NY FESTIVAL Artisan: Abby Horowitz
C & G: I'd first like to thank you for taking the time to stop by Chic & Green and give my readers a chance to meet you. Welcome.
Abby: Thank you Karley!
C & G : The first question is a bit long, so bear with me.
I am a jewelry fanatic. I literally wanted to make sure my earrings would look good with the hospital gown while I was in the hospital giving birth to each of my children. A good piece of jewelry can make (almost) anything look better, even a generic hospital gown.
I am often drawn not just to the colors and shapes in each piece of jewelry I look at, but the energy of each piece.
Certain pieces, such as your charm bracelet evoke such a sense of history and give me the feeling that there is a long, beautiful story behind it. I simply smile when I see others, such as the Fluorite stacked earrings--so lighthearted and carefree.
I believe that if you look at a piece of jewelry and feel that it brings out some sort of emotion, that it is made with love.
Do you find yourself making certain pieces based on your particular feelings of that day?
Abby: Yes, the way I feel on a particular day can definitely lead my work in a certain direction. And of course, if I find things aren’t flowing, I step away and do something else. You also touched on many facets of creating jewelry that are close to my heart. It all starts with the stones I am drawn to.
When I am shopping for beads, I can literally be repelled by or drawn into the energy of a particular stone. Color is also a factor as well as the shape and quality. I love handmade silver and gold findings that have a sense of history and a feeling of depth and fine workmanship.
I search for vintage amulets, talismans, pendants, and charms from around the world. These pieces are infused with the history, energy and love of those whose hands have touched them. Everything I make is made with love and infused with a healing energy that flows through my hands. This energy and love is combined with the energy of the stones and the other elements of the piece. I believe that each piece I create is meant for someone special who will resonate with it and feel wonderful wearing it.
C & G: You live in New York City, the ultimate city for finding & expressing your creativity. Does living there help you find inspiration for your art?
Abby: Yes. When I’m in need of inspiration, I’ll wander around the city with eyes wide open. I take in everything around me – the people, stores, museums, parks, farmer’s market etc. The city can really energize me.
C & G: You are clearly very talented at what you do. How long have you been making beautiful jewelry?
Abby: Thank you so much. I’ve been making jewelry for over 30 years. I am totally self-taught. I started out making clay beads for my macramé wall hangings! Then I began working with vintage charms and beads. I started working with polymer clay about 15 years ago and made lots of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pins, and picture frames. It was a lot of fun – but I felt that the materials and glazes were making me ill. So I turned back to using precious stones. I’ve spent many years perfecting my techniques. I’m always learning something new.
C & G: What drew you to 1000 Markets?
Abby: I opened a shop on Etsy in December 2008 and as well as several other online venues. I wasn’t particularly happy with any of them. I was selling on Etsy (and still am) but I felt very alone. I heard about 1000markets from various sources but didn’t make the move. Then, this past March, I came upon the site again and was blown away by the quality of the artisans and level of sophistication. I felt that this was home for me; not only would I be among peers but I would also be in the presence of artisans whose work and spirit inspired me.
C & G: One of the greatest stories I have heard is of your experience meeting PattyMara. I also want to meet Ronnie (of My Three Jewels) one day and think you're lucky to be neighbors! What has it been like to meet some of these ladies in person?
Abby: Ronnie and I have known each other for many years. When she expressed an interest in learning more about beads and different techniques, I was happy to teach her. Meeting PattyMara was so wonderful. It was totally surreal. From the moment we met it was as if we had known each forever. We had a blast. The time just flew by and we found that we had so many things in common. I’ve also become very close with my co-manager of Passport, Pamela Tarpy. We talk on the phone all the time. She’s in Arizona; I’m here in NYC. She’s an inspiration to me and we plan to meet too!
C & G: If you have anything else you'd like to add, feel free.
Abby: You know, I often wonder if the folks at 1000 Markets had any idea what they were creating. For not only did they put together an amazing venue for artisans but they have provided fertile ground for this community of spirit filled multi-talented wonderful people to grow. I feel so blessed. I’ve met so many great new friends.