Friday, November 29, 2019

An Interview with Ohio Artist Hannah Sickles

An Interview with Ohio Artist Hannah Sickles
with Gina McKnight

Hannah Sickles was raised in Athens, Ohio, alongside her twin sister. She has learned most of what she knows from her mother, who spent years studying fine art. Recently, Hannah created the illustrations for Nelsonville from A to Z, a collection of short poems by SE Ohio writers, edited by Celeste Parsons. This beautiful collection of writing and art benefits Nelsonville’s Stuart’s Opera House Arts Education Program.

Still residing in the foothills of Appalachia, Hannah has her own business working with watercolors, and creating copper enamel jewelry. Besides illustrating and enameling, Hannah can be found making theater magic with ABC Players, or maybe playing yard golf in Zaleski forest. Hannah finds inspiration from nature, her two orange cats, and a group of amazing friends.

Welcome, Hannah!

GM: Hannah, it has been great collaborating with you on Nelsonville from A to Z! You have given the city of Nelsonville a true work of art. A talented artist, at what age did you realize you wanted to become an artist?
HS: I don't think there was an age that I wasn't an artist. I grew up in a very art focused household, and it has always been part of who I am. As for when I realized I should make it my living, that was just a few years ago (and I'm surprised it took me that long!).

GM: What was your inspiration for Nelsonville from A to Z? Did you find the work easy? Are you happy with the final publication?
HS: Naturally, my inspiration was Nelsonville and our little corner of south east Ohio. I work mostly from photographs and got a lot of them from Celeste Parsons (head author/editor of Nelsonville from A to Z), but had plenty of days that I spent traveling to sights around Nelsonville taking my own photos and doing a smattering of research.

Well, I found it easier than if I were asked to write it... but I suppose you could say some illustrations came together more smoothly than others.
I am very happy with the final publication. That's not to say I wouldn't love to tweak or even redesign a painting here or there, but it's always been difficult for me to be satisfied with 100% my work... especially with a deadline.

GM: The final publication is beautiful! What mediums do you like to use?
HS:  For illustrations I use pencil and watercolor. Occasionally India ink will find its way in as well.

GM: Besides illustration, what other art endeavors do you have?
HS: Mostly I do watercolors and copper enamel jewelry. I set up a booth at local festivals and craft fairs where I sell original watercolors, prints, note cards, and copper enamel pieces.

GM: I've seen your earring collections. They are stunning. What materials do you use and where can we buy them?
HS: Thank you, I'm very glad you like them! I cut sheet copper into shapes (old copper scraps, if I can find it- I'd rather upcycle than use new), then I dust the metal shape with glass frit and fire it in a small jeweler's kiln. I fire each piece depending on how many colors or designs I need, but each piece is usually a minimum of 2x.

I have a few items at Starbrick Gallery, Reuse on Union, and Kindred Market, but I have the largest selection with me at the festivals and craft shows I do.

GM: Describe your studio...
HS:  As of yet, I don't have a studio. I work mostly on my dining room table, from painting to jewelry, everything besides actually firing my enameled pieces.

GM: What are you currently creating?
HS:  Lately I've been working on creating inventory for the holiday season. Actually, at this very moment I am sitting at my table drinking coffee waiting for my kiln to heat up. Today I will make earrings and a few Christmas ornaments.

GM: Where do you see yourself in the art community in the future?
HS:  As a desk owner.

GM:  List 10 things that your fans may not know about you...
 HS: My favorite flavor of ice cream is butter pecan.
I've yet to miss an election.
I can spin yarn...
and then knit it.
I enjoy social dancing such as swing, lindy hop, and waltz.
I'm vegetarian.
I'm a twin.
I was home-schooled.
I'm a cat person.
I enjoy hiking.

Connect with Hannah…
Nelsonville from A to Z   - Amazon     Barnes&Noble

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