"I first picked up a torch when I was 14, and I was immediately enamored by all the possibilities. That was around the same time I started rock climbing, and I suppose those things actually go hand-in-hand quite nicely. Both rock climbing and metalsmithing make you strong, can be dangerous if you don't respect the process, and require a certain amount of stubbornness. Oh, and if you do them well, they both look a whole lot easier than they are. Each has been an integral part of who I am for most of my life, and so I've learned to draw inspiration from one to feed the other. My jewelry is outdoors and mountain inspired, and I love making pieces that build on each other with different stacking components and materials. I use recycled material as much as possible and I think about the strength and wearability of a piece just as much as the visual impact. I believe in "Community Over Competition", because -- in climbing and in the creative world -- I think that the support we are able to give to each other makes everything and everyone better."
When I met Shira Brooks just this past March, we were both at Atlanta's ACC show in the emerging artist program, Hip Pop. I learned we had three things in common right off the bat, we are both jewelers, we love mountains, and we own the same pair of brown overalls! Shira is an independent jeweler selling her work at craft shows and you can purchase work on her online store. Between her love of the outdoors, and processes such as her beautiful use of stone setting, casting, and fabricating, I'm looking forward to seeing how Shira's aesthetic factors into each Guideline piece she creates!
What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?
"As a jeweler running a small business, so much of what I make includes the question, who is this for? Of course, I’m also always thinking about design and technical construction, but it's not often that I get to step away from the end result and really focus on the idea behind a piece. I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to play with a concept, rather than having a particular goal in mind."