Conceptualizing and creating artwork connects me to many things the past and a connection to ancestors; self-identity; beauty and simplicity; my voice a voice to speak about these connections and to address society at large.
In all my work I enjoy exploring the qualities that metal can offer both conceptually and aesthetically. Metal is an excellent conductor and I feel that this extends to conducting ideas through its markings and scars a graphic record of history. Reticulation, stamping, raising, casting, and patination all add to the inherent beauty of the metal surface.
Heidi BigKnife received her Associates Degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe with a focus on photography, metalsmithing, and videography. She also received a BA in Studio Art from Beloit College and an MFA from the University of Illinois.
Heidi adds that she is also inspired by language, history, texture, kinetics, beauty, and nature. She embellishes her pieces with freshwater pearls and other natural stones and beads such as turquoise, shell, and moonstone materials that speak to her of Earth and Water. These ideas she says guide me in creating jewelry that I hope is entirely unique.