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An Interview with Shelby Johnson

Silversmith //

Photographer // @natsterwhite

Location // Flathead Lake, Montana

What about Montana inspired you to do this collection? 

Last Summer I took a trip to Montana to stay at a friend’s cabin right on Flathead Lake, it was my first time in Montana and BOY I FELL IN LOVE! The peace and serenity felt on that land is nothing short of amazing. The way the rocks vibrantly shine in the water, the consistent smell of campfires and pine trees, the friendly locals, I love it all. We went to Glacier National Park on a rainy, foggy day and I couldn’t have asked for a better moment in my life. The water was bright turquoise, everything a luscious green, and the mist on the wildflowers completely won my heart over. This year I could not wait to go back and I felt so inspired by what I saw last year to make a collection to shoot while I was back at the lake. Sadly, Glacier is shut down right now, but just gives me another reason to go back soon ;)

Favorite things to do or see while there? 

DISCONNECT! I barely picked up my cell phone while in Montana. It is the perfect place to disconnect from the everyday hustle and find true peace and contentment in the wild. Also, stargazing. The stars up there are SO visible! They’re a must see. I came back (sadly, I could stay there forever) fully rejuvenated!

Favorite songs/roadtrip playlist? 

Caamp. Everything Caamp. Caamp radio on Spotify. And my Oldies Playlist.

Where would you like to travel to next? Mountains or beach? 

Always the mountains. I was born and raised in them and plan on happily dying in them HA HA. I’d love to see Oregon, though, I hear it is a beautiful mixture of both. I’ve never been!

Tell us about Bonfire Heart!

Bonfire Heart is my fiber art business I started over 5 years ago! I had taught myself how to macrame and fell in love with the therapeutic process of it. My friends encouraged me to start an Etsy back then and I just went for it! I also have learned over the past few years how to weave on looms and am excited to learn more fiber techniques like punch needling this year. Fiber art is my number one love, but silversmithing is a close second. If you’re interested in learning fiber art, I have an online  Beginner’s Macrame Course! :) Use code “GEMFAN” at checkout for 25% OFF (making it only $22!) :)

 I also like to use my platform to inspire people to go outside more. When I first moved to Utah at age 19 I was in such a dark place, I was so lost. And when I discovered hiking and all of the beauty Utah has to offer, it changed my life! I believe being out in nature helps strip away the societal pressures and realigns our mind, body, and soul to be at one. Go outside! 

Favorite piece in the collection? 

The triple buffalo turquoise ring and bracelet combo. They’re my babies, I almost kept them for myself. Plz take care of them whoever their next home is:’(

What about the Gem Studio attracts you? What do you love about it? 

I’ve been for Gem Studio for two years now! Doing all of the social media, website, listings, photography, and videography. I love being in a position with Gem Studio that allows me to be creative every single day! And I love that we can provide a workspace for others to come in and get creative. It’s such a bonding experience to meet new people and help them make a unique piece of artwork with them. Being able to create my own custom jewelry is also pretty dope. AND the people that work here. Truly love all of those guys.

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