Photography tools

Heather B. Moore on the tools that ultimately shaped her – JCK

Heather B. Moore grew up in Cleveland, a steel town where garage sales are full of old tools, stamping dies, and other symbols of the city’s manufacturing past and present. Before even thinking about becoming a jeweler, Moore said that this kind of metalworking equipment filled her toolbox.

“It’s been in my bones since the 1980s,” says Moore. “I started collecting tools at the age of 13. I had to borrow $ 10 from my mom to buy the first stamp I wanted.

This eye led Moore to pursue art in a variety of mediums, but none that she expected. She dabbled in photography, then moved on to the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she trained as a Venetian glassblower with a minor in metals. This led her to move to New York City, where she got a full time job in metals with famous artist Judy Pfaff.

It was when her sister, Wendy, started working with jewelry due to her interest in fashion that Moore found her gaze turned to gold, silver and gemstones. Wendy needed someone to make jewelry for her fashion shows and work on Los Angeles-based films, so Moore decided to give it a go.

Heather B Moore Jewelry
Heather B. Moore says she hopes her jewelry will help her clients capture special moments, like a child’s first drawing or the last letter from a beloved sister.

Moore says she started with chains and then added glass beads and stones. She quickly turned to gems. Moore’s early love for tools and stamps kicked in and she began making her own tools. She also began to offer personalization in a highly specialized way, like only a kid in Cleveland could.

This Cleveland influence is important on several levels. By then, Moore and his family – which had grown to include four children – had come home to live. She made jewelry in her home, and steel stamps were the perfect way to turn a blank slate of a charm, locket, or other piece of jewelry into something unique.

“The first pieces I made were with the names of my children,” says Moore. “It’s a reflection of who you are, your accomplishments and your challenges along the way. It’s real, and even when times aren’t easy, you have to embrace it.

Today, Moore’s work takes treasured keepsakes such as a grandma’s handwritten recipe or a child’s drawing and turns them into lasting art for her clients to wear. She and her team craft every tool and part by hand, and it fits every person’s specifications exactly. Customers also receive the tool that made their part, something beautiful in itself, she says.

“Sometimes I think I’m an archivist at heart,” says Moore.

Jill Biden Heather Moore
Seeing First Lady Jill Biden wear her children’s names on the jewelry Heather B. Moore created for her is a dream come true, Moore says.

From his own children to celebrities to first ladies, Moore says his work aims to cement special moments in metal that descends to the molecular level. That way, the item is heirloom of the highest quality, something that suits the customer and why they wear it in the first place, Moore says.

For example, the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, owns several personalized jewelry pieces from Moore, which she wears when she goes out with the public or speaks. Dr Biden has been seen wearing several different combinations of his pieces, including several with the names of his children.

“I started this business to help people cherish who they are. Knowing that FLOTUS is a fan is a dream come true, ”says Moore. “I am honored that she is wearing it.”

Every observation reminds Moore why she got into this kind of jewelry, because she wants to express what is most important to each customer.

“It could be a drawing made by one of their children, the date or place of their wedding, or a note from one of their grandparents. These define who you are and we turn them into jewelry so they’re always with you, ”says Moore. “You can start with just one memory, like the day your child was born, and then add more over the years, one piece at a time. “

Above: Heather B. Moore says the tools she started collecting at age 13 have helped her find her way from glass to precious metals, which she turns into her signature jewelry (all photos are courtesy of Heather B. Moore).

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