Alaina Clarke is a metalsmith based out of Grand Rapids, MI. Trixie & Stella is a new collection that debuted in September of 2017. Trixie & Stella are Alaina and her best friend's alter egos from High School. The egos became an inside joke between the two as they grew into adulthood of being a Mother of three (Trixie) and an active, single, professional (Stella). What started out as a 30th birthday present to Trixie, spun into an entire jewelry line inspired by their lifestyles.
Now, almost 2 years later, the collection has come to fruition in collaboration with local GR women-owned businesses. It's very important to Alaina to work with and support local female businesses. With that in mind, she set out to work with those who had the same vision and ideas as she.
Laurel Mills went to school at Northern Michigan University in her beloved Upper Penninsula. It was there, where she developed a love for metalsmithing and graduated with a BA in Arts-Metals. Now, she works from our studio where she has a passion for sustainability. Using only recycled metals and stones sourced from right here in our Great Lake State. Always striving for more local/sustainable options. Please check out her work, and support her extra efforts into creating sustainable and beautiful jewelry!
Heather Murray is the owner & metalsmith behind Forest Emporium. Having lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan for almost her entire life, her spirit is entwined with the Great Lakes. In the summer she spends much of her time in Northern Michigan, searching for treasures along the beaches and dunes. Graduating in 2014 from Grand Valley State University with a B.A in Studio Art she was determined to make a living off her work. Today, she has been our longest standing member at The Hot Spot! She also has a passion for travels, where she continues making in hopes of sharing it with the world! Her earthly work is sold on-line as well as in our gallery. Keep tabs on her for all her shows too!
In the subject of her work, broken symbolism reflects a deteriorated futuristic society where all secrets to the alchemical Magnum Opus have been discovered. One can simply turn lead into gold with a mere algorithm and turn a batch of Elixir of Life. As a result, base metals have all been transformed into silver and gold creating a society uninhibited for their lust of metal that shines as bright as the sun. Any preciousness in the life of material has rendered it meaningless with its abundance and relative inutility.
All this leading to the beautiful demise of a world where the people should have known better: All that glitters is not gold. She builds the artifacts that were left behind, forlorn and deteriorated.
My work addresses the connections that bind us to what is no longer tangible and the elements that exist in the peripheral of our daily activity. The surfaces that surround us during the moments of experience are the devices that help us to hold onto or have evidence later. Combining repetition or pattern with inconspicuous materials I attempt to glimpse what is fleeting and the perseverance of holding on to a memory, giving credit to what is often overlooked or forced into the margins.
Jesse was educated at the College of Charleston, SC in the Visual arts and Arts MGMT. He also received several awards from the college in the field of visual arts. This includes the Best in Show overall, Presidents Award, 2010. As well as, Best in Show sculpture, the previous year.
After college, he gained employment at a designer lighting factory, where he learned many skills related to non-ferrous metals. He also began building furniture with a table manufacturing company, strengthening his knowledge of woodwork and steel manipulation.
The focus of Jesse’s work is plant himself within the past with found object. To take something lost and renew it and make it relevant again. Taking design from the past and reapply it with a modern context.
I grew up in Hudsonville, MI and now live in nearby Grand Rapids. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Grand Valley State University in 2010, with an emphasis in Jewelry Making and Metalsmithing. In August of 2017, I took the leap and began my home-based jewelry making business, From Sarah’s Bench. My focus is sterling silver fashion jewelry, as well as gold and silver custom projects, including custom wedding jewelry.
Becoming an artist of wearables was an easy choice for me. I love the story of jewelry, whether I’m repairing Grandma’s wedding band or building something new. Thank-you for supporting my studio and story. I wish you joy and happiness as you wear or give a gift of jewelry, writing your own memories and stories.