Friday, December 16, 2011
The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight feature is one of our very talented artisan jewelry members, Susan Harbourt!
Luster Metal Works
We caught up with Susan and asked her a few questions about her handcrafted artisan jewelry, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:
- Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. Luster Metal Works is the happy accident that grew from my former hobby of renovating my Edwardian era house. One night (before kids were in my life) I was helping my husband pull out the old wiring that was installed in the 1930’s during the time of Rural Electrification. There was a pile of old copper sitting on the floor and I was a little bored waiting for the snake of new wire to get fished down from the attic, so I started to play with it. I twisted the copper into a bracelet and the light bulb went on. Since then, I have been creating rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bookmarks, and an array of other gifts. Most of my items feature copper, but I also do work with sterling silver and recently started to add in some gold. I am an engineer by training, so my designs tend to be more symmetric and balanced and stream lined. I also don’t have a chance to do too many elaborate items right now because my shop time is pretty limited. I am a mom first and foremost. With my oldest kiddo in kindergarten and the youngest at home, I am limited to studio time when the babysitter comes.
- What is your favorite product in your shoppe and why? This was a hard question, like asking me which child is my favorite! But if I was forced to pick one it would be the Infinity Ring, open version. My favorite number is 8. I was married on August 8, 1998 (8-8-98). If you put an 8 on its side it is an infinity symbol. I made that ring first for me, then decided to offer it for sale. Since then I have sold MANY MANY of them to people all over the world. I love the stories I hear from the person buying or receiving the ring. It is often purchased as a promise ring, engagement ring, commitment ring, anniversary ring, I Love You ring, a remembrance ring…and the list goes on. I find it to be such an honor to be asked to make an item that is intended to be loved and cherished for many years. Of all the items I sell this is the one that inspires people to tell me the most about who they are and where this ring is going and what it symbolizes. It is wonderful to have that connection with the customer! So because of that connection this ring generates, that is why it is my favorite!
- When you're not creating beautiful pieces of jewelry, what are your hobbies? I have 2 young boys aged 2.5 and 5.5. So my days are full of building elaborate train tracks, transforming transformers, toad hunting, working in my veggie garden, nature hikes, coloring, and playing with both boys. I also love to read while sipping hot tea and nibbling on a tasty treat I just baked. And occasionally I will help my husband work on our old house. Since kids have entered our life, the house projects have considerably slowed down.
- What do you like best about The Artisan Group? This is an easy question. There are MANY things I like about The Artisan Group, but the number one thing I like about it is that it fills that need for socializing with “co-workers” that I so dearly miss now that I am a work at home mom (WAHM). I live in a very rural area, my “next-door-neighbor” is a mile away. So I don’t get to interact with a lot of people, and when I do it is revolving around the kids so we discuss typical mommy stuff. Up until I joined TAG, I felt very isolated and alone as a predominately online business entrepreneur. The Artisan Group has given me a guild of talented artists who have similar goals and experiences that I can learn from. Everyone is very supportive and willing to answer questions and give valuable advice. I feel like the members truly are joyous for the achievements of others and they want to see all of us succeed. It is a very positive environment and that is truly what make The Artisan Group most special to me.
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