Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hilary Hachey: Creating Beauty With Contrast and Opposition

Hilary Hachey on the Eastern Shore

"Bauhaus" Bracelet--2005 Niche Award Winner

"Avocado" Necklace--2008 Niche Award Finalist

I found Hilary Hachey's work through metalcyberspace. I was instantly drawn to her intricate craftsmanship and use of repetition--mostly of interesting box shapes--to create sophisticated, stunning pieces. Working out of her studio in Baltimore, Hilary has been recognized by prestigious awards for many of her designs, most notably her Bauhaus Bracelet which won the 2005 Niche Award and Avocado necklace which was a 2008 Niche Award Finalist. Here's what Hilary has to say about her work:

I want my pieces to work as a whole and stand on their own as visually interesting. I am a minimalist. I focus on clean lines and simple designs. I sometimes describe my work as "architectonic", meaning I focus on the well-built over the mass produced, among other things. For some reason, my brain is wired so I find the repetition of forms to be very pleasing....who knows why? But, I also like to create tension in a piece, so it is pleasing to view again and again--not just once.

Where do you find your inspiration and what do you do when it is in short supply?

Wow, if I could answer that......... It's all a mystery to me and I hope it doesn't run out.

You mention that you previously worked in other mediums but once you started metalsmithing "it just made sense".

I took a lot of studio courses in college and before that in high school. In college, I focused a lot on clay but I never really got anywhere with it. When I took my first metals class, after college (at the Maryland Institute College of Art), it clicked for me. I didn't feel like I had to write down the procedures because it all seemed so logical. It was like opening my eyes and seeing it all laid out in front of me--like, "of course that's how you do it!"

You appear at various Fine Art Shows, doing about two a month. How do you find the contrast between the long days of set up, standing in a booth, tear down type work to sitting in a studio creating jewelry?

I love going to shows and meeting my customers. It is great to get the response of those who wear my work, especially when I return to the same show year after year. I used to be so afraid that the customer would get home and realize they'd made a horrible mistake; but instead, they come to tell me how much they love it and how they are constantly complimented when wearing it. Also, it is really nice to get out of the studio and socialize with other artists. I don't mind the heavy work of set-up and standing for hours on end, although it can be a grind. I see artists much older than I am, and I wonder how they do it.

How do you balance the creativity of the work with the business of being in business?

I am a very logical, orderly type of person. Keeping records and doing office work isn't a problem for me. Also, I grew up watching my father run his business and it never occurred to me that other people had employers. (Of course, I mean when I was little.) I guess I learned a lot without even realizing. I love running a business.

How do you find the high price of precious metals and the soft economy is affecting the jewelry design business?

Well, it's tough for everyone. I think there is a danger of some of the less experienced and smaller designers fading away.

I'm a huge fan of Hilary's work! As I begin my metalsmithing journey, I am constantly inspired by accomplished artists such as Hilary Hachey!

Hilary's next show will be the Columbus Arts Festival in early June.

Thanks for stopping by!


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