Friday, September 17, 2010
Meet Tracy From Harmony In Metal
1.Tell us your name and the name of your studio(s) and how or why you chose it. Please provide link(s).
My name is Tracy and my studio is called Harmony In Metal. I struggled with my business name forever. I'd been playing around with variations of my last name and one day while I was driving home from work Harmony In Metal popped into my head and it just seemed like a perfect fit so I ran with it.
Harmony In Metal ArtFire Studio
2.How long have you been creating jewelry and how did you start?
Technically I guess I started in junior high making friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss but I didn't start up again until about 8 or 9 years ago. It was actually a display of beads at Michaels that made me decide to try my hand at real jewelry making. I quickly bored of stringing and started incorporating more and more chain into my work. I picked up the copper wire on a whim one day about 6 years ago and never looked back. At that time there weren't a lot of pre-manufactured things available in pure copper so it pushed me to learn how to make those things myself.
3.Did your jewelry making evolve from another craft?
Yes and no. The friendship bracelets I made as a kid weren't that far of a cry from crochetting but what made me start making jewelry as an adult was simply a store setup change. I was shopping for embroidery floss for a cross stitch project for my then infant son and where I would usually find it suddenly held a display of beads and findings. On a whim I bought beads and findings instead and made my first bracelet later that evening.
4.What is your favorite material to use and why? Do you use other materials?
Hands down it's copper. Like many people I thought I would use it to practice before I moved on to silver, I just never actually moved on. It was a combination of being given the copper roof off an old shed and the first time I ever held a flame to it that hooked me. Both showed me the array of colors the metal could produce but it was that old roof that fascinated me the most. I have spent the past several years figuring out how to duplicate all those wonderful patinas and keep them stable.
I do plan on incorporating some other metals into my pieces as well and maybe even do some pieces completely in silver at some point but the bulk of my work will always include copper.
5. What is your favorite item in your store or what is your favorite type of item to create?
That is such a tough question because there are a few items that are my favorite for one reason or another. My current favorite is my Chysoprase Windows bracelet that I just listed.
It is one of the boldest bracelets I've ever made but it feels like fabric draped across your wrist. I came so close to keeping it for myself I loved the way it felt so much.
I don't really have a favorite type of item to create, it really just depends on my mood at the moment.
6.What or who ( ie: other artists, nature etc. ) inspire you the most?
Not too long after I started making jewelry a friend and I went into a boutique in town and that was where I got my first glimpse of Thomas Mann's work. I was immediately drawn to how different it was from what I was used to and that really drove me to try to make my work stand apart from the crowd. I find inspiration in all kinds of different things. From nature to something someone says or even the lyrics in a song.
7.Tell us something interesting or unique about you or your shop.
I come from a family full of artistic and musically gifted people. For a good majority of my life I couldn't figure out how I could be the only one without a creative bone in my body. I can't play a single instrument and most kindergartners can draw better than I can. It wasn't until I first held a saw in my hand that I finally realized I was creative, I'd just never found the right outlet before.
8.What advice or tip would you give to other artists?
Since I'm a chainmaille artist first and foremost, ring closures are very important. This applies to any jump ring ever used in jewelry, a smooth tight closure not only gives your work a more professional appearance it also makes the connection itself stronger.
Never be afraid to try a new technique and then practice, practice, practice. No matter what you're doing you will get better the more you do it and there will come a time that you laugh about how hard you used to think it was.
9.Where can you be found around the web? Please provide links to your pages/social sites.