Happy Easter Everyone! Today I am introducing Colleen Puglia from Rustic Heart Studio in New Jersey. I met Colleen thru a Mastermind Business Class that we are currently taking together. She really liked my art dolls and she is now the happy owner of this doll. I was delighted when she purchased her. I know my doll went to a very special place. Let's get to know more about what inspires Colleen and her work of art.
-Please tell us about yourself. Where are you originally from? How did you start this journey? I am from New Jersey. I grew up in the Meadowlands area 10 minutes outside of New York City. I am one of 6 children in my family, number 5. My oldest sister is a very talented artist. No matter what she does, sewing, reupholstering, trompe-l’oil on walls/steps, watercolors, acrylics, pastels etc. I am in awe. She is 11 years older than me and always encouraged my creativity. My next sister is a writer, the next an interior designer then my 2 brothers are incredible musicians. All of them did their art as a hobby because my neighbor, a first born of immigrants and a WW2 veteran said we had to go to college to study something we could make money at. He meant well. Those were the 60s and 70s. I loved crafting as a child, but we had no art education in school. I had a neighbor, a retired gentleman that would take me and one of my siblings into the city. He would take us to museums then to The Arts Students League where he was studying art. My neighbor studied sculpting and worked in stone and marble. At his home, he let us sculpt in clay at his kitchen table. My neighbor was a big influence in my life. My journey was a winding road to today. I now live in the western part of New Jersey surrounded by country roads and farms. I am 10 minutes from Pennsylvania and the artsy town of New Hope.
-Is there something that you are currently learning to amplify your skills? Sometimes I think of myself as a scientist/artist. I love figuring out how something is done, honing that skill then moving to the next thing. I love working in metal and started by taking a jewelry metalsmithing class at a local art museum about 5 years ago. I loved the class but did not enjoy only making fine jewelry. When I found out that Susan Lenart Kazmer was giving classes at Beadfest, I took the class and I fell in love with her style. I am still struggling to find my own voice. I want to do enamels, metals, concrete, resin…(it’s that scientist issue).
-What inspires your work? My inspiration is the rusted old barns and farm equipment around my county. It brings me such joy. I also love going to Philadelphia and seeing the graffiti art and old buildings that are worn and tattered.
-Where can we find out online and see your jewelry? I can be found thru my website www.rusticheartstudio.com; @rusticheartstudio on Instagram and Rustic Heart Studio on Facebook. I make jewelry part-time as my husband and I are retired so we like to get out and travel. I cannot wait to get back to that after Covid! This year I chose to register for 5 juried shows so I can be seen. I tend to be an introvert in a bubble and that does not create many sales.
-What do you wish to accomplish by sharing your artistry with others? I love to share my art at shows because I like to encourage women that it is never too late to start a new journey that is so fulfilling.
-Do you have a beauty routine passed down from an older generation? I do not have a beauty routine passed down to me but rather up to me. My daughter left her 70-hour week corporate job to become an aesthetician. She wanted to do something she felt would help people. She encourages good skincare and shares the products that she has studied. She is on me all the time to wear sunscreen everyday! (quite a shift from me telling her that all her teenage years).
-What is most important in your life? My family is most important to me. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and greatest help. My daughters are just so inspiring to me and make me so proud.
-Do you have a personal motto? My motto is “I can do hard things”. When I get frustrated and want to quit what I am doing I repeat this to myself. Positive self-talk is something I chase all the time. I am truly a work in progress.
Here are some beautiful pieces that Collen has created, and they are available in her website.
Her beautiful studio logo:
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Love + Light
Jenn Sher ⚛️🌀💟