"There’s not a “right way” of making jewelry. That’s the true beauty. We all have our unique way. Find it and stick with it."
- Andrea Hodge of @blackvalleyjewelryco
MEET THE ARTIST
@blackvalleyjewelryco on Instagram
This is Andrea Hodge, a jewelry artist from Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She has been creating jewelry for a year now, and her creations can be found on Instagram @blackvalleyjewelryco
THE JOURNEY TO CREATING JEWELRY
"My Cherokee culture has played a big role in my jewelry making," shared Andrea. Growing up Cherokee, she was always surrounded by big copper pendants, beaded regalia, and turquoise. 5 years ago, she was introduced to a Cherokee metalsmith that had a beginners silversmithing class. Andrea took it and fell in love.
Shortly after taking the beginners silversmithing class, Andrea told us she became a wife and mother of two. For the past 4 years, she has put her jewelry making on hold and put their needs before hers. Now that her children are in school, she feels like she can release 4 years of built up creativity. Adding, "I’m so excited for what’s to come."
Firsts are almost always unforgettable! Andrea recalled the very first piece she sold. An admirer of her work reached out to Andrea and asked if she could make something special for his wife for Valentine's Day 2022. That was her first sell and custom order as a silversmith. Andrea said that the trust and opportunity meant the world to her.
Curious if there's a significant meaning behind her brand name, Andrea explained, "Yes, Black Valley Jewelry Co. is named after Black Valley Rd. This road takes you to my home. Where this journey started many years ago."
Let's take a look at some of her stunning creations!
Handmade Jewelry by Andrea Hodge of @blackvalleyjewelryco on Instagram
ARTIST'S DESIGN STYLE
When asked if Andrea gets those AHA moments, her answer was straight to the point! "Every time I make something." 💚
Here are a few more beautiful creations by Andrea!
Handmade Rings by Andrea Hodge of @blackvalleyjewelryco on Instagram
THE DESIGN PROCESS
For Andrea, when she's creating she said she doesn't really plan anything out. "I don’t draw things out, I mean I have ideas but most the time things change and I end up going into another direction."
When asked to describe her design style, Andrea said "I have an appreciation for all styles. But I’m mostly intrigued and inspired by large southwest jewelry and Cherokee copper pendants and chest plates." Andrea said she's still learning but the goal is to be mainly a coppersmith and use Cherokee symbols and art as references.
JEWELRY DESIGN TIPS, TRICKS, AND HANDY TECHNIQUES
What's one design tip you one to share with your fellow artists?
"There’s not a “right way” of making jewelry. That’s the true beauty. We all have our unique way. Find it and stick with it. Patience is something good to have too."
One piece of technical advice on creating.
"Save your metal saw dust, metal scraps, mistakes.. save it all! You will find ways to incorporate it into your designs."
Any words of encouragement or tips to those who are starting out in the world of jewelry-making?
"Keep doing it! It gets easier."
Lastly, Andrea's message to the universe:
Follow Andrea on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackvalleyjewelryco/