Meet Stacy Guarino and Heidi Ellis, the jewelry artists behind the Instagram account @reanimate_47. Their jewelry company is based out of Howell, New Jersey and they both have been metalsmithing since 2017.
Right place, right time - essentially, this is how both Stacy and Heidi got started in making jewelry. They met in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is a seaside town known for its thriving music scene. They shared with us how they both ended up bonding over their shared love of music and art. However, they also connected because they both felt something was missing.
For Stacy, she has already taken several jewelry courses and has created cold-connection pieces with the use of copper and bone. With that, Stacy suggested that they both try to take an introductory course to Soldering at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey - and with that, the rest is history!
After one short course, they both fell in love with metalsmithing and they decided it was the creative outlet they both have been searching for. Many of their pieces are inspired by music, and people see that and then approach them with their favorite musician, band, or lyric and Stacy and Heidi help bring their customers’ ideas to life in custom, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry.
As jewelry artists, they are still faced with challenges along the way. They shared that the most challenging part for them is probably being self-taught. As mentioned, they only once took an introductory course where they learned some very basic techniques, while figuring out the rest on their own. They find it tough since they also have a tendency to overcomplicate their designs.
At times, as mentioned by Stacy and Heidi, they aren't sure if their idea on paper can possibly translate into metal. At the same time, they both love challenging themselves and figuring out creative ways to implement their designs.
One of the most helpful things they have discovered during their time creating is the welcoming and supportive community of metalsmiths on Instagram. They stated that between the Metalsmith Society's more established platform of sharing tips and techniques and the generosity of other metalsmiths sharing on their own, it is certainly a rich community that they are proud to be a part of.
Their designs are wildly inspired by music. Essentially, these stem a lot from music and specific lyrics that either they connect with or their client finds meaningful. However, many times a jumping-off point for those designs will be the coloring, markings, and shape of a specific stone.
For example, lyrics with "fire" in them have inspired them to use shimmering fire opal, while their "Gold Dust Woman" ring showcased a petrified palm wood cabochon with wisps of gold tones in it. Their last collection was titled, "The Blues Collection" which was built entirely around several choice pieces of turquoise, many of which were from Turquoise Moose as Stacy and Heidi said.
So the nature aspect of the design for them really ties in with which stones they choose to work with and how they connect with them. Although, they have also utilized more explicit imagery from nature in some of the sawn out designs they have created.
When we asked the creative duo why they like working with turquoise, they replied, “I'm sure we don't have to explain the obvious allure of turquoise to people reading a turquoise blog! But that being said, it is interesting to think about what exactly it is that is so enticing about it. Certainly, some of the colors and variations in the different stones make it immediately eye-catching and every piece unique, and the combination of those colorings with silver just always seems like the right call.”
Both of them also added that there is the profound history of its traditional usages, spanning from Ancient Egyptians to Native Americans in the Southwest, which adds layers of meaning and spirituality to every piece.
Being jewelry artists, we asked Stacy and Heidi what piece of advice they could share with their fellow creators. They stated, “Go with the flow (and hope your solder does too…)! Have fun and be creative!” They also said some of their favorite pieces did not turn out how they had originally pictured them, but they highlighted that sometimes, seeing something through means adapting and pushing yourself even further to think outside of the box. Lastly, Stacy and Heidi noted that each piece of handmade jewelry has a story to tell, so they both inspire and urge their fellow artists to make each piece an interesting one.
Take a look at some of their amazing work!
Keep up with them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reanimate_47/
Browse their Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/reanimate47
What do you like most about working with Turquoise Moose?
“The Turquoise Moose account on Instagram caught our eye because not only did we see a whoooooole lot of gorgeous turquoise pieces featured, but also the variety of colorations and shapes were something that we had not seen elsewhere. We also love how Turquoise Moose features different artists’ work utilizing their stones and think that it another wonderful example of Instagram’s supportive community of makers. In addition, any interaction we have ever had with them has been so easy and friendly that there is not much more we could ask for from the people who perfect the stones that we build entire collections around!”
- Stacy Guarino and Heidi Ellis