Wendy Edsall-Kerwin first discovered her love of jewelry and metals while in art school. After school she wandered away from her hobby until her own wedding brought her back in order to handcraft her jewelry for the big occasion. It took a few more years, moves, and some dedicated class time, but eventually this hobby led her to launch her business ‘Hammerstroke & Fire‘ out of her home in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
While making metal bowls was a deep passion of hers, she found them unsellable, so she took her hammer and began learning foldforming; a technique she now uses for her intricate cuffs and other jewelry. While she works a full time job elsewhere, ‘Hammerstroke & Fire’ has slowly emerged out of her garage thanks to the help of social media outlets like her blog ‘Hammermarks‘ and Twitter as @wtek .
Wendy shared that her love of the hammer helps her to de-stress and unwind. She enjoys creating pieces that you are unlikely to find in major retailers. For ‘Hammerstroke & Fire’, commercialism and high production are not possible, and she prefers “more one of kind pieces” that are difficult to go into a production line. The beauty of the hammer working process are the unique textures and cuts that each piece holds.
Over the holiday season, Wendy launches a special “12 days of Cuffmas” drive to help promote the sales of her cuffs. In return, she donates $10 from each cuff sale to Heifer International towards the purchase of a goat for villages in need. This great promotion has helped her reach out through the Twitter community and ensured her a local sale that she would have not made without the use of social media. Since her promotion, she has noticed an increase in blog traffic and hopes that will soon carry over to her business.
I toured her clean and organized garage that is converted into a fully working studio, and was very intrigued by the numerous hammers, metal, torches, and other machinery that she uses to create her jewelry. Wendy explained that metalworking can become quite pricey with the constantly fluctuating prices of metal, as well as the tools needed to create each piece.
While she admits that it is hard to gauge her increase in sales from the help of social media vs. the influx of the economy, she does feel that her blog and Twitter have allowed her to reach new customers and other artists. Wendy’s unique pieces can be purchased through her website, and information regarding her talent can be found on her blog.