Blog interview with Cari-Jane Hakes of Hybrid Handmade by Su Trindle
Hello Cari-Jane. Welcome to the EtsyMetal Team. I know you live in the North of England but tell me a little more about where you live and work? I currently live at the base of the Yorkshire Wolds in England. I can climb up their gentle slopes and see the silvery expanse of the River Humber, which is so wide I feel like I could be on a little island. I am a displaced Scot, I claim Glasgow as my 'hometown' although I have led a nomadic life up until now, never living at one address for longer than 5 years!
I live and work in the same place which is essential for me at the moment due to the age of my children. I like that my boys know what I'm working on and they will often offer unsolicited advice on new designs!
Can you describe a typical studio day for you? I have other work commitments so a day spent in my studio space at my workbench is something I look forward to. As I grow my business, this time is steadily increasing.
A typical day will involve an hour or two of promoting my work online, updating all the various visual media sites available to us solo craft-preneurs. Then it's headphone in. I listen to BBC Radio and 'This American Life' podcasts. When I lived in France I would listen and try to learn French from various language podcasts as I worked. While I listen, I will crack on with whatever orders have come in from Etsy or Notonthehightstreet. I also do a lot of private commissions. All of this happens with regular celebratory tea breaks when a solder joint flows first time. During the day I'm usually trying to meet a postal deadline but the evenings tend to be much quieter, fluid times. That is when I'll work on new designs or submissions for exhibitions.
Do you have a current favourite piece? I recently completed this brooch for the Supbrooch online exhibition by One Wall Gallery which specifically looked at brooches designed for and worn exclusively by men. How did this design develop? I have a number of conceptual themes that I keep coming back to in my work. One of these themes is the Northern Lights. This brooch was based around one of the old stories told by Eskimos concerning the origin, meaning and purpose of these mysterious light shows and their relationship to labradorite rocks.
Do you have a favourite process or part of the making process? It still amazes me how well silver can accept the most delicate of textures - leaf skeletons for example. Even though I must have put silver and leaves through my rolling mill hundreds of times I still marvel at how beautiful the resulting texture is. If there is anyone near my workbench I will haul them over to take a look. It makes me feel like a magician.
And I love the part of the making process where what I see in my hands begins to exceed the image I held in my head and sketched in my book - that is truly a most fantastic moment.
Anything exciting in the pipeline? I'm really excited about a potential exhibition that fellow jeweller, Dauvit Alexander, and I may collaborate and host in the not too distant future - I'm hoping to get a few EtsyMetal members interested in submitting work for it.