Story of HipNest

I’m one of “those” people, creative my whole life…whether through acting, photography, writing, collaging, decorating, doodling or art-making…I just need to express who I am…LIVE and in Technicolor!  I don’t really create from scratch; I am ever collecting ideas from everything around me.  I was a “TV baby” growing up, mesmerized by all the images, the styles, the movement and the personalities…and I still am!  I also had the opportunity to travel several times to Europe at a young age and absorbed the architecture, art and eclectic modern exhibits not seen at the time in the US.  I was so devastated when Warhol died!  I was to be an actress, a photographer, a social worker, a graphic artist…and I did plenty of schooling for those things.  I’ve also done many “real jobs,” and while I tend to be good at anything I put my mind to, my attention eventually tends to wander…but not with creating.  So now I accept my creativity, embrace it and love to share it!

As a kid I often spent hours in my room listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 10, sleeping in, primping in the mirror, avoiding my parents (like any self-respecting teen), and rearranging my huge, celebrity-filled cork board wall collage.  Soon I’d concocted the idea for my first and most enduring art form…the Photo Collage.

I love to combine interesting and thought-provoking images of random things into one cohesive art piece.  Multi-dimensional by nature, my Photo Collages are glorious to view from afar with the organized chaos, but are also fascinating to look at closer, with all their intimate detail…often several stories can be told from seemingly unconnected pictures.  The overall result is like a colorful quilt, reflecting the richness of our lives and the events of our time.

Photo Collage was my first real step into my own personal art, but soon I was inspired to move beyond specific flat images and got into mosaics.  I combed thrift stores and found a bounty of old china dishware to break; I covered many platters and tables, and included kitschy plastic items like perm curlers and plastic toys to create unusual, one-of-a-kind, mosaic art.  Another mosaic technique I embraced involved flat glass cut into different shapes and sizes, exposing me to a whole new world.  Soon I took several classes related to glass and this medium took over my creative juices.  I fell in love with all the colors and versatility the glass provided…fun, fun, fun!

In 2004 I began HipNest.  I was working in the Gallery Shop at Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) with the intention of gaining experience to open my own art-y retail store.  Instead I gained other unforeseeable, valuable knowledge. This was the first time I was exposed to such a dedicated audience that truly valued and supported handcrafted art. Intrigued by the trends I observed in customer buying habits, I decided to try my hand at turning my creative vision into new, and sellable, merchandise.

Ice Cube Magnets grew out of the combination of my passion for collecting refrigerator magnets and my love of glass.  I began selling the alphabet letters at OCAC and was excited at the response.  All ages loved to touch them and watch the letters mutate when the glass was tilted; soon folks started returning for more.  I decided to use the natural glass distortion to my advantage and began using psychedelic and other interesting visual images.  HipNest now offers many different designs of Ice Cube Magnets…and even customizes them!

Upon moving into my own house, with wonderful separate spaces for all my creative endeavors, I discovered the former tenant had left a tremendous and fateful gift in the basement: an old box-style floor kiln!  I had long felt the next HipNest product was something related to fused glass.  I had loved the one class I had randomly taken and felt a natural affinity for the art form, but the thing I lacked was the most important…a working kiln.  Problem solved!  I started exploring different color combinations, layers and patterns.  Soon I expanded HipNest to include the delightfully cheery 1970′s inspired Crazy Daisy Magnets.

Utilizing the large size of the “gift kiln,” I started working with bigger and more one-of-a-kind square glass tiles.  With all my experimenting I stumbled upon an innovative technique, what I call a “removed” background.  The process results in my original, unique Peek-a-boo Wall Tiles. People are continuously enraptured by the shiny reflections that hit the tiles in the changing light and how the removed space plays with their sense of depth.  They truly are an attention getter!

Always looking to add more functional items to the HipNest line I decided coasters would be a great addition.  I initially attempted to make small versions of Peek-a-boo Wall Tiles but felt the end result wasn’t elegant enough.  Eventually I discovered a simpler, and more “classy,” way to layer various forms of fusible glass giving the coasters a surprising sense of dimension.  The glory of nature and art blend in Classy Glass Coasters and help any environment look more charming and welcoming!

I plan to continue to combine my innovative vision and eclectic artistic skills and expand the HipNest line to include many more hip, handcrafted, (mostly) functional home decor accessories.  Please keep checkin’ back to see what’s new…I’m so thrilled to share my creative expression and help enliven every one’s nest with “modern retro” FUN FOR ALL!!!

Thank you for reading…and supporting the Handmade Revolution!