Merritt Hyde has lived in Arab, Alabama for the past six years and likes living in a small town where there are few distractions and it’s quiet. Besides her husband and her son, Gibson, who is five years old, she lives with her duck and goose, aptly named Duck and Goose. Merritt is a mother, wife and artist and loves nature, music and art. Visit her store here.
How long have you been creating with metal?
For 11 years.
I began painting on tin in 1998 and it soon progressed into experimenting with materials, technique and 3D objects. I wanted to transform the tin in to something totally new and beautiful…for it to be “reborn” without losing the integrity of its journey. In retrospect I can see that this was a personal journey as well as an artistic one and it continues to this day to challenge me.
Why did you start?
I had been searching for a medium that fulfilled me. Rusted tin was what I had been looking for and it continues to challenge me to be more creative.
What are the items needed to make them?
It really depends on what it is that I am making. But most all of my items require tin, paint and enamel.
Where do you get your materials?
Off old barns. I like to look for other discarded (unloved) items and make them into something loveable.
Can you tell us a little of your process?
For me the process of creation can be a long one. I jot down ideas in a notebook and will sketch them. Sometimes it is the materials that speak to me. Other times it is a gift that I make for someone.
Do you have a dedicated work area/room?
I have a cabin. I work in it and on its front porch which overlooks our beautiful 2 acre pond. It is very inspiring. This is my full-time job but very fun.
Where do you get your ideas for new items?
From the materials and a shared love between things I love and things that others love.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Hopefully the same thing only better.
Have any advice for people trying to start their own handcrafted business?
For me, art is a marriage between yourself and art lovers. Challenge yourself to keep that marriage alive and full of passion.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. ~A.A. Milne