I am SO excited to announce the next Featured Artist! Ann Hartley makes beautiful sterling silver & yellow gold jewelry (among other pretty things) in her Moline studio. The craftsmanship she puts into each of her pieces is absolutely amazing. I was blown away by the designs in her Etsy shop and immediately asked her to be a part of Handmade City. I love that Ann has taken handmade silver and made it breathtakingly fresh. Her modern designs are unique but with that classic silver feel. One very cool thing Ann offers in her shop is customizable wedding bands, how sweet is that?! I personally love the textured silver hoops she sells, which apparently have been created using an old, beat-up hammer her husband gave her over 15 years ago. We hope to see more come out of Hartley Studio very soon but in the mean time you can drool over the pics and read a little about Ann in the interview below. ~Rose
Please “like” Ann’s Facebook page HERE
Please visit Ann’s Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/hartleystudio
To learn more about Ann and see her “Ring a Week” progress check out her blog: annhartleystudio.blogspot.com
See pics of her studio & Life outside the studio on her FLICKR
Tell us a little about yourself. :)
Howdy! My name is Ann Hartley and I love to make stuff!!! I am a metalsmith, knitter, mother, wife and cook, not necessarily in that order. I have a shop on Etsy, Hartleystudio, which I opened in 2008 at the urging of my husband. I have a wonderful husband, two great kids and a kooky dog. We live in Moline and have been here for about 6 years. I have a BFA in printmaking and an MFA in metalsmithing.
Apart from being creative, what do you do?
My dad was a chef and my mom was a home ec teacher, so I grew up in the kitchen. I love to cook! I have kids who are super super-picky eaters, but I’m hoping they will learn to love good food from watching my husband and me try new things. We are really terrible gardeners, but we keep trying and we love to eat the little bits we manage to grow. I also love to knit. I’m not particularly good at it, but it’s so relaxing and it’s a good way for me to work with color.
Could you tell us about some of your work & your creative process?
I wish I was were a sketcher, someone who worked out every detail on paper before starting in metal. With today’s super high metal prices, it would probably save me a lot of money! I tend to get an idea in my head and I dive right in. Sometimes my customers have incredible ideas and, after I make their custom piece, I add the design to the shop.
I have a studio behind our garage that I love. My husband built it for me when I was at loose ends from the tedium of being an at-home Mom. When I go out there and sit down at my bench, all of the day’s frustrations fade away and I can sit in peace and do my own thing. I tend to make pieces that I would love to wear. I like small, whimsical pieces that are easy to wear all the time, every day. I work primarily with sterling silver sheet and wire, starting with an idea and then working it out in silver. I love colored stones and diamonds but, so far, they haven’t really found a home in my work for Hartleystudio. One of my goals for 2011 is to open a second shop on Etsy with a new line of designs for jewelry with color!
Where do you find inspiration?
This is a hard question because I am so busy all day with my kids and my job at home, when I get out to the studio at night, ideas just pop in my head and I don’t know where they came from. We live in the woods and are avid bird watchers, so I get lots of inspiration from nature. As I said before, I often get ideas from customers, and sometimes from books I read or movies I watch. Sometimes I need a piece to wear because I’m feeling a certain way and need a talisman. I also love looking at mid-century furniture and textiles for inspiration.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My husband made me an incredible box to hold my engagement ring and I will always love it. I also have a book my son drew when he was in kindergarten telling me what a great Mom I am. How can you not love that??? I also cherish all the crafty memories I have with my Mom. We did macramé, needlepoint, sewing, knitting, decoupage (remember that?), you name it, we crafted it! She still has all that stuff squirreled away somewhere, I should dig it out next time I’m home…
In ten years, where would you like to be?
I’d love to be in my studio all day, making jewelry for people all over the world and knitting by the fire at night. I’d love to know my kids are happy and healthy and doing something they love, and I’d love to take a month off every summer with my husband and kids for epic canoe trips!