The striking bracelet above is just one of many gorgeous designs you will find when you visit Heather's MIST RIDGE DESIGNS shop on Etsy. She has beautifully designed earrings, bracelets, and more.
First, let's learn a bit more about Heather, and how she came to be a jewelry artist. You can visit her shop and blog by clicking on the links below this interview.
What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I have always been a creative person and have always enjoyed making things with my hands. I have dabbled in painting, sculpting, pottery, knitting and many other things for as long as I can remember. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a debilitating inflammatory arthritis. The pain and stiffness weakened my hands quite a lot which caused me to give up many of my other crafts. I kind of stumbled into jewelry as a creative outlet and as a means of dealing with stress.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I don't know if it was so much a conscious decision or just happenstance that I work with the materials that I use. I really like the look of sterling silver and semi-precious gemstones so I am sure that personal preference played into it somehow. Other than that, I really just use materials that are comfortable for me to manipulate. For instance I don't use a lot of seed beads because they are too small and I don't have the dexterity and fine manipulation in my hands to allow me to use them. I create most of my jewelry using mid gauge wire and mid sized beads, which are easy for me to handle.
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
I really enjoy the whole process, but if I had to choose just one aspect it would have to be when the piece is completed and I can finally see and hold a tangible item that began as just an idea in my head.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
This is a very unique question. I have never thought about it before. I suppose I would choose a cluster of grapes because it takes several individual grapes to compose a cluster. I can see similarities between the curling twisting vine and the twists and curls in my wire work. And like the individual grapes combine to form a beautiful cluster, each wire formed link and bead combine to form a wonderful finished piece of jewelry.
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
Wow, this is a hard one. I love to do so many things. I guess if I had to choose only one, right now it would be glass. I would love to learn to make the amazingly intricate and beautiful glass beads that I have seen and then use them in my jewelry.
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
My advice to fellow artists is don't give up. We live in a tremendously diverse world. Whatever you produce if you put your heart, tears, and sweat into it, there is someone out there who will love and cherish it. Take any criticism as a learning opportunity, but don't let it get you down rather let it fuel your desire to create and make the best art that you can. Specifically for ETSY artists I would say find your own style and run with it. Take good pictures that show just how fabulous your pieces are. Promote, promote, promote. Try to have the best customer service that you can, and make friends with some of the artists in your field. It always helps to have someone that you respect and look up to to bounce ideas off of.
Heather, it is a real pleasure to have you as a featured artist out here on DZFANTASY. Your work is truly beautiful, as well as your spirit!!
Below are links to MISTY RIDGE DESIGNS, and also Heather's blog.