Atlanta artist, Kristi Hyde, is a self taught jewelry designer who has been creating one of a kind handmade jewelry since the year 2000. She was born and raised in north Alabama, has a BFA in illustration from the Savannah College of Art & Design (1998), a passion for drawing, painting, sculpture and gardening. In 2013, André Leon Talley, former American Editor-At-Large for Vogue Magazine personally selected one of Miss Hyde’s favorite statement necklaces from a gallery in Savannah, GA to exhibit with a Zac Posen gown in Paris, France for his curated show- Little Black Dress. Her work has been collected by women across the US, sold in small boutiques and galleries (mostly scattered around the southeast) and also sold by the artist herself at indoor and outdoor art fairs.
The design process for Hyde’s work begins by her mindfully choosing botanicals such as hydrangea flowers, orchid leaves, seed pods and bark to become the focal points of each finished work. She sculpts onto these natural forms with precious metal clays using a paintbrush and sculpting tools, and then sinters them in a kiln which is what alchemizes the clay body into metal. Each metal botanical is finished by polishing, setting stones and applying a special patina by hand, achieving dimensions of color that give them all a lifelike appearance. And finally, the last step is figuring out how she’ll incorporate her botanical sculptures into a necklace, bracelet, ring or earrings along with semi precious stones, pearls, leathers and chains.
I am a southern independent artist and jewelry designer, born and raised near the river banks, pine forests and cotton fields of Decatur, AL. I graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 1998, and moved to Atlanta, GA in 1999 to pursue my field… Atlanta was to be my “pit-stop” until I unexpectedly began making and selling jewelry in 2001. And now, over 10 years later, I am very fortunate to say that my artisan jewelry business continues to grow and thrive in this ever evolving southern city…
My jewelry designs are inspired by nature, the pulse of an urban life, and a long time love and appreciation for antique jewelry and fine art. The style of my jewelry is modern vintage infused with an organic design philosophy and a fairytale aesthetic…. I do my best to find balance in asymmetry and to honor the perfect imperfections of our natural world… a broken twig, the skeleton of a leaf starting to reveal itself, the way a hydrangea blossom turns from soft white to coppery brown, all the while keeping its perfect grace and form. The orchid leaves I use in my jewelry curl in such a way when they are drying as if they are dancing for one last time. I then, capture their last performance; their last shriveling and curling wish to be beautiful perhaps, into silver and gold.
My design perspective follows my belief that every element in a piece should have a relationship with the next, no matter how significant or insignificant. The simplest parts of a design are equally important as the intricate parts. I feel that the attention to detail, along with the unexpected compositions and imaginative implementations of color and textures, are what gives my jewelry its distinctive style. I want my customers to feel they are investing in something really special for themselves, something that cannot be found just anywhere…
Essence, or mood, is another driving force within my jewelry designs. We talk and walk, dress and embellish ourselves according to it everyday, and just as it changes from time to time, it also evolves. So, it’s only natural that mood plays a significant role in how I select my materials that ultimately inspires my designs. Jewelry is worn to express emotion just as it is worn to express personality and an individual sense of style. I believe jewelry should be worn for its beauty and for fashion, but also as a reflection of personality and a representation of the intuitive spirit.
My experimental nature is what I believe keeps my work fresh and imaginative. My silver and gold orchid leaves came about by pure happenstance and that is my favorite part of the creative process. Along with my orchid leaves collection, are accompanying collections of hydrangea blossoms, pods and branches. I make every piece by hand and finish each piece with polish and patina. My pieces also integrate an array of gemstones and pearls, leather, silk and various precious metals. My designs have a romantic and bohemian spirit, are sculptural, fluid, beautifully uncommon, and one of a kind.