We stumbled across Hightower Botanicals on the Etsy forums, and it wasn't hard to be drawn in by the quality and details in the jewelry. Her pieces are truly unique...and stunning. We are die-hard fans of sterling silver. Silver is a splendid style for the autumn and winter months. Though her pieces are not directly related to fantasy, we felt that her pieces were reminicent of woodland faires, elves, and other mysterious creatures...
Hightower Botanicals makes rings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets, all made with amazing attention to detail.
What do you do? By day I work as an artist assistant in a large studio. I make allot of molds and help fabricate and cast sculptures. By night and on the weekends I make jewelry!
Where do you get your inspiration for your work? I love plants. Especially herbs. Herbal teas and medicinal uses. And I love stones.
Do you have any pieces that are inspired by fantasy? Or are reminiscent of fantasy? I like reading about the folklore behind plants. Allot of cultures used and use herbs for magic potions. In ancient Greece, their was a legend about a beast called the Basilisk. It was described it as dragon like creature with the head of a rooster, body of a serpent, and the wings of a bat. If one looked at a Basilisk in the eyes, they would instantly die. Basil leaves were considered the best cure for a Basilisk bite. As you can see, the name Basil was in the Basilisk. Many of today's names for herbs are derived from traditional uses in medicine. Quite often this mixed in with folklore and sometimes fantasy. A also like to read about the metaphysical properties of stones and the power that they are said to hold.
How did you become involved in your work? I have always made things with my hands. I went to art school for painting. During my senior year I took a foundry class and learned how to cast bronze. I fell in love with the process. After graduation I worked in several bronze foundries in Brooklyn and Queens. I learned how to make various types of molds and learned allot about metal work, casting and chasing wax and metal castings. (Chasing is cleaning up seams and imperfections in a casting.)I've never had any formal jewelry training but my skills as a mold maker and metal worker transferred over to jewelry nicely. A few years ago my friend Robin took me under her wing and taught me how to make jewelry. She taught me so much. And I am still learning new things all the time.
What made you start selling your creations? I guess I've just always been prone to selling handmade creations. In junior high I made lots of polymer clay/ Fimo beads! I made bracelets and necklaces out of them and sold them on the school bus after school. I didn't sell many but receiving money for my creations was an incredible feeling. Before I learned how to solder I made jewelry with stone beads and sold them at Bittersweets when Robin had a store in Brooklyn. After graduating to cast metal jewelry, I began to sell that at her store and it has evolved into Hightower Botanicals on Etsy.
What is your favorite item that you make? My new rosemary hoops are my favorite at the moment! I have so many favorites that they change allot.
Which fantasy creature is your favorite: fairy, dragon, or vampire? H. P. Lovecrafts's Cthulhu is one. I am drawn to the more evil, demon-like creatures!
Visit Hightower Botanicals at her Etsy shop: http://hightowerbotanicals.etsy.com/
Other: Check out this site for more fantasy-inspired silver jewerly! http://www.bittersweetsny.com/
Sarah and Angie