this is an interview with her. i hope you enjoy her work as much as i did.
what got you into designing jewelry? who influenced you?
i got into jewelry making and designing after the birth of my daughter. i am a culinary trained chef and i wanted to stay home with my daughter after she was born. i wanted to do something creative so i took a class in basic stringing. i was bored with that within a couple of days so i started to look around for other things to learn how to do. i found pmc [precious metal clay] and have really loved working with it. i am currently taking classes on traditional metal smithing and i really love all that i am learning.
so many people and things have influenced me. i would have to say that some of my culinary training has influenced me and the designs i make. my sisters and my daughter. i grew up in hawaii so i would have to say that still has an influence on me. we get back ‘home’ every chance we can. nature and living in the southwest has really influenced me and my designs.
how did you come up with the idea of this piece that you made for your sister?
i have wanted to try chain maille but i’m a little out of time for another class. in one of my metal classes we had to make jump rings. so i had extra and was just going to link a few together and make earrings but once i got started i thought it would make a great bracelet. i sometimes don’t name pieces because i come up with really silly names, but i called this one, “Copper Coins.” it reminded me of pennies.
what is your favorite material to use in your designs? what makes it special?
my favorite material still has to be pmc. i really love to work with it. since i’ve been making things with traditional metal i think that my pmc pieces have gotten much better and have a little more substance to them. i love to use semiprecious stones because i think that just makes the fine silver that much more beautiful. i also love to mix metals as you can see from the bracelet.
some pointers for setting up for a show? what must you do and what you shouldn’t do?
i did my first show on the 3rd of november. i wasn’t sure what to expect so i planned for everything! i brought way too much jewelries for the space i had. so don’t put them all out at once.
make sure you bring the following:
01. business cards
02. something to display your earrings and necklaces so that you have levels of jewelry not all lying on the table.
03. someone to help you!
04. bags for items that are purchased and tissue to wrap them in! i got small kraft bags that i stamped my company logo on so if they didn’t take a business card they still knew how to get hold of me.
05. tablecloths and one that is dark – black is perfect. just something that the jewelry will pop off of. i have a lot of silver so that seems to work best for me but anything that doesn’t take away from your pieces is fine.
06. mirror so that they can see what it looks like on.
07. chairs because you’ll do a lot of waiting.
08. something to read because you’ll do a lot of waiting. when a customer comes up or you see them coming put it away but there were many times through out the day that there was just no one around.
09. receipt book and pens
10. cash – ones, fives, tens and twenties. i priced all my jewelry with the tax and made all the prices even – example instead of $11.99 just say $12.00. then you don’t have to worry with all the change. i did bring a little change but not much.
if you have time to visit other shows before yours make notes of what you like and don’t like. have fun with it. make sure you smile A LOT! and engage people in conversation without bugging them!
i am working on my own website so you can find me at http://www.hawaiiheather.etsy.com for now.
my next show will be a local craft show in gilbert, arizona on the 24th of november.
all contributed content © heather gill