2010 Vendor Spotlight: Mani Designs

Today we sit down with Amber Mahler of Mani Designs to talk about jewelry, nature and how the two can be one. Amber casts flowers, leaves and anything "nature" she can get her hands on to make her amazing jewelry.

Where are you and your studio located?
I just moved into a renovated high school in North Carolina from the turn of the century that had flooded and been condemned before a local artist found investors and bought the building. It's so nice to be doing whatever I want to do in a classroom. Plus, there are blackboards! Also, I'm sharing with a potter, we both work with fire on some level, so I think it's going to be a good fit.

How did you get started in jewelry?
I was taking a paper making class at Penland School of Crafts and one of my friends was taking a jewelry class and had bored into a river rock and set it in a silver bezel. I was shocked, I had never seen jewelry like this. I didn't know jewelry could be so interesting and accessible. I had to try it myself. I secretly think, every crafter or perhaps every woman, has an inner jeweler waiting to be let out.

What is influencing you the most lately?

I am currently scouring my new backyard for some. I've been finding a lot of spiders and a few old plant friends that I didn't suspect would be this far south.
Also, I've been reading the Omnivore's Dilemma and he has a daily link on his site that led me to Stefano Mancuso, a wonderful botanist who gave a TED talk about the intelligence of plants.You can find it here.

This has gotten me very excited about my collaborators -- the plants I use in my work.

What is your favorite part about jewelry making?
It never ceases to amaze me when a plant casts successfully into silver. It's a sort of magic I can't seem to get enough of.

Have any special events coming up before Second Storie that you'd like everyone to know about?
Doing a trunk show at one of my favorite stores in San Francisco, Paxton Gate, on October 22nd. I'll also be selling my work at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire that same weekend.


Lori said...

I love Amber's jewelery! Can't wait to see her again.

second storie said...

Us, too! And we can't wait to see you as well :)