Sherri with her sister and mom.
In our "Handmade Conversations" series, we ask amazing people in the craft, food and fashion industries a few questions that provide you with a glimpse into their world. This week's featured person is Sherri Haab, jewelry designer and author of "The Art of Metal Clay."
Sherri is a pioneer of the American Metal Clay revolution, and is noted for creating a product called "ITS," which allows printed images to be applied to polymer, metal and clay.
What was the first craft item you made?
I started making crafts at age 4, and don't remember the official first thing but do remember several items. I made a pendant out of play dough and waited for it to dry so I could wear it. When you are 4 this is an eternity. I also made macaroni necklaces, made from pasta dyed with food coloring.
The photo (left) shows New Year's Eve hats I colored and made. I remember having trouble making the flat paper into cones. I'm the one in the middle. My sister and Mom are on either side.
Tell us about your crafting experience.
When I start a project, I work straight through the day and into the night. I have a hard time walking away once I start working.
I like to listen to the news on TV, and like to work at the kitchen table so that I can be there as the family is coming and going. I used to work mostly at night but my eyes are failing as I get older. I am a night person at heart, though.
What is your dream craft project?
I want to cover a table with a mosaic design made from broken dishes — maybe someday.
Describe your personal style in 3 words.
Romantic, botanical and playful.
In addition to crafting, what other talents do you have?
Baking and cooking — candy-making, especially. The ability to teach others and to generate new ideas are other talents that come in handy, in addition to crafting.
What advice would you give to aspiring craft authors?
Write about things you are passionate about and others will share your enthusiasm.
I had a difficult time getting "The Art of Metal Clay" published but persistence paid off. It was eventually picked up by Watson Guptill and has been a successful title. Books are a labor of love and they take a long time to write. You have to be dedicated to meet deadlines and to deliver a finished manuscript you are proud of.
Also, be aware of the market. What types of books are doing well? What is missing in the market that you can provide? Read the submission guidelines from prospective publishers and be professional when you submit a book proposal.
If you were only allowed to send out one tweet or Facebook post for the rest of this year, what would you say?
Trust your instincts. Don't second guess yourself (I keep having to tell myself this over and over).
Visit Sherri Haab's website to learn more about her work, and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.