"It's so satisfying to make something with your own two hands. It's just a bonus when it's beautiful."
Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!
This week’s featured artist is Samantha Walker - the playful goddess behind all our fabulous mood jewelry! Each piece is carefully handmade with sweetness and appreciation, which shines through in her interview, too. Read more below!
Who are you?
I am a West Virginian who fell in love with Alaska. I cry at the drop of a hat. I fall in love with pretty much everyone I meet. I drink tea like my life depends on it. I'm married to a bearded pastor and we live with a velvet snuggle nugget, also called a pit bull.
What do you do?
They call it metalsmithing. I taught myself how to do it. But really I play, I have fun. I make color changing mood jewelry. It's been my full time job for 10 years. It's so satisfying to make something with your own two hands. It's just a bonus when it's beautiful. It's a double bonus when other people think so too. And it's a triple bonus when people love it so much they want to adorn their body with it. Jewelry can be such a personal and intimate thing, but mood rings draw attention. I love the idea of something I made drawing people together and making them smile. It's an incredible domino effect.
Who/what inspires you?
People. I absolutely love everything that comes with sharing life with people. Learning who they are, where they've come from and where they are going. The stories, the scars, all of it has beauty. People you know have the honor to have you in their lives and vice versa. Alaskans are a special breed of people, I've been here a short time, but I've had the honor to share life with some amazing people. I also like flowers, I'm always down on the ground photographing colorful little things. I might take some home sometimes.
What’s your favorite moment in the process?
I love picking out which mood stones to set in jewelry. They each have a mind of their own. I pick them up, warm them in my hand, watch them change colors and the most beautiful ones get picked to be worn. I also like to play with fire, and melt things.
What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?
Keep at it. If you aren't happy with what your results are, grow. Stretch yourself. Learn a new technique. Look at what other people are doing. Don't steal ideas, but look at what is going on to get permission to do something new yourself. Invest in yourself and your community.
I'm in the process of starting a second jewelry business. I have an intense love for gems & minerals. My Dad was a rockhound, so I've always been surrounded by beautiful rocks literally pulled out of the ground. I've done some jewelry with butterfly wings and flowers, and I'd love to start doing that again. Alaska has rekindled a lot of forgotten loves in my life. My new jewelry line also features faith based pieces that are simple little personal statements. I like to think that the pieces will become signature pieces that you never take off. I'm calling it Old Sunrise, after where I grew up. Oldsunrise.etsy.com