Artist of the Month
AAWM Center for the Arts believes Art can touch the soul…Shape a future…Strengthen a community.
Our mission is to establish the White Mountain region as a recognized Arts Experience Community within our state and to build interest in and support of all the arts.
Each month we feature an artist(s) and hope you will come and visit us to see their work, and others, in person. The Center is located at 251 Penrod Rd., Show Low.
June’s Artist of the month is Sally Hoffman.
Do you enjoy beautiful, handmade artisan jewelry? Are you the type of woman who enjoys standing out in a crowd? Or do you dream of beads, baubles and bright shiny objects, oh my? Are you driven by visions of creativity and unique wearable art?
If this sounds like you, welcome to Sally Hoffman Designs. Sally is a self-taught jewelry designer with a passion for the unusual. She loves to play with fire! Sally’s best friend is her torch, facilitating a love affair in creativity. Her pursuit is active beading and custom jewelry that combines metal, clay, wire, sheet metal and adornments using copper, sterling silver, brass and bronze. Sally loves transforming metal and wire into stunning objects of art and designing items that are personal and keepsake quality, to be passed down for generations to come. She sees each one of her handmade pieces as an expression of her love of life and beauty.
Sally settled in Green Valley, Arizona in 1996 and quickly developed a strong love of Southwestern culture and art. Arizona’s natural earthly inspiration of bountiful colors, shapes and minerals and metals has propelled her dream as a jewelry artist.
Each item in Sally’s collection is conceived, designed, fabricated and finished in her studio in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. The influence of wonder and talented artisans such as Tracy Stanley, Kim St. Jean, Sharilyn Miller, Richard Salley and Jessica Jordan can be seen in her creations. Sally credits them for sparking her creative passion.
Sally continues to be encouraged by her family, friends and customers to follow her artistic path and enjoy developing her own brand and style of art. Her designs are constantly evolving and she eagerly anticipates acquiring new skills and furthering her vision and technique by completing additional design classes.
Her jewelry is on display and for sale at the AAWM Gallery in Show Low, Arizona as well as the Tubac Center for the Arts in Tubac, Arizona. She is an active member of the Arts Alliance of the White Mountains.
Sally also believes in giving back. Her compassion for abandoned and homeless animals is unrelenting. She looks forward to the day when all puppy mills and kill shelters have vanished from this earth. She regularly contributes to A Place to Bark Animal Rescue. She asks that you check out their FB page and website. http://www.aplacetobark.com
We sat down with Member Artist Sally Hoffman, to learn more about her work and her approach to art and life.
What type of art do you create, and what motivates you to make it?
I create unique handcrafted artisan jewelry. Sally Hoffman Designs’ Passion was fueled early in my life. I was born into a family of creatives. As a small girl, I remember my mother designing beautiful doll houses complete with miniature furniture and gorgeous little dolls from the hollyhock flowers. At that young age I was infused with a rich spirit and creative talent. My inner passion and motivation to learn and create continued to grow and today it shows through my work. I am innovative in the way I combine my beads and metals and addicted to enjoying my beautiful and productive studio, where my ideas become reality. Sally Hoffman Designs invites you to wear their jewelry with love and passion.
What process, materials, techniques, etc. do you use to create your artwork?
I use different metalsmith techniques, forging, form folding, enameling, soldering, cold connections, rolling mill and wire wrapping. I am always amazed that you can take a flat piece of metal and turn it into something 3 dimensional and wear it too.
What does your art mean to you?
My art is an expression of my inner self. Free flowing, creative and fun. I love creating “funky” pieces that will make people smile.
Why do you make this type of art?
I make this type of art because I love to wear it. I have always loved jewelry, especially earrings so it made sense to me that other people might like this type of art also.
Are there specific subjects or themes you return to regularly in your art?
My main theme is usually organic and simple. I love the geometric shapes and work with them often. My granddaughter is a gymnast and I find inspiration while watching her compete.
Is there a connection between your message and the way you make your art?
My message is love and giving back. I guess the connection would be that I love what I create and create what I love. My studio is my happy place and I can be found there ay time, any day doing what I love.
What draws you to your preferred art medium?
My love of jewelry drew me to my art medium – Jewelry Design and Creation.
