Artist Update: Sherri Haab

Posted September 21 2015

We filmed two wonderful video workshops with Sherri Haab: Precious Metal Clay Jewelry and Resin Jewelry.  We could have filmed many more with the variety of skills Sherri has.  We are pleased to catch up with Sherri to learn more about what she has been doing.

What have you been doing since filming here at Creative Catalyst?  I continue to write books and teach as well as sell a jewelry making product line. 


Do you remember any highlights about your visit to Creative Catalyst to film your videos?  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  I was just on the other side of a major jaw surgery at the time and so my mouth was full of braces, hooks and rubber bands holding everything together.  I remember hoping to talk around all of that so that no one would notice.  I also remember Jim and Lynn's lovely home and gardens.  Lynn made candy with the pears from her tree.  Those were the best.  Most of all I was impressed by the family and crew and how well everyone worked together. 


Did creating a video change your career path in any way?  YES!! In the past people only knew me through books and maybe a TV show here and there.  This video was one of the first opportunities I had that reached out in a personal way for people to get to know my work and to learn in a more intimate setting.  It set a pattern for teaching and becoming more of a public figure.



What did other artists or students say about your video?  Many students have come to my classes and have remarked that they watch the videos and have been inspired by them to learn more.  They say that the video is what gave them the confidence that they could tackle a skill that was otherwise intimidating at first.


Tell us how your art has changed / evolved in the last few years?  My work and art has changed driven by market demand.  Right now EVERYONE wants to electroform and so I spend a lot of my time keeping up with product and education to support that interest.  


What subjects, styles, materials are catching your interest these days?  I gravitate towards fiber arts, knots in particular.  I've always loved macrame and knotting and have written 2 books this past year on the subject.  I continue to use metal and other mixed media as always. Nature is and probably always will be my inspiration for everything I do. 


What inspires you to keep creating?   Um, I have a the equivalent of a craft store worth of "stuff" in my studio that is just waiting to be made into something wonderful.  I'm afraid I won't get to most of it in my life and then it will be my kid's problem to sort through all of the bins and bottles of beads and other supplies.  Creating something new is a natural high and that keeps me going.


Have you had some obstacles to overcome to continue art?  How did you overcome them?  This one is easy.  In a word "SOCIAL MEDIA".  I feel the pressure to keep up and to spend time online and that takes time away from getting the physical work done.  It is necessary as an artist in the world today but I struggle with the finding balance and often miss the pre-internet days. 


Are you continuing to teach art?  Haha, so having just said I long for pre-internet days in the previous question, I am spending more time "teaching" by communicating online.  I do teach locally occasionally but find that people are looking for content online more than traveling to shows for a class.  I miss teaching in person because you can't beat what you can convey up close and personal in a class. 


What are some of the most common questions your students have?  Because electroforming is so popular, the most common question I get is "can I electroform in gold or silver?"  and so I wrote an entire post on my website to explain 1) this would be crazy expensive and 2) no one does this traditionally, those metals are usually just used for plating after electroforming in copper.


Problems they have?  In general they want to know everything before ever practicing first.  I find this especially true by the questions I get by email.  It is hard to answer many questions because it's hard to explain something where the person has 0 experience with what you are about to answer.  I find that people want to be fed everything instantly to create things that traditionally take artists years of practice and experience to learn. 


Do you use your videos (or others) in your teaching?  Yes, I refer students to them often and to certain projects when they have questions about a certain technique.


New books, videos, shows, galleries, awards?  Here's a brand new book out this month:


And currently working on a book, The complete guide for knotting and braiding, a book for kids and adults alike.

Have you learned anything new about art marketing?  Social Media is key and I'm learning that I have a long way to go to keep up with this. 


Has the internet changed what you are creating or how you are marketing?  Definitely, I feel that it hijacks my time. Also, I need a 12 year old to keep in the know.


Do you have any advice to someone who wants to learn to paint?

    Watch CCP videos!  


    How do you know when to quit (a painting)?  I know this isn't my question but I am trained as an illustrator and a painter.  I never figured this one out so I guess that's why I'm a jewelry artist now. 


    Where do you see your art taking you in the next 5 to 10 years?  Hopes and dreams?  I want to get back to my illustration roots and spend more time painting, writing and of course making jewelry.  My hopes and dreams are pretty simple, I just want to make things that inspire people to want to make things and have the confidence to do so.  My biggest hope if being able to SEE, wow that goes south the older I get, not fair!