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Member Profiles

April Laird: Smithy Jewelry

Academy Of Handmade

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Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I am a vintage inspired handmade jewelry maker by night; a union art department worker for network television shows by day. I have a strong love for handmade gifting & diy projects, but I have always been most passionate about making jewelry.

The designs for Smithy Jewelry are based on my favorite periods from the early 20th century. Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles are timeless, and I strive to create simple wearable emulations of those styles that will attract other sophisticated romantics like myself.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? I am a nut for brass and bronze finishes, fresh water pearls, and semi precious stones like crystal, amethyst, turquoise, and garnet. Many of my designs are wire wrapped because I love the movement wire wrapping allows in jewelry. I plan to fabricate full designs in the future using brass, copper, and sterling silver, but I will always employ wire wrapping in my work, in some fashion.

Q: Who inspires you? I am constantly inspired by classic designers in production, fashion, architecture, graphic design, illustration, gemology and metalsmithing. I also look to fellow makers and Etsy-based crafters everyday for inspiration. I feel that the best inspiration comes from collaboration.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: Costume parties (Gatsby balls are always my weakness!)
Fruity cocktails
80s karaoke

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? The process of creating a new piece is thrilling, stimulating, and a labor of love. Regardless of how pleased I might be with a new idea on my own, the process is never complete until the moment a customer falls in love with something I've made and cherishes it for their own. That is the most gratifying part of being a maker, for me.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? I have exactly zero academic background in marketing or business and there is a gigantic learning curve. It is the most difficult part of my business for me, so when I succeed in those areas, I am 100 times more excited!

Q: What drives your creative process? My creative process is driven by the sheer thrill of manipulating raw materials into solid working pieces of art.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?