Meet Hannah Hoffman
This is Hannah Hoffman, Metalsmith jewelry artist in Columbus, Ohio.
Why did you begin creating jewelry?
I studied art at Ohio State with a concentration in glass. Initially, I was making glass pendants and I wanted to incorporate metal into that work. Metal-work completely took over what I was doing in glass. I’ve worked with a variety of mediums, but when I began working with metal, I really felt at home. I like to work small, and metal is conducive to this- it’s also a very forgiving material, which I really appreciate after working with glass.
What inspires your jewelry design?
I’m influenced by my environment, which includes all of my teachers and peers, and all of my past experiences- both inclusive of and external to the art world. As I continue to be a maker, the way in which I think about aesthetics in art continues to shift. I try to avoid making work that is safe or “on-trend,” but this can be impossible to avoid and sometimes safety equals financial security- a common struggle amongst artists. At times I’ll think I’ve made something completely unique and come to find it’s been done before. This is something that I’m learning to be comfortable with as a maker. Ideas come and go quickly. I find that the best thing to do is to just make the piece and be okay with repetition or failure. If the piece doesn’t work, or has been done before, there is always a lesson there which allows for progression as an artist- it can be simply technical, or it may inspire new work that satisfies. Sometimes it feels as though my ideas come out of thin air- and I’m often inspired just before I fall asleep- when the intellectual part of my brain has shut off.
Favorite materials you use?
I love working with sterling silver, copper, brass, steel and glass enamels. I enjoy combining materials that create a stark contrast, like oxidized (blackened) copper with brass, or precious metals and gems with more crude materials, like steel.
How have you overcome challenges in promoting your jewelry line?
This is probably the biggest challenge that I currently have. I try to participate in every suitable craft show that is local or semi-local and talk to people about what I do. I started a blog, and am currently working on a website that goes beyond Etsy.
What short-term goals do you have? Long-term goals?
My short-term goal is to make jewelry my full-time occupation.
My long-term goal is to increase my skill level, and make work that is recognized in my field as distinctive.