Interview with Member Artist Cheri Short
Updated: Apr 13
What is your medium and why did you choose it?
I first started making wine glasses, toppers, and champagne flutes. That gradually evolved into Purses due to my love of handbags. I have made hats, jackets, decorative skull art and picture frames.
What started out with my love of my mother’s vintage jewelry soon turned into creating, preserving and giving new life to vintage treasures that have been forgotten and unloved.
How long have you been making art?
I have been doing this type of art for about five years now, however, I’ve always been an artsy crafty gal.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from the actual piece of jewelry or the handbag. It’s like they speak to me. I believe that every piece I create has a
story to tell of days gone by.
What does your studio look like?
My studio looks like a bomb went off! I’m actually working on two or three pieces simultaneously. I start working on one piece, then I think of an idea for a different piece and then I have two on the table. I come across another handbag I really get excited about and I want to start immediately. I have got three on the table when a call comes in for a custom order and Bam, that’s 4 on the table at once. I love it!
Describe your creative process.
If I’m working on a vintage bag or vintage jewelry, first I have to clean and recondition the pieces. Most the time I know immediately how I am going to design the purse. If it doesn’t come to me immediately, I hang it on my wall and just look at it for a bit, a day, a week, a month and then the design comes to me. I have bins and bins of jewelry, art pieces, pins and brooches. I go through my boxes to find the perfect pieces that would best be suited for that bag, then, I start laying it out on the bag to get an idea of the design. I’ll take a picture of it and then I take all the stuff off the bag and I will rearrange it a different way and then take a picture of it, sometimes I do that three or four times. I can look at the pictures and decide which I liked the best before I start attaching the jewels, findings, appliques or brooches.
Do you listen to music or have complete silence when you work?
My studio is in my house, well it’s actually the office which I turned into an art studio. I mostly am listening to music.
What is your favorite time of day to make art? My favorite time to create my “art” is any time I can sneak away to my studio and play. Sometimes life gets so busy and I don’t have time to get into my studio. I get anxious and start to have withdrawals, I need to glue something!
What else would you like people to know about your art?
What started out as my love for vintage jewelry soon became my passion. I want to display, preserve and give new life to lonely treasured heirlooms.
The items I select for my jewelry art are chosen by me for their quality, beauty and uniqueness. My jewelry art is a big part of my life. I love hunting for vintage items and then figuring out how best to give them a new more exciting life.
In addition to showing my art in Fountain Hills Artists Gallery, I have a website and an etsy shop where some of my items are available for sale as well as a blog about my son Spencer, titled: Spencer's Pearls.