What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been – Heather Hertziger

17 01 2008

I’m a magpie. I love shiny objects like jewelry and I love collecting it. Unfortunately I also have a nickel allergy, which means that I can’t wear the pretty, sparkly, shiny inexpensive pieces at the department stores. So when I was in college and very poor I started making my own jewelry so that I could wear pretty things without breaking out into a rash.

A piece for my white blouse here, a gift for someone else there and one thing led to another until I ended up turning my hobby into a business. I called the business Square One Beads because I was self taught and every time I made a mistake I had to start over at square one.

Soon after that I started buying lampwork beads on eBay. Unfortunately I couldn’t always find or afford what I wanted. Because I had heard that lampwork required thousands of dollars worth of equipment I thought I could never afford to do that, so I started using polymer clay to create beads for my work. This went on for some time until I saw a hot head torch and found out that I could try making my own beads without a huge outlay of money right off the bat. As soon as that glass started to flow I was hooked.

Silver clay and kumihimo joined lampwork and polymer clay as parts of my jewelry-making arsenal. As I got more and more into the process of glass art and jewelry making I grew afraid that I may start to look at all of it as work and that it would kill my creativity. To hopefully prevent that from happening I added another art form to my resume, which had absolutely nothing to do with jewelry – oil painting. I find the oil painting is a good outlet for those days when for whatever reason I am just unable to make the glass work for me.

In a few short years I have gone from making jewelry out of other people’s beads, to making my own beads, to putting paint to canvas. I wonder where the next few years will take me? I can’t wait to find out. Heather

 

 

 

 

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One response

17 01 2008
Lunes

Hi Heather – I have read this with interest as my hobby accompanied my teaching career at one stage, then my career went part-time out of choice allowing my jewellery to then become part-time….now a few years down the line I run a successful French studio and have ditched the career completely.
I find making my own things gives me the ownership I was always craving. We are now in the process of expanding to include a “bead shop” and craft centre as I want to be able to run workshops for tourists & locals alike.
Best wishes Kylee

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