Interview with Kelley Heckart
C.H. Scarlett :Tell us about the Pagan that lives inside of Kelley and do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?
Kelley says: Well, I was raised Catholic so I was exposed to crosses/crucifixes at an early age. Later, when I decided I didn’t want to be a part of the Catholic Church, I was still drawn to the symbol of the cross. So I did some research and I found out that these ancient symbols were around long before Christianity as the most cherished of religious symbols. It is believed that the ancient cross symbolized the earth’s four directions and the divine center.
Spaniards saw Indians worshipping the cross. The Peruvians and Babylonians had the Maltese cross. The druids were believed to have made their cross out of a stem and two branches of the oak tree. Buddhist crosses are common throughout the East. The Thor’s hammer cross is a well-known Pre-Christian cross and several deities of ancient Egypt hold a cross in their hands. Wheeled crosses are seen on some Pre-Christian stones, possibly as symbols of solar worship. Ireland is known for its many ancient crosses. The ancient faery people of Ireland, the Tuath-de-Danaan, had crosses that were adorned with snakes, birds and other animals. In the Scottish Highlands, the Fiery Cross, when dipped in goat’s blood and flaming, was a message of alarm among the wild tribes. A serpentine figure was often twisted around the Fiery Cross.
This information inspired me. I wanted to create crosses, but with a pagan influence.
C.H. Scarlett : When did you first discover your talent & what inspired you to make these crosses?
Kelley says: When I was a kid, I started picking up shells, driftwood, feathers and interesting rocks. I never knew what to do with all of that stuff until I decided to start making my crosses. My first cross was small and simple. I made it for my mom who was critically ill in the hospital. I don’t know if it was my cross that made her well, but from then on I decided to keep making them.
C.H. Scarlett : What is the process behind your art?
Kelley says: First I go through my Canadian driftwood and match two pieces together to make the cross. Then I stare at the wood for a while, deciding what style to make—Southwest, Goddess or Rune. Then I stare at the wood some more envisioning what crystals, shells and other decorations will work with the piece of wood. If the wood isn’t smooth enough for me to burn in symbols, I have to use something else like strips of leather. Each piece of wood calls for something different and the wood speaks to me.
C.H. Scarlett : What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?
Kelley says: My favorite art is faery/fantasy art like Amy Brown, Jessica Galbreth and Nene Thomas. I also like Susan Seddon-Boulet. Her artwork is so dreamlike with titles like Seven Moons Passing and Playing with the North Wind. Her art is inspired by Native American art and Greek mythology, which inspires me as an artist and writer.
I love all kinds of music, but my favorite bands right now are Icelandic metal bands like Apocalyptica and Nightwish. The music is very energetic and dark with haunting melodies. I also love Flyleaf, Evanescence, Loreena McKennitt and Blackmore’s Night.
C.H. Scarlett : If the world was created in the image of your imagination, what would it be like when we woke up tomorrow and seen it with new eyes?
Kelley says: All the men would be wearing kilts and they would have long hair. LOL Seriously, I think we live in a beautiful world. Where I live in Arizona we have gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. The Colorado River flows through the canyon, a bright turquoise color that is so striking to the eye. There are beautiful red painted rock formations in Sedona, AZ that are incredible—nature’s artwork. I don’t think I would change that. I just think we need to take care of the world we have and stop polluting it.
C.H. Scarlett : *note: I want to live in Kelley’s kilt wearing world!!!!! M-m-m-yummy*
If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they find you?
Kelley says: On my main website at http://www.kelleyheckart.com I have a page on there called Kel’s Cool Crosses (direct link is: http://kelleyheckart.com/kels-cool-crosses.html) I have instructions on there on how to buy my crosses. My crosses can be found on eBay under the category of ‘wall crosses.’ Put wall crosses in
the ‘find’ box, put home and garden in ‘in’ box. Click on ‘refine search’ to specify seller
and enter havasukelley. For custom work, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Kel’s Cool Crosses in the subject line.
C.H. Scarlett : Any new projects in the future or plans?
Kelley says: I am just going to continue doing what I am doing now–keeping my work available on eBay. I will see what happens in 2010. Maybe I will try to get my work in more stores.
Thank you for the interview and the opportunity to showcase my art.