Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica of Moonlight Mile Artisan.
Jessica, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I come from a family of artists and crafters. My mother encouraged us to do creative things at a young age. Growing up, I loved to draw, paint, crochet and sew. I also dabbled in macrame and stained glass work. For many years, I was a senior graphic designer/art director at a local San Diego firm. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and thankfully I have been cancer free for almost eight years. Being placed in that type of situation forces you to take stock of your life. Although I loved being a designer, I realized that I needed to do something different. Something that didn’t involve sitting in front of a computer screen all day. A friend of mine suggested that I take a silver fabrication class in Spanish Village at the San Diego Mineral & Gem Society. Before taking a silver class, it is required that you take their lapidary class as a prerequisite. I absolutely loved taking a slab of rock and turning it into a beautiful cabochon that I could then use to make jewelry. After several silver classes, I was hooked. I knew this was what I wanted to do. I began collecting stones, tools and the materials needed to start making jewelry. I had a studio built in my backyard and eventually made the transition to full-time metalsmith and owner of Moonlight Mile Artisan.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Since 2017, I have been handcrafting metal jewelry using semi-precious stones, sterling silver, and copper. It is so rewarding to create something from raw materials and turn it into a magnificent piece of jewelry that someone will cherish for a lifetime.
There are so many talented jewelry artists out there which makes the competition tough but I try to stay true to myself and make things that I know I would wear. I am a fan of jewelry with a more rustic and organic feel. The distressed and textured look is what calls to me. I want people to see my work and know that it is something that was handcrafted with a lot of care and love put into the execution. Besides jewelry, I plan to add other items to my shop; artwork, textiles and re-purposed items handcrafted by me. This is why I decided to name my company Moonlight Mile “Artisan” as this will encompass a variety of wares in the future.
How do you think about success, as an artist, and what quality do you feel is most helpful?
I believe every artist has their own definition of success. Naturally, we want to be making a comfortable living so that we can feel free enough to keep doing what we do best and not worry about the cost of materials. I started metalsmithing only two years ago, so, for now, I take my successes in small bits here and there rather than only focusing on the big picture. If you can keep the fire going inside and you’re open to navigating the ups and downs while still being able to make a good living, then I think you’ve attained some level of success.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Follow me on Instagram to view what I am currently working on as well as past work and the behind-the-scenes in my studio. Have a look at the GALLERY on my website at MoonlightMileArtisan.com. You will find a culmination of many of my pieces thus far. Click on SHOP to purchase and own one of my handcrafted pieces that are currently available. I also have a small jewelry collection at The Artisan’s Bench in Brighton, Michigan. They have both a storefront as well as a virtual store where my work can be purchased.
- Website: www.MoonlightMileArtisan.com
- Email: MoonlightMileArtisan@yahoo.com
- Instagram: MoonlightMileArtisan
Moonlight Mile Artisan