This week, Asher Gallery Manager, Suzanne Sippel, shares her thoughts on Houston metalsmith and jeweler, Heidi Gerstacker.
I have worked in the Asher Gallery at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft a little over four years. When I first started here, my mind was boggled by how many jewelers I represented, along with the sheer breadth of aesthetics and techniques. Having spent some time with fine jewelry in my former life, it was fun to start looking at fine-craft jewelry and seeing each piece as part of a larger oeuvre and not necessarily as client-driven work. There’s a great feeling when artists explain their techniques and passions. This was something I really enjoyed as I got to know Heidi Gerstacker.
Heidi has been represented by the Asher Gallery since November 2002 and has also been an active part of HCCC since its inception. She is active in the arts community in Houston and is part of its bloodlines. Having attended jewelry classes at Bellaire High School and earning her MFA from the University of Houston, Heidi is an integral part of Houston’s metalsmithing tradition. As we got to know each other, I was struck by how rare this is. We may have many transplants and late-bloomers, particularly in fine craft, but there are few born-and-bred Houston career artists.
Working primarily in sterling silver, Heidi has created a consistent body of work over the years. Upon hearing marquise, most people think of diamonds or bad romance novels, but those in the know think of Heidi’s work. This shape forms the basis of her production jewelry. The crisp clean edges of the marquise bring out the strength of the precious metals and the precision of the maker’s hand. I believe this is what accounts for the timeless look that her pieces hold. They would and will feel modern, regardless of the era. But this is not the only part of Heidi’s aesthetic. She looks for the balance between having production pieces and defining one-off studio work. This is a difficult line for many artists to walk—creating works that can support their careers, while still producing the art that drove them into their fields initially.
It is this balance that you will find at Heidi Gerstacker’s Trunk Show at the Asher Holiday Soiree on November 17th. You’ll find both stunning original pieces and the classic jewelry that has made Heidi a household name on the Houston jewelry scene. This is a special event for the Asher, as it is our first trunk show with Heidi in many years. It’s also rare to find so much of Heidi’s work at one time, so do not miss this opportunity!
We’ve scheduled this event to fall on the first evening of the Houston Museum District’s Member Sale. With a current membership (at HCCC or any of the museums in the District), you’ll receive a 20% discount off your purchases (some restrictions may apply). We have made it as easy as possible to add to your collection of Heidi Gerstacker jewelry or to cross names off your holiday gift list. Now it is up to you to visit us! Heidi’s trunk show will take place Thursday, November 17, 5:30 – 8:00 PM, and Saturday, November 19, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Please come early for the best selection—once we’re out, we’re out!
–Suzanne Sippel, Asher Gallery Manager