Exposures: Danny Hart, Maker of Jewelry and Light Fixtures
Danny Hart‘s jewelry and light fixtures use wood and lacquer in novel and unexpected ways. He is one of the talented artists and crafters participating in the 5th Annual Fall Octofair, showcasing the best of Albuquerque’s local art, music, food and beer, hosted by The Octopus and the Fox on Saturday October 29 (more event details below).
Danny Hart—Maker of Wood Jewelry and Light Fixtures
“My current work consists of wooden jewelry for men and women which utilizes geometry, carpentry techniques and pops of color to create simple yet stylistically unique pieces. I also create custom wood light fixtures made by combining hardwood frames with pliable wood veneer. Though over the years I have designed everything from furniture to flyers and logos, jewelry and light fixtures are my biggest inspirations right now.”
“Most of what I do I owe to growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico where my parents cultivated an environment of creativity and freedom to be imaginative. My mother’s inherent craftiness, and my father’s skills as a builder and carpenter, combined with my colorful Southwest surroundings no doubt influence my work today.
“In high school my drafting and shop teacher helped my channel my creative energy to building and drawing, but it was when I attended the UNM school of architecture that I really harnessed my passion for creative design and assembly. While in school I took a class on lighting where one of the assignments was to design a light fixture. Needless to say, I went all in and wowed the teacher and the fellow students. I’ve made over 60 one-off lights since that class.”
“While working as a carpenter, our house was broken into one day while my wife and I were at work. Among the many things stolen were my wife’s unique pieces of jewelry. Though she did not have a lot of high-dollar stuff, it was full of unique one-of-a-kind stuff, not easily replaceable. I quickly made her a necklace and earrings based on some ideas I had, which led to compliments and questions about where people could buy some for themselves.
“Fast-forward to today, and I have a full line of architectural-influenced wood jewelry, and whimsical and completely custom light fixtures. I decided to start my own business in April of this year and really take my work to another level, by giving it the time and serious effort it deserves. I am currently working on a light fixture design that will be sold as a flat-pack kit of parts, made entirely of wood and metal. It will be available on Kickstarter for pre-order very soon.”
“The worst client I ever had was my first commissioned light fixture. I was only 24 and the client was 20. I naively made the light before agreeing upon a price, and when it came time for delivery, her innocence and sweet batting eyes made me lower my initial estimate of $175 to $50, seeing her issues with money since she was a poor college student. In hindsight, the things I learned in the assembly of the light and the overall design far outweigh the fact that I got suckered out of some money that I desperately needed at the time.”
“There are a few designers whom I constantly follow and look to for inspiration within several different mediums, including David Trubridge, Walter Pall and Renzo Piano. I am also inspired by the work of so many local designers and artists that I’m around every weekend at both the Rail Yards and Downtown Growers’ Markets.”
“My biggest advice to young designers: Take chances, be risky, believe in yourself and your abilities, and realize that with hustle (lots of hustle) you can make a living off of what you love most. Also, seek out other local designers. By participating in the greater network of designers and artists you will inevitably be inundated with offers and positions to show/sell your work. Remember, though it’s not all about the money; the end goal should always be sustaining yourself and your family with the things you are passionate about.”
Danny Hart will be a vendor at the 5th Annual Fall Octofair on Saturday October 29 in downtown Albuquerque. Come for art, music, food, beer and fun. Free! Hosted by The Octopus and the Fox and Yelp. The event will feature:
- 30+ local arts and crafts vendors
- Food by Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar
- Beer by La Cumbre Brewing Co.
- Music stage hosted by Sister.
- Live screen printing by 111 Media Collective
- Workout station by Rebel Workout
- and much more!
5th Annual Fall Octofair
Saturday October 29, 2016
514 Central Ave. SW
Danny’s work is incredible, innovative and so rich.
[…] at the front where customers approach. You can also use props to show off your products. A lot of jewelry sellers use tiny trees or pieces of wood to hang earrings and necklaces from, which can look really […]
How creative! I have never heard of wooden jewelry before – thank you for the post.