As a little girl, Amy Hackerd wanted a pony. Instead, her master-tinker grandfather gifted her with an anvil covered in a dusty saddle that he dubbed "Ole Licorice." At the time, Hackerd was heartbroken. Now she understands—"It was his way of forcing me to use my imagination,” she says. “And it also gave me some serious quality time just hanging in the woodshed with my grandpa, watching him goof off and make stuff.”
Years later, Hackerd still tries to remind herself that tinkering is the important part of creating as she crafts her jewelry line, Ole Licorice Designs, named for that very anvil. Based in Austin for the last six years, Hackerd creates pieces that range from simple, elegant things she’d love to wear herself to more emotional, dramatic creations that require a slightly different kind of perception. “Trying to tap into that primal thing is a little bit more challenging,” she says. “It’s about going to a place we’re not supposed to go, and creating something that I might never wear as a person but that somebody is going to find profound meaning in."
A trained opera singer, Hackerd never considered jewelry when she was younger because she was “destined for Broadway,” she says with a laugh. She’s still a singer, but notes that the two art forms couldn’t be more different. “As a singer, I’m an actress,” she says. “I’m allowed to be other people, to be an extrovert and to be lost in a whole other world.” And with jewelry? “I’m much more of an introvert. I get to be quiet within myself.” For more information, see olelicoricedesigns.com. Amy will be selling her jewelry at the East Austin Studio Tour with Eye Like Design on Cherico Street.
Silk cords — I love color. I'm addicted to the colors that silk cord provides in a necklace. It's a pop of vibrancy.
Vintage bottles — In the beginning, I couldn’t afford mandrels. I would walk around the house and find stuff to wrap metal around. I still use these all the time for shaping.
Geode — I’m a huge fan of gems and minerals. This geode my son cracked, and I use it for display. Sometimes I just stare at it when I draw a blank, and usually an idea will come.
My kids’ artwork — I’m constantly inspired by what my children draw. The shapes and color schemes used. There is no filter or fear with them.
Tackle box — The ultimate in organizing tools, metals, and cabochons for transport.
A picture of my grandparents — American Gothic style. They are watching over me.
Anvil — The original “Ole Licorice” has retired and is poolside in Florida with my uncle. I have a most worthy substitute that was a gift from Jack Sanders, of Design Build Adventure.
My needle file set — It’s a great sound, hearing metal being scraped away.
Books — My Ed Wiener book, because I love the Modernist era. The shapes and ideas were “outside the box” during this time. My Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre book The Ruins of Detroit. I was born and raised in the Detroit area. I find great beauty and inspiration in that city. I look at that city like a grandparent. It’s run-down, crippled, suffering, and in pain, but it paved the way for all Americans. Detroit deserves respect. As Confucius said, “Everything has beauty, not everyone sees it.”
Ball-peen hammer — I get great satisfaction out of hammering stuff. It’s a controlled release and can change the whole look of a piece.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more