So… Yesterday was Easter Sunday for those who are Christian. Passover ends tomorrow for our Jewish friends. Ascension of the Prophet is April 24th. Of course, my Pagan friends kicked off the spring holiday season way back on March 20, with Ostara, but many of them also celebrate Earth Day, which is coming up this coming weekend, on April 22nd. But needless to say, this is really a time of year for beauty, joy, and color. So, in honor of this colorful season, and the incredible things that the planet gives to us, I’d like to introduce you to a favorite artist of mine, who puts the world in our hands, in the form of resonating bits of precious worldly elements, strung together in aesthetically pleasing combinations to help us, beautifully, through life’s joys, trials, and tribulations.
Gabrielle Hyde, of Starlight Amber, joins us today to talk about family, art, inspiration, and her perspective on her art. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to feature her in this week’s Community Corner.
THN – Gaby, your art is done in gemstones, and I know that you started out in amber. What was your inspiration for beginning your work in gemstone jewelry?
SA – Inspiration for gemstone jewelry actually came from requests from customers! A new mother asked for a necklace that would help keep her calm during the stressful first few years of motherhood. The blend became a signature item and my biggest seller! In jest, the name of the blend is “Don’t Throw the Kids Out the Window”.
THN – What is your favorite gem to work and why? Do you have a particular favorite piece that you’ve made that you’d be willing to talk about?
SA – My favorite gemstone has always been amethyst, a stone known to promote peace and inner strength. It’s a great source of medication, as well as, known for enhancing psychic abilities.
My favorite blend that I use amethyst in is called “Don’t Panic”, a blend to aid in extreme stress and anxiety, along stabilizing panic attacks.
THN – You have two young children under five, and both of them have special needs, on opposite ends of the spectrum. What would you recommend to other artists who are trying to juggle an intense home life while maintaining inspiration for art and a functional work environment?
SA – A supportive partner is the biggest reason for my success. My spouse allows me the time in my home office to get work done in a quiet environment while he juggles the children. Finding inspiration is definitely my biggest hardship. I usually take time out of the house alone, travel, go to museums, explore cities to recharge myself.
THN – Different people are inspired by different things. For some, it’s music. For others, it’s nature, for others a conversation or their religion or another external kind of input… What is your greatest external inspiration, if any, for your work?
SA – My inspirations come from the needs of people around me. Every blend I’ve made has been from need of personal experience, such as blends for anger, breastfeeding and the kiddos temper tantrums! Others have been a request from customers, including blends for memory and arthritis.
THN – You’ve lived both in Europe and in the United States. Do you find that the inspiration for your work has changed at all with your change in locale? If so, how?
SA – In Germany, we lived only minutes from Idar-Oberstein, one of the largest gemstone mines in Europe, known for its agate, jasper and crystal quartz. Being able to tour the mine and purchase locally sourced crystals gave huge inspiration! Also, being so close to Poland, where all my Baltic Amber is sourced, was not only convenient but the quality is suburb. I still only order from those vendors! Coming back to America with my business was a challenge to find new vendors. I mostly source my gems from all over the world including South Africa, Brazil and Korea. Very rarely do I order from US vendors as most often they are man-made from China.
Gaby’s beautiful jewelry can be found through her Starlight Amber website (http://www.starlightamber.com). In addition, you can connect with her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/gabbaheygabba), and on Facebook (https://www.Facebook.com/GabbasShop).