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Hammer began her foray into the art world with a year of study at Chicagos Art Institute followed by a stint as a Windy Citys jewelers apprentice. Exchanging the big city for the desert, Hammer moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she earned a degree in Graphic Design from The University of Arizona. A position as a graphic designer at the citys local ABC television affiliate gave her a taste of the commercial world and the desire to do something in a more purely artistic vein. Her next venture combined art and fashion in the guise of beaded handbags, glittering creations which, although successful, were too time consuming to be profitable. She began designing jewelry, moving from costume pieces to the fine hammered metal and semi-precious stones which are her signature today.
Hammers roots may be in surrealism, but these days she finds inspiration in everyday objects-in shapes, in shoes, in the middle of the night. I get ideas from weird places-- from looking at a home or someones backyard, she says, I see a triangle and imagine it as a colored stone. in a creative process, however, art must bow to the physics of jewelry. When engineering a piece of jewelry, it has to hang right, move right and be pleasing to the eye.