Heather Barber is one of Accents's in house designers, and the creator of the collection NANVELLA.
What was the 1st Piece you ever made?
A beaded pearl and garnet necklace on silk thread.I would sit and knot beaded necklaces for friends and family after working 12 –hour nursing shifts as a way to unwind. It was meditative, satisfying and productive. Then I learnt to wire-wrap, followed by soldering and fabrication. I had definitely caught the jewelry “bug”. When I discovered Steven Hanna’s wax sculpting class it was a game –changer. The endless possibilities for creating unique hand-sculpted jewelry enthralled me and I soon found myself jumping at an opportunity to fully immerse myself in the craft.
What Artist or designer had the biggest impact on you creatively?
The creator of this amazing universe in which we find ourselves!
And Steven Hanna has been a huge influence and one of the benefits of working at Accents is the ability to work with other designers and learn from and support each other.
What is the favorite thing you ever made? what piece of jewelry are you most proud of?
Venturing into the world of jewelry was a huge change of direction in my career/ life path. My mother who lives in England was supportive of my decision from the start. For her 80th birthday I sculpted her a 14k gold diamond and amethyst necklace and earrings and also made her a special set of hand-sculpted tags incorporating a special message and initials of her children and all their families. She wears them constantly. It felt great to repay her support by making her special things she loves and that also connect us to each other daily across the miles
How do you want people to feel when they wear your jewelry?
Happy, Confident, Special. I would like my jewelry to be one representation of their own unique sense of style
If you could define your name brand in 3 words what would they be?
Elegant. Stylish. Enduring
What do you love besides jewelry design?
Spending time with family and friends. Appreciating nature. Sunrises and sunsets. Long drives to explore new places. ...... possibilities!
Whats your go to jewelry piece (to wear)?
A wide hammered sterling Silver cuff I got on an amazing trip to New York and the East Coast over 20 years ago. It has become part of my “story” travelling everywhere with me, part of my personal style in that people now associate it with me and it is something I know I will pass down to future generations. I guess it is the perfect exemplar of what I would like my own jewelry line to be, “Elegant, Stylish, Enduring”!
Whats your favorite tool to use when creating jewelry?
What is your favorite part of the jewelry making process?
Sculpting the wax. I put on some music and my fountain, which softly bubbles in the background. My dog lays down somewhere nearby where they can keep a close eye on things, and then this vague idea seems to gradually take on a life of its own, evolving almost in spite of me. It is completely absorbing and I can lose all sense of time.
What is your favorite gemstone? Metal?
I am constantly discovering new stones I love. I recently discovered Paraiba tourmalines which are the most beautiful vibrant turquoise green/blue. I have also started working with gold a lot more and find I am loving the warm richness of it. But silver was definitely my first love and I see it always being a part of my line especially for larger peices.
What inspires you?
I am awed and inspired by the natural beauty in our world: On land, in sea, flora and fauna. I also love old architecture, particularly Early English, dating from around the !2th Century. I love it’s beautiful curved arches, stained glass windows and hand carved reliefs. It almost seems to naturally be of the land on which it resides.
I feel to have the opportunity to work with gold and silver and an astounding array of gemstones, the earth’s most precious and beautiful resources and treasures, is both an inspiration and a privilege.
Whats next for you?
I have gathered a lovely collection of opals, moonstones and some amazing one of a kind raw stones which I am currently working on to make a colorful array of more one of a kind pieces. I am also working on expanding my line of more “precious” collectible pieces.
I love that much of my own jewelry has played a significant part in my life story and almost feels like a natural part of me. I will continue to work to build the “Nanvella” jewelry brand with that idea in mind, and with the ultimate goal of creating a very special, ever evolving and unique line of jewelry that can be enjoyed by the wearer over a long period of time.