Meet the Maker: Claire Sommers Buck

 

In our new Meet the Maker Series, we will be getting to know the artisans behind all of the wonderful handmade goods we carry in our shop. We feel so lucky to share such a well-curated collection of goods with all of you, and none of this would be possible without the beautiful minds behind these pieces. To kick off our series, we reached out to one of our favorite local vendors, Claire Sommers Buck! Claire has always had a knack for working with her hands, but it wasn’t until later in life where she discovered her love for metalsmithing. Learning more about Claire’s heart behind her craft was such a joy, and we hope you find her story just as compelling as we did!


How did you come to love the art of metalsmithing?

My motivation for craft was instilled in me from birth. Both of my parents are ceramic artists and so at an early age I was rolling around in a dusty ceramics studio shoving clay in my mouth. That background led me to art school, art school immediately scared me away, so I decided to study International Studies, learn Spanish and travel-- -knowing one day I would be an artist.

After college, I took my first metalsmithing class at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. From that point on, it was ‘love at first saw’. I was immediately fascinated with working in metal and the ability to create something that you could then slip on your finger or around your neck. I was smitten.

From that point, I threw myself into making jewelry and spent many a late night experimenting on my own. A handful of part-time jobs later and after calling several states ‘home’, I moved back to Austin, started my business and haven’t looked back since.


Being a native to Texas, would you ever consider moving out of state?

I’ve lived out of state a few times, but the big Texas sky and my fabulous community keep calling me back. I feel the most alive and at home here in Texas, so it’s hard to say that I will ever leave, for long. I would, however, love to live in New York City one day. The pulsating energy of that city is unreal and I know I would enjoy being in that crazy mix for a change.

Do you find yourself feeling more relaxed when you’re working with metals to create your beautiful jewelry pieces? What do you think causes this?

Working with metals definitely puts me in a good place. I absolutely love how responsive metals are as a material and the process of building something from a raw material is very powerful. I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily relaxed when I am working in the studio. Holding a razor sharp saw frame or a wicked hot torch is not the time to necessarily ‘let go’, but I do find the work to be very meditative (in an exhilarating sort of way).


Which kind of scents (can be specific or broad) make you feel the most at peace?

I am a lavender Queen. Something about it’s sweet earthiness strikes a chord with me. Whether it’s to find peace, energize my mood or just smell wonderful, I always gravitate to that beautiful purple flower.

What small actions/practices make a big difference in your day?

Taking the time in the morning for reflection, creative research and yoga makes a huge difference in the pace of my day. I find that it helps set my intentions, makes me more productive and allows me to be a lot kinder to myself throughout the day.

What TV show are you into right now?

I don’t watch much TV, but I have been really into Chef’s Table lately. It is so inspiring to see the creativity, passion and dedication pulsating through each of the chefs. I am looking forward to seeing a craft version of that show simply because I love getting a glimpse into others workspaces and witnessing their creative processes. It makes me realize that harnessing your true passion is an incredibly magical achievement.

Shop her collection available on Slow North. 


Connect with Claire: 
Instagram, Facebook, Website

(Photos by Ashlee Newman Photography and Claire Sommers Buck)