Moose Spotlight: Creating Art In Silver

"Making mistakes... having a scrap pile is ok... T

hat scrap pile represents me trying, and trying hard. That scrap pile represents soul and heart..."

- Heidi Walkush

 

 

MEET THE ARTIST

 

Jewelry Artist Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

@deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

 

Meet Heidi Walkush, the jewelry artist behind @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram.

 

THE JOURNEY TO CREATING JEWELRY

 

"This is not an easy question to answer, Heidi said when we asked what inspired her to create jewelry." She shared that when she was growing up, she sketched endlessly. Getting lost in the art of lines and shade was her favorite pastime. She has always had an eye for little things, the tattered, the old, the found, and the bit unusual, she added.

 

Heidi started out dabbling in vintage assemblage jewelry design, enjoying the hunt for the unique, and putting it all together. "Well, as they say, learning one skill usually leads to another, and soon i was playing with fire and silver. I say I make art in silver... I sketch in a different way by melting, cutting, and shaping silver as my eye sees it... my eye leading the design and use of line."

 

"Fear and doubt can be quite paralyzing. I have had to kick that fear in the ass...truly. The self doubt had to go to the side..." Heidi shared upon asking what was her journey like in the beginning. She said that the only way we learn something new, or become the artist we want to be, is by dealing with those two thing first - fear and doubt.

 

Being self taught, Heidi bought books, watched videos, and played... a lot. She embraced her mistakes not as failures, but as teachers. She started with simple silversmithing, and one thing led to another. She has crafted some coveted deer designs. "Gals really seem to like mixed metals... silver and gold, silver and bronze, and a bit of imperfection. organic lines intrigue...authenticity is what defines deer designs~"

 

"As a young girl, I was painfully shy....my dad use to say i was like a "deer in headlights." He nicknamed me the "deer" and here midlife, i am still the "deer."" Heidi may not be as shy as she was as a young girl, but she told us she is still so sensitive. She feels things quite intensely. She see things others many not see. "I thought about name change once, maybe twice now, but nope, my dad, now passed, named my little gig here."

 

Take a look at Heidi's beautiful jewelry creations!

 

 

Turquoise Earrings by Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

Turquoise Necklace by Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

Handmade Jewelry by Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

 

 

ARTIST’S DESIGN STYLE

 

 

"Oh gosh, I have so many AHA moments." Heidi does not plan her designs, she plays it out. She may have a vision dancing in her head, but usually, 9 times out of 10 it ends up something completely different because of the "AHA."

 

Heidi believes play inspires, just like as kids. "Many jewelers sketch designs... except for a few custom projects, I do not sketch, or I ask the customer to sketch what they envision." For her, she thinks this seems to work for Deer Designs.

 

 

Here are a few more stunning jewelry creations by Heidi! 

 

Handmade Earrings by Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

Genuine Handmade Earrings by Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

Turquoise Necklace by Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram

 

by Heidi Walkush of @deer_designs_jewelry on Instagram
THE DESIGN PROCESS
"Usually, I have a vision in my head... inspired by something that caught my eye... in nature, or just when walking down the street. The design usually "dances" around for a bit before I execute. Sitting at my bench, I just let the design happen." She added that it often changes, morphs in to something bigger or smaller, or gets scrapped all together.
She said it's kind of between her and her bench... a very "organic never know what you're gonna end up with" approach, as she described. "This isn't always... as you know, setting stones is a bit more precise and takes planning. I am trying to embrace this "planning" approach more in my designs... gals love their turquoise."
Asking her to describe her design style, Heidi said, "Organic. Enchanting. I want the wearer to feel like they are wearing a little piece of art in silver... made by me... just for them."
JEWELRY DESIGN TIPS, TRICKS, AND HANDY TECHNIQUES
What's one design tip you one to share with your fellow artists?
"Making mistakes... having a scrap pile is ok. I used to get upset with myself when "walking an error" to that pile. But just this year, I kicked that mindset aside. That scrap pile represents me trying, and trying hard. that scrap pile represents soul and heart. That scrap pile is art in silver in itself, and ready to be recycled when I have that AHA moment~"
Any words of encouragement or tips to those who are starting out in the world of jewelry-making?
"Play. Read. Read some more. And, reach out to other jewelers. It can feel uncomfortable, and a bit intimidating reaching out, but I have found that most (not all) silversmiths are willing to give you a tip or two. I have reached out to others so much... and now if feels good when someone reaches out to me and I can "pass it on." I, too, still have so much to learn and explore... there is room for us all...sharing tips and techniques only builds community."
 
Lastly, here's her message to the universe: 
Heidi Walkush Blog Feature by Turquoise Moose
 
Check out her website: https://www.deerdesignsbyheidi.com/

 

 

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