like stains, inks, dyes and paint, cast acrylics, found objects, miniature hardware and sometimes scanned and etched vintage photographs. I use both traditional hand tools combined with laser cutting & etching, CNC carving, molding, casting, and 3D printing. Zombolina’s Cabinet of Curiosities (zombolina.com) celebrates Halloween all year long with unique gifts and items with a Gothic-Victorian aesthetic. Inspired by the Stoic tenant “Memento Mori” (remember, you too must die), the idea promotes a celebration of life by reminding us that our time is limited, meant to be used wisely, enjoyed, and not wasted on trivial concerns or destructive ways. 8th Ray Design (8thray.com) is a service company that specializes in custom laser cutting and etching, CNC cutting and carving, and general fabrication. Custom awards and plaques, personalized gifts, signage, props, scenic and costume elements are typical projects.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are endless things to do and see in LA! Let’s start with breakfast at Another Broken Egg at 250 E Olive. Great food and wonderful service. On to Magnolia Park for shopping at unique, family owned boutiques including gothic favorites like Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum, Halloweentown, and Dark Delicacies. Have a quick non vegan lunch in North Hollywood at Vicious Dogs before catching the Red Line to Hollywood and Highland for a walking tour of Hollywood, ending up at Tiki Ti’s for some authentic tropical cocktails. Spend the rest of the week discovering the hiking trials of Griffith Park, kayak the LA river with https://lariverkayaksafari.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Whether it be in the form of direct purchase, personal recommendation, pep talks, advice, ideas, and/or the reposting of products and digital content, I am indebted to close friends and family, talented co-workers, kind strangers and social media followers for the constant support provided to me, Zombolina.com and 8th Ray Design. Above all, my husband Mark has been my most reliable and patient supporter; always ready with sound business advice, technical skills and creative ideas.