Mary Hettmansperger—Mary Hetts, more commonly and for short—is a multimedia artist comfortable working in fiber, metal, and beadwork, but perhaps most comfortable combining these media in ever-evolving intelligent, intuitive, and spontaneous ways. She’s taught at craft schools like Arrowmont and category-specific shows like the Bead & Button Show, had her work showcased in a glittering array of publications, and authored three well-received jewelry books: the new Mixed Metal Jewely Workshop, as well as Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet and Fabulous Woven Jewelry. Always joyfully busy with her artwork and family, Mary paused just long enough to answer a few questions about her career and life.
Jewelry by Mary Hettmansperger
What does a great day for you look like, Mary?
I wake up early and well rested, and I have a good cup of coffee and some time on the computer to write. Then I head for the studio.
My husband and son are out on the golf course or fishing, and I’m free from cooking or considering their schedule. I work until mid-afternoon in the studio, and then I head out in the sun for some mowing and gardening for the rest of the day.
I take a cool shower, eat something like ice cream or cereal for dinner, and then—with several great movies in hand—go back to the studio to work late into the night.
The day ends with me crawling into clean sheets and falling asleep to the sound of rain.
On a winter day, the studio time would be all day, the boys would be skiing, and it would be snowing out.
How did you get here? Take that question any way you want to.
I was born and raised in Colorado. I always wanted to be an artist. But somewhere in my teens I decided that I should be more practical and decided to become a nurse.
I was in my first year of college when it hit me that I really needed to follow my passion. I quit nursing. I married my husband. We moved to Indiana. And then I went back to school for my artwork.
What do you think it was that helped form that dream of being an artist, and what helped you achieve it?
My father was an artist who really never got the opportunity to work in art. He seemed to lack the confidence to pursue his dreams. I could tell it was hard for him. And it was hard to watch.