Monday, 23 April 2012
ABBY HOOK profile
(Above: ABBY HOOK, wire artist extraordinaire!)
If I had a large drum ... (and you could hear it!) ... I would
give a big drum roll to this month's highly talented featured
She wraps, coils and weaves with stunning craftsmanship!
Find out more about Abby in our exclusive interview below.
Q. Tell us a little about your background?
A. I was born and raised in North London and now live at the foot of
the peak district in the beautiful Derbyshire dales. I have a love of
the outdoors and nature and spend many hours walking in the
spectacular British countryside. In my spare time I garden and grow
my own veggies, turning any glut of a crop into yummy jams and
chutneys. I also enjoy reading and listening to music, dancing my
way through the housework!
Ammonite Spirals Pendant in Sterling Silver by Abby Hook
Q. What brought you to creating and designing jewellery?
A. Jewellery making has always been my hobby. You know the
saying that "every problem is an opportunity in disguise", well
in 2009, we were due to move to Greece to work full time on a
conservation project. Unfortunately, 5 days before leaving the
U.K., having both left our full time jobs and selling most of our
belongings, the Greek economy collapsed, taking the project with
it. Although we were very distraught at the time, I knew that this
left me free to pursue a dream I had harboured for many years,
to start my own jewellery business! So that is exactly what I did.
I love what I do, it is not just a job to me - it is my life!
Aphroite - Garnet & Copper Pendant by Abby Hook
Q. Do you have any formal training, or are you self-taught?
A. I am self-taught. I have been making jewellery since I was
a child, starting with beadweaving, simple strung necklaces
and pendants. I then moved on to rosary chains and discovered
my love of wire. I then focused on this medium, developing my
style and have never looked back!
Jade Garden - Aventurine with tri-coloured Jade with Sterling Silver Necklace by Abby Hook
Q. What motivates and inspires your designs?
A. I am inspired by all sorts of things, for example, music,
film and architecture, but my main motivation is nature.
The natural world provides me with an endless source of
ideas, from pretty cloud formations, to the skeletal remains
of the previous year's leaves you can find in the Springtime!
Mermaids Teardrop Necklace with Labradorite & copper - by Abby Hook
Q. Have you got a favourite design and if so, why?
A. My favourite design to date is my Aquarius Vase. This
piece was extremely challenging to design due to the 3D
nature of its construction. I had a clear vision of what I
wanted to create and did not give up until I was holding
in my hand exactly what I saw in my head! I learnt so much
during the process, both about wire and about my own
The Water Carrier- Aquarius Vase Pendant by Abby Hook
Q. How do you promote and sell your work?
A. I work very hard promoting myself on-line, as this is
where I primarily sell my work. I do supply a couple of
shops with jewellery, but I find the direct interaction I have
with my customers on-line much more rewarding.
My websites are:
I also have a FACEBOOK fan page.
Trinity Knot Pendant in sterling silver by Abby Hook
Q. Do you teach your craft?
Yes. I have over 40 on-line TUTORIALS, available through
several sites including my own. These have very detailed
step-by-step instructions, covering both design and technique,
with clear, crisp, close up colour photography for each and
every step, leaving no room for guesswork. It is almost like
having me there with you!
Q. Tell us about your book called Wire Jewellery Masterclass?
A. The idea for writing this booked seemed to me like a natural progression
from the writing of individual tutorials. It allows me to place the various
skill levels in order, offering a starting platform for the complete novice
through to the more advanced levels, as well as giving ideas for more
experienced wireworkers to develop their existing abilities. The book offers
a step-by-step guide to getting started. There are 24 full projects, explained
in detail, with LOTS of close up colour photography for each step. The
designs range from easy right through to a very advanced 3D orchid design.
Also included in the book are 11 findings, ranging from ear wires and clasps
to brooch pins.
The book has been published by The Guild of Mastercraftsmen (GMC) who
have been a pleasure to work with!
It is available through
all the normal channels
(ONLINE and high street
bookstores) or you can
order a signed copy direct
from my own WEBSITE.
Q. Have you any special advice for other's starting out in jewellery
A. Decide what type of jewellery you would like to make and what
sort of materials you would like to use and learn as much as you
can about these. Perfect and practice each technique before moving
onto the next one. Don't expect to get things right first time, jewellery
making takes practice and determination! Learn from your mistakes,
work out what went wrong and why and put that lesson into practice
the next time you make it.
Above all else - ENJOY IT!
Copper 'dagger' Pendant by Abby Hook
Q. What are your future dreams and aspirations?
A. I would love to be able to offer live classes, so this is a long
term goal. In the meantime, I have been asked by many people
for book number 2, so I really need to start working on that!
We wish you every success with the book and feel sure
that you will continue inspiring and converting more
jewellers to the art of wirework and we're all looking
forward to plenty more publications from you in the