Turning nature into jewelry
Shiny objects have always caught Holly Hestand's eye. As a kid, the Hillsdale resident would rummage through her grandmother's jewelry box, marvel at the glamorous items and wear them for a fleeting moment. Years later, she enjoyed West Linn High School's metalsmithing class. Though she displayed her art at schools, street fairs and showcases, pursuing a career in various business fields, Hestand's jewelry-making was more of a side gig. But, as her new shop — Magpie Metals — in the Multnomah Village French Quarter indicates, her passion project is now a full-time job. The store opened in June. "When I started doing it again I remembered how much it resonated with me," she said. "I'm a late bloomer." Hestand described her work as simple and inspired by natural elements and said she frequently uses sterling, gold and recycled materials. Her products reflect her sense of style and comfort. "My jewelry isn't super elaborate. It tends to be fairly simple. That's my style," Hestand said. "I love to see women in big, giant necklaces and amazing earrings but that's not what I do. What I make are things I like and would like to wear." Some of her pieces include a ring filled with crystals from Moroccan geodes, a ring made of driftwood burrell she found in southeastern Oregon and turquoise earrings from China. I am so inspired by natural forms," she said. "I've been collecting rocks and mossy sticks for years just because I'm attracted to shiny things." She's beginning to cut and polish more stones herself and is taking a metalsmithing class at Multnomah Arts Center this summer. "There's endless processes and things to learn about in jewelry making. I feel like I'll never be done, which
is what's so appealing about it I think," Hestand said. Hestand previously worked in a shared space with other artists. After her work was on display at Multnomah Village's First Friday, the owner of the French Quarter informed her that the shop was available. In turn, Hestand seized the opportunity. "I love the light. I love the community. I love the location," she said. "It's absolutely everything I was wanting. It's not a very big space but I can fit my bench (where she crafts her jewelry) in here and I can sell. I couldn't have conceived of a better first shop for me." The shop also includes paintings, sculptures, ceramics and pillows made by other local artists. "I think it rounds out the shop and I think any retail store you kind of want to cover all your bases," Hestand said. "If someone doesn't want a piece of jewelry then maybe they'll want a piece of art." So far, she likes the feel of the French Quarter. "The French Quarter itself has continued to morph and change and I feel like it's continued to come into its own," Hestand said. "I want to grow the business here and then see where it goes from there."