Kimberley McCullough’s Oxley and Mortimer collection hits all the right notes. From her earthy use of copper, brass and semi-precious stones to her unique and modern designs, this is a collection worth watching. I’m a huge fan of brass jewelry. Personally, I think it’s an underused material, so I’m glad to see so much of it in Kimberly’s collection.
Kimberly graciously allowed us to interview her about her creative process. See any parallels to yours?
1. What inspired you to begin your collection?
I have always loved making things. When I was 14, I had a wonderful teacher in High school that turned out to be my mentor. I had accidently enrolled in her “arts and crafts” class instead of a regular art class. In it, I fell in love with metalworking, sculpture and the pottery wheel. At 14 I didn’t recognize that the feeling I had of excitement, contentment and stimulation wouldn’t be found in everything I did in life. I had found my passion at that young age, but didn’t know it.
2. Can you name a favorite source of inspiration?
At the end of the semester my mentor was involved in an accident and had to stop teaching. I went on my merry way and forgot about it all. In addition, I was an academic student, so I listened to advice telling me to do something in life that consisted of having a “real career. Although I kept going through many twists and turns in my life I always came back to art and making things. Finally I succumbed to the need for an artistic life.
My favorite inspiration lies in nature. I love metals that naturally age and oxidize like silver and copper. I love copying what only nature really does best, like leaves, trees, and branches. I also really like butterflies and spiders.
3. What materials do you love to use?
I love using silver and copper most, but I would love to start casting with bronze. I love its warm color.
4. Do you have a dream collaborator?
Yes! Don’t hate me because he is big time! I love Alexis Bittar. He is my hero because he knew even when he was a kid that he liked making jewelry and never got derailed. Another thing I like about him is that when you notice his collections, they have his stamp, but they are also vastly different from each other. He is not afraid to play with chain, Lucite and stones. He doesn’t allow himself to be locked in. I love him!
5. When you need a musical muse, who do you turn the volume up for?
It’s really true: music does matter when you are working! I love old stuff but I am a big fan of the Alabama Shakes and I have been getting some serious work done listening to them. Maybe their down home sound goes with my simple, rustic choices. If I have a dead line to meet, Led Zepplin’s “Ramble On” gets put on continuous ipod loop. But If I have plenty of time, I really like jazz, especially Esperanza Spaulding right now. I could go on, but I won’t!
6. How do you use social media/blogging to promote your work?
I am new to blogging but I think it can serve many purposes. I try and direct traffic to my site with it by talking about my pieces and then directing people to my posts on Facebook or by tweeting it. It also allows people to get to know the person behind the line. I think it’s cool to know the backstory of some of my favorite lines. Most of us humans are interested in each other and we like knowing other peoples stories and inspirations. I have also recently discovered Pinterest. Not quite sure how that will work for me, but it is fun and addicting!
7. Where do you see your shop/project going?
I would love to just keep making things that I am moved to create and hope that others are interested in it. It is always nice to receive compensation, so I would like my business to grow in a way that I could accommodate my customer’s desires and still stay true to my design esthetic. Making things makes me feel accomplished and happy and I would love to do it forever.