There’s nothing generic about Heidi Spadter’s designs. Founder and designer of Karhu Moon, Heidi has been a jeweller for 25 years and uses her creative talent to make utterly unique piece of jewellery. Sourcing inspiration from the people and places she’s seen, Heidi uses a mix of sterling silver and precious gemstones to handcraft her abstract designs in her New York home/studio.
We chat with Heidi about drawing freehand, quitting her Master’s degree and why no two designs are the same.
How did Karhu Moon begin?
“I've been creating jewellery for over 25 years but I first used the name ‘Karhu Moon’ in 2005. The name is a blending of my ethnic backgrounds. Karhu means bear in Finnish, which I am on my mother's side. The bear and the moon are important symbols in my Native American heritage.”
When did you first fall in love with jewellery?
“I used to try on my mother's costume jewellery - the glitzier the better - and I've always loved sparkly things. When I found out ASU had a program in metals I went for it and became a jewellery artist.”
What inspires your designs?
“My designs reflect the inner and outer landscapes of my life. The people and places I've seen inform the characters and gemstone driven designs. The Oddball collection comes entirely from my mind, most often a sketch or a doodle while on hold.”
How is your jewellery made?
“My jewellery is all made by hand, cut out and formed using basic jeweller's tools. I draw the people and oddballs freehand and no two pieces are exactly the same.”
Tell us about one of your favourite bespoke commissions?
“I once made a sterling silver cuff with turquoise stones and a bear's claw for a customer. It was six inches wide! It fit her entire forearm. Thankfully, she loved it.”
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
“I want people to feel beautiful when they wear my jewellery. Jewellery can be personally significant and I like it when my clients ask for a custom piece that means something to them.”
If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you be doing?
“I was in the middle of my Master's degree in English Literature when I decided to change my life's path and become an artist full time. I suppose I'd be behind a desk somewhere, correcting papers!”
What music do you play in the studio whilst working?
“This is a tough question. I love the classics, like John Coltrane and Frank Sinatra, but some days the Beastie Boys and Nirvana take front stage. When I’m designing, Tom Waits keeps me company.”
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
“I am extremely lucky that I can work from home and run the household. I piece in laundry, cooking and grocery shopping in between making jewellery, and I try not to work on weekends unless I have a retail show to go to.”
What’s your favourite series to binge-watch on Netflix?
“Right now, it's The 100. Although, before they took it off streaming I watched and re-watched all the Doctor Who I could!”