HOTS Spotlight: Meet Cole of Cole Hastings Jewelry & Furnishings

Sunday, November 23, 2014
The most exciting part of planning an event is discovering talented artists and artisans to bring into the fold. We could not be more excited to have Cole Hastings Jewelry & Furnishings as part of Holiday on the Square.  They create gorgeous functional pieces of jewelry and home d├ęcor with wood, metal and 3-D printing technology. Check out our interview with Cole of Cole Hastings and make sure to stop by and visit them at Holiday on the Square!  

Tell us a little about Cole Hastings and your jewelry and furnishing design. What types of pieces do you create?

I create contemporary objects that decorate the body and the home. Working with an idea of the home as an extension of the person who lives there, the objects they choose to surround themselves with are just as intimate a thought to the jewelry they wear. The pieces are all designed around some core beliefs of mine. The first being that everyone should have access to great design. I take inspiration from places like high-end designers to geometry and funnel a lot of time and research into crafting objects that are aesthetically pleasing, while trying hard to keep them affordable. The second core belief is one of full life cycle. I look at where my materials come from and the construction methods I use for them. An example would be my 3D printed furnishings. The plastic I use is called PLA and is made from corn and bio-degradable. I care about the environment and what happens at the end of the life of the pieces I make. The third and final core belief is that home furnishings are the jewelry of the home. 

Your work encompasses both old-school fine craft such as woodworking and blacksmithing as well as cutting edge 3-D modeling. When did you first become interested in fine craft & design and how has your craft developed?

Great question, I started as a blacksmith and armor reproduction maker when I was still in high school. After several years I decided to take my interest in Crafts further, so I enrolled at Kutztown University. They have an amazing Crafts department and I had two wonderful professors there that brought out the best in me, David Rogers and Jim Malenda. Rogers taught me everything I know about woodworking and sculpture. He was a constant push to get better at what I do and explore why I do it. I had already had about seven years of computer modelling experience before Rogers classes, but he refined my abilities to allow me to model and design in the computer far better now. Malenda taught me a lot about fine metal work and Craft history. He was a huge influence into my understanding the people that came before me. He also fostered a passion for technique and developing those skill sets. In the years since I had these amazing teachers I have worked to perfect and understand my Crafts. 3D modelling/printing is a cornerstone of my style and I am continuing to develop and educate about this brave new world. 

Can you tell our readers a little about 3D modeling and how you use the technology in your creations?

3D modelling is the beginning of any object I make. It is my way of sketching and explaining to others what I am thinking. I have been using a 3D printer more and more to make individual objects out of a bio-degradable plastic called PLA. It is a process I have been working on for the better part of 3-4 years. Lately I have been starting to make molds of my 3D printed objects to be able to produce in a higher quantity. This technology is the future of manufacturing and allows me to prototype designs in days that would normally take months if not longer. That allows me to bring my designs to market faster. Even with all the technology, the heart of a craftsman wanting everything to be as close to perfect as possible is still very much there.

Having studied and practiced so many different crafts, do you have a first love?

I have a good listing of crafts under my belt. Including pouring glass, woodworking, blacksmithing, fine metal work, a dabble of ceramics, and even candle making. My first love would have to be blacksmithing. There is a beautiful and noble history to this particular craft. It all started when my mom took me to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire when I was young. I became enthralled by Arthurian Legend and still am to this day. But, every time I pick up a hand tool and work wood or metal in the same way that has been done for thousands of years I feel a link back to every person who has done the same movements. There is something wonderful that fills my heart with fulfillment when I work with a chisel or file.

What will you have in store for our shoppers at Holiday on the Square?

All sorts of beautiful handmade stainless steel jewelry with accents of titanium and aluminum to start. There will be home furnishings made in wood and 3D printed. And, I will be showing off some of the newest designs I have, including a brand new bottle opener design that is completely original. 

Where else can people find your work?

Mostly on my website, shows, Instagram, and Facebook. I try and keep things local and original. I love meeting new customers and making people happy with new objects that can be cherished for years.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Absolutely! I will be having a couple special sales that you will only be able to get by coming to Holiday on the Square, including a sale on earrings of "buy two get one free!" So come on out and get some wonderful jewelry and home furnishings.

Find out more about Cole Hastings:
Twitter: @cole_hastings
Instagram: @colehastings

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