Oh boy! I've known Claire for over 10 years and I can say she is truly a special friend. I was so excited to interview her and I know when you're done reading, you will know why I love her so! Let's get started...
1. Claire, we go back a long time. All the way back to Drawing 101 class at Clemson. Have you always wanted to pursue art?
Yes, very much. I was the little kid who filled up sketchbook after sketchbook with drawings. My parents always gave me art supplies for my birthday, and enrolled me in art classes after school. My love of making art only increased as I got older and by the time I went to college, I felt like I didn’t even need to choose a major. I was going to study Fine Art because that’s what I do.
Now I make a living as an artist (jeweler), but I don’t really think of it as work. It’s more like part of my identity rather than a job. Being an artist has always felt like the right thing for me.
2. You were a printmaker and now you’re a metalsmith. Can you talk about how you made the transition?
I loved printmaking! I found all the processes so interesting and loved learning each technique. However, after a while I got to a point in my life where I really felt like I wanted to do something different. Jewelry was a discipline I had always been interested in trying, so I decided to enroll in a two-month beginning jewelry workshop at Penland School of Crafts. From the minute I picked up my jewelers saw, I was hooked. It was like the stars aligned and I just totally fell in love with the craft. That was almost ten years ago, and I still love making jewelry every day.
3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Honestly, my first instinct was that I would stay where I am. I really do love the Carolinas! I’m a warm weather girl, so I live for the hot summers, but I also appreciate that we get to enjoy all four seasons. The beaches are beautiful, and I love our rolling green mountains. The people here are wonderful too! What’s not to like?
That said, if you told me I could live by a gorgeous tropical beach for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t turn it down!
4. What is your favorite junk food?
The correct answer is pizza.
5. I know you read a lot. Are you reading anything now/recently finished?
I’m currently reading a biography of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis called America’s Queen, by Sarah Bradford. It’s quite interesting to learn about her life, and also read about that time in history.
I realize I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall a couple of months ago. I heard a lot about it back in 2011 when it was published, but never got around to reading it. I’m so glad I did, it’s such a great read!
6. If you could live in any TV Show, new or old, which would it be? Why?
I think probably Sex and the City because it is a story about strong friendships. It would be so much fun to hang out with those ladies, and of course have a fabulous wardrobe. If my Across Our Table gals could be there with me, that would be even better!
That would be my pick too!
7. Who are your top 3 favorite artists?
This is such a hard question!
I have to put Michelangelo at the top of the list. Everything he did was absolutely breathtaking. I think his sketches are just as spectacular as the Sistine Chapel. Also, I have never had a more powerful reaction to a work of art than the time I first laid eyes on the David. I literally jumped backwards when I saw it because I was so awestruck. Pictures do not come close to doing this sculpture justice. It is absolute perfection.
I’m a big fan of figurative work so I love Eric Fischl’s loose watercolors, John Currin, and Chloe Piene drawings.
As far as jewelry artists go, lately I’ve been looking at Judith Kinghorn’s work quite a bit. I love how she uses color, well two colors, black and gold.
8. What’s your favorite cocktail?
I’m more of a beer or wine kind of a girl, but on the rare occasion when I order a cocktail it is usually a dirty vodka martini. I love olives!
9. What is your fondest childhood memory?
I love to think back to family time at the beach. My family has a place in South Carolina, and it is like a second home to me. We always spent a lot of time down there in the summers growing up, and I have the best memories of playing at the beach.
10. I love your creative brain, which is why I wanted to start this blog with you. What made you want to be a part of Across Our Table?
I got so excited when we first started talking about this blog! I thought it would be amazing to share our creativity and passions with the world.
As a jeweler, I spend a lot of time alone in my studio working, so the blog has made me feel more connected to both my friends and the outside world. Plus, I love having an excuse to talk to and see all you gals more! It’s so much fun!
See more of Claire's beautiful work HERE and have a great weekend!