Thursday, 11 April 2013
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT on ...
Anyone working in wire who hasn't YET heard of this
week's feature artist, is going to drool and dribble
(in the nicest possible way!) at her stunning jewellery
artistry! Within our recent interview, you can gain a
little insight to this truly inspirational wire artist!
WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?
I suppose you could say that I'm a national mutt. I was born
in Illinois, raised in Arkansas and currently live in Michigan,
where my husband was raised. Michigan is home, feels as if
it's always been so and I'm secure in the knowledge, as I've
raised my two teenage boys in a wonderful neighbourhood
and beautifully scenic state. We live on the bay and I visit
the water front often for relaxation and inspiration. To watch
the seagulls terrorize the local wildlife! I do love those birds!
(Above: Blue Pearl Wave Pendant by Nicole Hanna)
DID YOU ALWAYS ASPIRE TO BE A JEWELLERY DESIGNER?
I think if I've ever had a life-long aspiration, it was to be an artist
in general, though jewelry design didn't figure into my arsenal of
interests until much later in life. I like to draw, write, photograph
local fauna and foliage and stumbled across jewelry during a period
of unsettled frustrations, when additional distractions were a
welcome necessity. I began beading, what I admit were rather
uninspired designs, but having taught myself everything I know,
had limited skill sets from which to draw from. About five years
ago, after discovering the beauty of wire-wrapping at a local show,
I branched into basic cage wraps with beaded embellishments,
though I didn't focus on building a personal style or niche until
2011. I fiddled and fumbled with wire for years, stumbling through
a sort of accidental 'style' until I settled on something that suited.
I learned the netted bezel from ENI OKEN, which still stands as the
only technique I've learned in a tutorial ever to figure in a finished
(Above: Fire Agate Curly Q Pendant by Nicole Hanna)
WHERE IS YOUR STUDIO?
I'm not sure what I'd do with all the space a legitimate studio
affords, as I'm used to currently working only from the comfort
of my own couch! I have a small four-drawer tool box tucked
underneath our couch-side table, which contains my limited
supplies. With 1000 square feet of house and three grown men
sharing it with me, studio space is an unfortunate impossibility!
However, these limitations in space have provided me with an
inspirational drive to create original pieces with only a handful
of tools and materials. It's sometimes challenging, but always
rewarding and I've come to learn that you need only two tools
and $3 in materials to make something incredible each and
(Above: Aquamarine CZ, Two Finger Ring by Nicole Hanna)
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
Definitely - MOVEMENT! Hard lines and angles are a rare find
in my work. I like the fluidity of curves and coils with which the
eyes are encouraged to dance. Therefore, natural landscapes and
oceanic currents are immediate sources of inspiration. Artwork
also proves to be inspirational, especially the fantasy creations of
CHRIS ACHILLEOS and BRIAN FROUD. Two very different
artistic talents, but both incredibly entertaining. I listen to music
and sing while I work and the nature of the songs tend to showcase
themselves in the movement of my designs as well.
DO YOU WORK WITH OTHER MATERIALS APART FROM
I sometimes work with seed beads, though only as an outlet for
my personal expressionism or, when my wirework is otherwise
creatively blocked. I'm horrifyingly slow at it, so I couldn't
imagine parting with the pieces I make utilizing these techniques!
I find myself far too attached to them, so I have a private collection
of bead embroidered work that I pull out and wear for very special
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DESIGN or TECHNIQUE?
Usually my latest design is my favorite. It's new and original
and utilizes a bead or stone that I've been itching to use, so
immediately it becomes a "Oh I think I'll keep this for myself"
piece. And then someone else says they love it and want to
buy it and I say: "Oh, all right!". Because I can't stand to horde
them for myself. Each piece is always heavily woven and layered,
which is a favored technique providing a secure nest for focals,
without requiring any later noisy processing with tumblers or
Dremels. Also, I find it creates a sense of depth and character
that is completely original to me. The first piece I made utilizing
these techniques made me think to myself: "Ah, so this is what
it feels like to find yourself in wire".
(Above: Red Crystal Wave Ring by Nicole Hanna)
TELL US HOW YOU SELL AND PROMOTE YOUR WORK?
I sell via my own WEBSITE which I decided to build when I became
disillusioned by the popular selling platforms I'd utilized in the past.
I figured since building an audience was a necessity despite the
platform, I might as well create something entirely my own, on my
own terms and direct customers, students and interested readers to
a stand-alone site instead of a standard selling platform. I find
social media is incredibly important in keeping my work relevant
and helps create a sense of personable interaction that customers
not only appreciate, but to which they are also incredibly recipricatory.
Perpetuating an atmosphere of sharing, learning and beauty is not
only smart for business, but incredibly rewarding.
(Above: Hematite Carnelian Bangle by Nicole Hanna)
WHAT PIECES ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
At the moment, nothing in particular. I never plan and almost
never work on pieces in installments. I work fast and what I start
during a sitting, I usually finish during the same sitting. However,
I have vague and grand plans concerning a wire woven crown,
which I may or may not wear around the house while referring to
myself as "Queen Mom" to my subjects ... er... children!"
(Above: Vesuvianite Viking Knit Bracelet by Nicole Hanna)
WHAT ARE YOU FUTURE PLANS AND HAVE YOU ANY
ADVICE TO PASS ON TO OTHERS?
Create without fear and create every day. Tools and materials are
nothing but extensions of your own hands and nothing created by
hand is bad or wrong or unworthy of the love and admiration of
As for future plans, on the agenda for this year are video tutorials,
summer and fall workshops, two shows and three new collections.
Long term aspirations include a fully-functional online "school" for
aspiring wire wrappers with quarterly week long retreats.
Any world in which I share my love of creativity with others is a
world worth working toward.
(Above: Carnelian Rose Bud Ring by Nicole Hanna)
I personally LOVE your artistry and craftsmanship, Nicole! and I can hear
a chorus of "WOW's"!! ringing in the ether after having read and viewed
this feature. Keep on doing what you're doing, it's very inspiring and