Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Feature - Artful Hummingbird

Happy Friday, folks!

Today's interview is with jewelry shop Artful Hummingbird. Based in Oakland, this designer creates breathtaking trinkets with most intricate detail and care. Her media ranges in a variety of metals and stones - offering something for everyone.
While the weather is starting to cool down; and the nights are creeping in a bit earlier every day, Martha's work maintains the memories and excitement of summer and sunshine - in the warmth of the handworked metal, and the shimmer of crystals, quarts, or tiger eye. My favorite - something that I feel really captures that blissful feeling - are her adorably whimsical hummingbird gold hoop earrings.

Enjoy the interview!

1. What is your shop name and URL?

Artful Hummingbird

2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?

SFEtsy team; STAT (Self-Taught Artists Team); Etsy Success; Etsy Business Topics; Top Treasury

3. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?

I make high-quality handmade jewelry. I also make handmade cards and handpainted silk scarves (though I don't have any scarves listed on Etsy...yet!

My background is a blend of self-taught and individual workshops. I worked at a bead store for 8 months; one of the perks was being able to take classes for free. Boy, you'd better believe I took as many as I could!

My creative process is really sparked by the materials I use. Most often, I am inspired by a particular strand of gemstones or color of Swarovski crystal. Color drives me; so do alchemy and transformation. I try to keep my work fresh, with a little twist that makes it different than other jewelry. I keep in mind the trends as well as classic design, and try to come up with something that blends them both. But you know what? It's color. Color, again, is what brings me joy. And I'm good with color, I'm proud to say!

4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.

I volunteer for a women's organization called "Woman Within International" ( or Doing that has taught me a lot and helped me become more of the person I was meant to be!

I've got a huge soft spot for animals (we have four rescue pets), and in the past two years have become besotted with South Africa. I visited there in 2010 while staffing a Woman Within training weekend, and went on safari. The purity and beauty of seeing those animals in their natural environment was just mind-blowing.

5. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite?

I believe my favorite item in my shop - which has sold - is a three-strand bracelet comprising aquamarine, amazonite, pearl, chalcedony, blue topaz, rose gold, and more. (Pictured Below)The colors and textures are so delicious, and the little bit of warmth provided by the rose gold? OH man that's pretty. I actually felt sad (!) when this one sold, because I selfishly wanted to keep it for myself.

6. If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy?

If I had a gift certificate to Etsy, this ring would be #1 on my list:

7. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?

I wish I were adept at what I consider "real" jewelry skills - sawing metal (tried that, cut myself), using a big torch (tried that, scared myself), and all the other precision stuff that contributes to making beautiful shiny objects.

8. If money were no object for just one day, what would you do?

If money were no object for just one day, I would write check after check to charitable organizations that deal with animal welfare, including the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (they rescue and rehabilitate orphaned baby elephants). And, lest that sound too "Pollyanna", I'd buy a bunch of stuff, are always good. Yes, boots.

9. What is the craziest gift you have ever received?

The craziest gift I ever received was...a horse. A retired thoroughbred racehorse. Who promptly kicked my ass by dragging me and breaking my shoulder. What's the return policy, please?!!

10. Give us some insight on how you personally, or your shop, gives back to your community.

I contribute monthly to the World Wildlife Fund, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals. I volunteer to staff Woman Within International training weekends (I actually PAY to staff!) to help support other women as they find the answers within themselves to heal and grow.

11. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!

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