Today we’d like to introduce you to Cathy Flesher.
Cathy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always had the creative spirit within me… from my younger years walking with my siblings through the neighborhood on the hunt for rocks, flowers, and four-leaf clover; I’ve gravitated toward nature and beauty.
However, I didn’t consider it as a career until later in life after working a few “corporate” jobs. Taking care of my autistic son meant working from home and that led to time for creative pursuits such as paper arts, watercolor painting, journaling, beading, and finally custom jewelry making which has become my passion and business for the past several years, Infinite Designs by Cathy Flesher.
Over the years, my husband and I have been on many travel adventures together and experienced amazing natural beauty. I’m grateful for those trips, which continually reinforce my need to create art that offers others a little piece of what I’ve been lucky to experience. My jewelry making helps me make sense of the world and stay in the moment and beauty all around us. Sounds a little zen but that’s what keeps me going!
As a self-taught artist, I read a lot, mostly instructional non-fiction that is probably boring to many people but I love to learn new techniques, combine them, and then teach them to others in a simple, understandable way that makes jewelry making accessible. I’m a visual learner, often watching YouTube videos to enhance my skills, and love sharing ideas that bring out the best in others who may be just learning how to make jewelry but want some mentorship, advice, and simple ideas on how to start. I was lucky enough along my journey to also learn from friends, teachers, and other talented artists and enjoy doing the same for others.
I moved to Arizona almost three years ago from the Midwest and living here provides inspiration everywhere. I can literally sit in my studio all day with my two cats, Koa and Shaka, watching birds swoop into my backyard fountain and it’s hard not to be motivated to create something.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My work is all custom, one-of-a-kind jewelry and I’m always trying to do new things. Sometimes my “wandering focus” makes things challenging because I’ll start a project and then need to step away to clear my head which sometimes leads to tackling another often entirely different task…like gardening or cooking. I love creating but I’m not as great at promoting my own work so talking about my jewelry is often a challenge. My husband and friends help me with that part! When I get into the “creative zone” I can really be productive, often producing multiple pieces a week. As with many things, it’s finding the right balance which we all are trying to achieve.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I focus on making necklaces, earrings, bracelets, charms, and rings and try to repurpose things I’ve collected over the years. I use and combine a variety of techniques and my current passion is working with metal clay often combined with found objects or organic matter, such as a prickly pear cactus. I definitely don’t pass up a feather and have been known to bring home some strange found objects from my neighborhood walks!
I’m most proud of being self-taught but always pushing myself to learn more. I differentiate myself because I don’t make the same thing twice and love that my jewelry brings excitement and often an emotional attachment to others when they wear it. Often, I’ll sketch my design first and I love the transformation a piece takes from beginning to end. Opening up my kiln to see a new creation emerge is exhilarating.
Items that people also seem to enjoy are soldered charms made from vintage and sometimes personal images and now I’m using soldering techniques to repurpose vintage china into fresh new necklaces and earrings. I’m hopeful that I will continue to push myself, expand my knowledge, and continue to create jewelry that invokes passion in others.
What do you love about our city and what do you dislike?
After living in the Midwest most of my life, it’s spectacular to see the sun almost every day! All the options to get outside…hiking, golfing, visiting wonderful parks make each day an adventure and almost as if I’m living a permanent vacation. That’s hard to beat. As a foodie, there are some amazing restaurants in the area and you don’t actually have to jump on a highway to get most places. There’s really nothing I dislike about Arizona other than perhaps the need to make a lot of U-turns. Sounds like a metaphor for life!
- Website: www.amazon.com/handmade/InfiniteDesigns
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cathyflesher/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InfiniteDesignsbyCathyFlesher/
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/CathyFlesher/