Are you creative in other mediums?
Yes, I am creative in other mediums. I have been a sewer and quilter for many years. I also dabble in stained glass making, etching metal and painting.
What do you like most about being an artist?
Freedom of expression and the ability to express myself through my art.
How did you get started in art?
My first exposure to art and creating was when I was a child and I got introduced to creating friendship pins and exchanging them with my friends. Actually, my first exposure was playing with pop beads as a very young child. I created necklaces and bracelets for my friends. My first serious art medium was ceramics. I was a brand new 2nd Lt. wife and it intrigued me so I pursued it for several years. Created the usual Christmas Tree, Ash Tray (back when smoking was in), Nativity set. I enjoyed it very much.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by several other artists. I became very intrigued with Jes MaHarry because I like her style – free and spirit driven. Every piece she creates is filled with love and meaning.
What is your dream project?
I am in the process of trying to decide what my dream project will be. I have wanted to create a beautiful necklace incorporating crosses designed by me and several other artists. I collect crosses and I am certain that this project will be my dream project.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
My goal is to one day create a project and have it go smoothly from start to finish! I just want to continue to improve with every project and learn everything I can about the processes.
Which artists are you most influenced by?
Jes MaHarry, I love her attitude, art and outlook on life. She gives back to many communities and always has a smile to give away to you if you are in need.
How do you define success as an artist? Are you there yet?
I would define success as the point in your life/career where you finally feel accomplished and you are deeply satisfied with your work. I am not quite there yet.
What more do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to accomplish so much more! I strive to learn something new with every piece I create and look forward to the day when I can hold a piece up and go – yes!!!
Favorite or most inspirational place?
Easy answer – Sedona, AZ is my other happy place, and, of course, Santa Fe, NM, Land of beautiful, eye popping, luscious jewelry and art.
If we were to look at the music you listen to when creating, who would be on your playlist?
How do you deal with artist’s block?
I walk away and read a book until I feel energized again. If I am having trouble concentrating or coming up with a plan, best to just give it a rest and come back later.
How do you make sure you have time to create? Do you have a set time or build it into your calendar?
I am retired and 77 years old so I have plenty of time to create – however, there is never enough time to complete everything!
What’s your biggest barrier to being an artist? How do you address it?
Hmmmmm, my biggest barrier is myself and I address it by concentrating on the power of positive thinking. I always try to guide myself around the many roadblocks we encounter as an artist – not always successfully.
Is there something you do today that you wished you had known to do years ago?
Yes, there are many things that I wish I had done years ago. I wish that I’d taken a graphic design course, I wish I’d taken more business courses, I wish I’d taken copywriting courses. All of these courses would have paved the path to the current trends in business. We artists, speaking for myself of course, tend to focus on the creative side of life and ignore the business side of it. I would love to be able to hire someone to take care of all of the business issues and social media needs.
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up (artists, movies, cartoons, comics, etc.)?
The strongest influence that I had when I was growing up was my father. He taught me how to be creative and follow my dreams. He was always working on projects and he taught me how to finish what I started. Sometimes I forget that lesson!!
If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next art generation, what would it be?
Follow your dreams. If you don’t try, fail and try again, you will never grow.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Listen to your inner self. Do not beat yourself up, telling yourself you are not enough – YOU ARE ENOUGH!! Let your shortcomings help you grow and become the artist you want to be.
What is your advice for a beginner artist?
The same advice that I was given when I was a beginning artist – Listen to your inner self and go forward!! Breath! Don’t get discouraged when you come up with an idea and then see someone else is doing it. We all had to start someplace. Also, it is a process and a lot to learn. Ask for help!! Always ask for help, somebody knows something you don’t, and that’s okay. One day you will be the person to answer the questions. To simplify – be strong, ask questions, be respectful of other artists’ work and ask for help!
What superpower would you have and why?
My superpower is tenacity. courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. I never quit!!
What do you get from your membership in Arizona Designer Craft & Art?
I get the satisfaction of watching many fine artists grow and share. Wonderful classes are offered to the membership and opportunities such as this right here make the membership all very worthwhile. Thank you so much for the opportunity!
You can see Sally’s artwork on her website, by click here