“Like a visual poem, images flow through my hands”
Holly Gage of Gage Designs creates contemporary jewelry and teaches her unique techniques with a gentle blend of art and soul. Holly brings her innovation; creativity and gift of helping others find their artistic voice through classes, mentoring programs, and master workshops available in the US and abroad. She is a full-time jewelry artist, Certified Metal Clay Instructor, author, and conference speaker. In addition, Holly holds a BS in Fine Art and Education. Her jewelry and articles on techniques and design can be found in over 60 regional and national publications including the Best of America Jewelry Artists, PMC Guild Annual Volumes 1 – 5, Metal Clay Artist, Metal Clay Today, Art Jewelry and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Making Jewellery, among others.
I’ve spent most of my life using art to assist me in making sense of the world and helping me through my journey by communicating what I can in visual form. Like a visual poem, images flow through my hands in a way words do not flow through my brain, providing me with an accurate form of expression like no other.
I’ve always felt a frustration with the slow, methodical use of written words, scratched out and rewritten to communicate an idea, and even though speed of artistic expression is by no means any quicker for me, it is more pure, accurate, enjoyable, and satisfying.
Please read the inspiring interview by Creative Side below:
“Be intentional about the pursuit of your life and your art, and you will get to your goal in a more direct and satisfying way.”
What drives you to be a maker and why have you chosen your medium?
As a visual person, I send and receive messages through the things I see and the things I make. I’m not just trying to make something pretty, but I am also trying to convey something deeper inside. Expressing an idea allows me to connect with another person on themes and topics within the imagery of my jewelry. My thoughts are best communicated through my hands, as they are able to sculpt and tell stories when words fall short. Metal Clay, in combination with metalsmithing techniques, allows me the freedom of expression and accuracy that most is most satisfying.
How long have you been working in PMC and what is the most satisfying element of the material for you?
I’ve been working with Metal Clay for 15 yrs. I think the most exciting part is the mind bending transformation from something malleable and delicate in the making stages to something solid and heavy once fired and finished. Every time the kiln door is opened after a firing, there is a great moment of excitement as I’ve made something come alive.
One piece of advice for artists aspiring to have their own jewelry business?
Make what you love versus following the trends. I see artists making things they don’t even like in order to make money. There is no faster track to burn out and being dissatisfied. Anyone who creates, does it because they love it. I fully believe if you can create from the heart and find the audience that can relate to your inner spoken voice, you can have your cake and eat it too.
What unique experience can we expect in your upcoming class at Creative Side?
When teaching class, I like to walk around and connect with each student. I have a sixth sense about how to help them take that tiny little leap to the next level. I like to help the student find that voice within, and show them the best way to express it. I combine elements of design, real life history about the techniques, a step by step handout, and demonstrations throughout the day.