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My Story

I have always been creative, and at a young age, I embraced singing, acting and dancing. I still love music and theater, and our home is often filled with music, but my creative expression now has a home in jewelry metal arts.

 Discovering Creativity

I am a bibliophile and lover of language. Books live in every room in our home, even my studio. As a kid, I would read all afternoon on a sun-filled porch or in a cozy corner. Through books, I began to learn about my capacity to serve and love others. In college, my academic study helped me to further my life-long quest to understand human interaction and creativity though the study of language and linguistics.

A move to New Mexico in 2000, coupled with completing graduate school, led me to work in higher education and community colleges. For thirteen years, I worked with at-risk students, first as a curriculum developer for academic support programs, and then as a full-time professor teaching composition, technical writing, and linguistics. No big surprise for someone who always felt most at home with her nose in a book.

Throughout my time in higher education, I took art classes in ceramics and then jewelry arts. These were a way for me to ground myself. They fascinated me the way language did, but I realized they also made me happy. I was ready to find a way to honor my creative self.

 An Artist at Last

In 2013, Earth & Stone and Karla Hackman Designs were born. Now I create jewelry full time. I love being a sole proprietor and primarily do all of the work alone, although I have occasionally employed others for contract work and casting. Running a business is rewarding and sometimes scary. I have learned self reliance, built confidence, and developed creative problem-solving skills. I have also learned how to use some badass tools along the way!

Today, I have a successful microbusiness that specializes in creating handmade, modern art jewelry in sterling silver, fine silver, and 18 karat gold.  I create beautiful and unique designs using faceted gemstones and one-of-a-kind cabochons. I love that my jewelry brings joy to my clients and that my designs highlight their inherent beauty and unique sense of style.

 Influences and Inspirations

My current designs are sculptural and organic. I am inspired by the natural landscape of the desert, Southwest and by contemporary architectural and geometric forms I have encountered through traveling in Europe, Mexico, and the United States, as well as my study of various artistic periods. I spend time in nature and in our garden with my dogs every day, and our home is filled with plants, animals, color, and abstract art. All influence my world view and the work I create.

 I use a variety of techniques to explore the natural asymmetry that exists in both nature and in geometric design. I integrate forging, piercing, sinking, chasing, rolling, and overlay work in metal with hand carved/cast forms.  Once designs and special pieces are fabricated, then they are highlighted with surface patina to accent the mixed metals and textures in each piece. Finally, they are set with colored gemstones and one-of-a-kind cabochons.  

Unique Designs

My current collections, all designed and created by me, unite organic and raw textures with modern lines, geometric forms, and negative space to create bold and wearable art for women and men. 

My art jewelry is unique, distinct, and gorgeous. It is personal and reflects the way we express who we are and how we interact in the world. Please enjoy my website, and I hope you find a special piece to express your style and creativity.

If you are interested in a particular design featured on this website, but don't see it in the current products' list, please contact us.  

Wonder where you can find my work?

My work is available at Galleria Gaia, 225 Canyon, Rd., Santa Fe, NM

You can also visit me at an upcoming art show or festival.