our feathered friends: kristi hyde

Kristi Hyde is an jewelry designer and independent artist out of Atlanta, Georgia (that we love). Believing that jewelry should be worn not only as an awesome, eye-catching adornment but also as a reflection of personality and spirit, Kristi creates one of a kind pieces to wear forever (and yes, catch some eyes while doing so). Having been featured in publications such as Creative Loafing, CBS Better Mornings, and Decatur Living, Kristi has her craft down. And we sat down to get the inside scoop from this creative lady.

In your artist statement, you say that Atlanta was initially meant to be a “pit-stop” and we’re glad it turned out to be more than that. I fell in love with your work the moment I saw it. Would you explain your style to us? I would say my style is modern vintage infused with an organic design philosophy and a fairy-tale aesthetic. It can be a little sweet and a little wicked.

Your inspirations include nature, pulse of an urban life, as well as a long time love affair with antique jewelry and fine art. How do these things inspire and come through in your work? I grew up in north Alabama, running around in the hardwoods making believe of all sorts of fantastic things. The Tennessee river was my sanctuary. The cotton fields were pure magic. The lotus pods, the trunks of the cypress trees, the occasional fox or deer that would run through our yard ... I could go on and on. I have been connected to the natural world from a very early age, or maybe I should say I never lost my connection with it. I do make jewelry from leaves and flowers after all. Nature, by nature, is a force within my work.

All the other inspirations for my art come about through my own personal growth and my collected knowledge of life experiences. When I was young, staying outside the box was important to me. I always knew I had to define my own path, so attending art school (SCAD), moving to Atlanta and owning my own business all inspired where I am and what I am doing today as an artist. My love of antique jewelry (esp. art nouveau), fine art, the smell of oil on canvas, music, textiles, furniture design, architecture, fashion and how cultures have adorned themselves throughout history continue to fill in the nooks and crannies of my inspiration on a daily basis.

These one of a kind pieces must take awhile! What are some of your favorite tunes to listen to while you work? I sometimes spend hours or days working on my pieces, and music is a basic need. (Although, I must admit I do equally enjoy working in quiet.) I listen to such a gamut of music, I don't even know where to begin. This week, it's the Alabama Shakes that are keepin' me going, and I'm into this song Animal Tracks by Mountain Man.

Though your jewelry collections range from intricate branches and twigs to birds to tribal duds (I am absolutely in love with the arrowhead necklace), I see a lot about your orchid leaves. Could you explain a little about your process? I sculpt all of my pieces with a precious metal clay, be it fine silver or bronze. I plan to start experimenting with a steel clay soon. It's kind of a secret what I do, but I will tell you that I fabricate my pieces from the actual leaf or flower so that every piece is unique, one of a kind. Then, those little pieces of botanical sculpture sorta tell me what I need to do with them. For the most part, my creative process is intuitive. With my leaves, I like them to feel caught or suspended in time.

You’re a woman of many talents. You have fine art, prints, and fabric available as well. Do you feel like the same aesthetic runs through all of your work? Thank you. I like to try new things. It keeps the making of the work fresh and unpredictable. I do feel all my work is symbiotic in some way. There is a distinguishable line and contour that flows throughout my work, whether it's drawing, painting, sculpture or jewelry.

Having been making and selling your jewelry in Atlanta since 2001, I’m sure many days have resulted in the need to just kick back. What are some of your favorite local spots? Grant Park Farmers Market - Inman Park - The Goat Farm - (I just began a mentorship program with One Love Generation) - Oakland Cemetery - Nirvana Yoga - Twelve Boutique and Flowers - And The Aviary, of course!

Lastly, if you were a bird… what kind of bird would you be? A Snowy Owl.