Jeweler Hannah Sindorf's New Mexico Home is a Creative Sanctuary
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this installment, we head to jeweler and founder of Halcyon Jewelry Hannah Sindorf’s rental in Taos, New Mexico.
Hannah Sindorf believes that finding her home in Taos, New Mexico was nothing short of fate. “It was the space I had been dreaming of — I gasped when I saw the photos online,” says the jeweler and founder of Halcyon. “Even though it was more than I could afford at the time, something in me intuitively knew that this was the right place and time.”
With that, the creative packed up her life on the East Coast and moved to the historic artist colony in northern New Mexico right before the pandemic hit. “Taos had been on my mind for a long time,” she adds. “The house I envisioned living in was the house that popped up on Craigslist when I was in dire need of a sanctuary.”
Thanks to her built-in jewelry studio, warm Terracotta linens, and treasure trove of family heirlooms, the rental quickly felt like home to Sindorf. It currently houses countless sculptures fashioned by her late father, cherished photos of family members, and vintage furniture originally purchased by her grandparents in the 1950s. “I’d like to think my style travels with me,” she shares. “[I have so many pieces] that I will keep forever because they’re timeless and have great sentimental value.”
She hopes that her handcrafted bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings hold similar sentimental value for her cherished customers. “My website says ‘handmade with love and intention,’ because that’s really what I try to do,” she adds. “I think my customers can feel it when they receive their jewelry.” Ahead, find Sindorf’s unfiltered thoughts on finding her creative path, turning her lifelong dreams into reality, and building a soulful sanctuary in a brand-new place.
Hi Hannah! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I suppose the title of “jeweler” is what suits me best. I work mostly in gold and natural gemstones and create both custom pieces and a collection of rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that are always available on my website.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I’ve been creating since I was very young. I was lucky to grow up with creative parents who always encouraged me to pursue whatever I was interested in making, whether it was drawing, painting, or woodwork. It’s been a part of me for a long time. I find when I’m not working on my jewelry, I feel like I’m missing part of my happiness. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a week without sitting at my bench since I started seven years ago. Producing something beautiful brings me joy, so I try to do it as often as possible.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
It’s been a long and winding road! But to make a very long story short(er) — after high school, I briefly enrolled in an art college but quickly realized I wasn’t interested in another four years of schooling. The school environment felt forced and unnatural for making art, but maybe if I had known more about myself and what I wanted to pursue at the time, I would have felt differently. I left school after one semester and worked in some tedious and interesting fields: organic farming, library clerk, food catering, creating teeny tiny bits and pieces for record players.
At that point in my mid-twenties, I felt very lost and isolated from who I used to be — I wasn’t making art of any kind and felt like I could never pick it up again. Then one day, I decided I wanted to make jewelry, or at least try. I attempted to teach myself how to solder for over a month, to no avail. Eventually, I enrolled in a continuing education class for Jewelry 101 and the rest is history. I’ve been making jewelry since the moment I saw the solder flow in class. I’m hopeful to enroll in some advanced classes in 2022.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
It all depends on the piece of jewelry. Some gemstones dictate the style, while others are more of an accent to a larger design. Lately, I’ve been trying to work around a theme or idea. A lot of my work has a celestial bend to it, so I’ve played around with that for quite a while.
My focus is on creating jewelry that feels simultaneously modern and ancient — I want to make each piece feel transcendent, magical, and extraordinary. The jewelry world is full of trendy, cheap fashion jewelry that has no soul. I try to put love into everything I do and I think my customers can feel it when they receive their jewelry. My website says “handmade with love and intention,” because that’s really what I try to do.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?
I would say persistence and patience. I’ve really had to hold onto the hope that I’ll get where I’m trying to go. I believe that envisioning your future self in all aspects of life is crucial to manifest what you truly want.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your career?
Knowing my physical limits.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
There have been many amazing moments — they come in the form of happy customers sending an email or message about how much they love their jewelry. I also love to hear customers’ jewelry stories about why something is so important to them, whether it’s a love story that leads to an engagement ring, or a commemorative piece to celebrate a person or moment in time. I’ve turned into a real soft-hearted person and hearing about my customers’ humanity and how they commemorate life with jewelry is really special to me.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
My advice for anyone seeking a creative career would be: if you feel it’s right, and you can see yourself happily doing something, it’s always worth the pursuit — even if it’s the more difficult path.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
I moved in February 2020.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
Basically, it was the space I had been dreaming of! I was in a big transition when I moved to Taos from the East coast. Taos had been on my mind for a long time, and the house I envisioned living in was the house that popped up on Craigslist when I was in dire need of a sanctuary. I gasped when I saw the photos online. I just knew it was right, even though it was more than I felt I could afford at the time. Something in me intuitively knew this was the right place and time, and that everything would work out the way it should.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Luckily, this house is a rental and I think it’s pretty perfect the way it is.
Shop Hannah's look with our Oatmeal Hand & Face Towel
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I would like to think my style travels with me. I’ve had the same furniture with me for quite a while now — much of the big/important pieces like my credenzas and dining set were bought by my grandparents when they came to the US from Holland in the 1950s. They’re things I will keep forever because they’re timeless and have great sentimental value. Having core pieces you love makes styling any new space very easy — they’re non-negotiable and dictate much of the look, and the rest is just filling in the blanks.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
Like I said, I’m a softy, so my favorite pieces are those with sentimental value. Some of my most cherished pieces are my dad’s onyx, marble, and granite sculptures. He passed away in 2008, so they’ve become like memorials to him in my home that I look at every day.
Another favorite is a sweet painting of an English village my grandmother found at a rummage sale — it’s not particularly valuable but there’s something about it I adore. Finally, there’s a lovely black and white photograph of my mom and aunt on one of the credenzas and a portrait of my grandmother that was drawn by a street artist in Amsterdam. I also love ceramic lamps and bought myself a fabulous vintage lamp with a botanical imprint from Etsy last year. It’s one of the few things I’ve bought for the space.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
Not at the moment. I don’t think I could fit anything else! Plus, I’m trying to be content with what I already own, which is a lot.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The bedroom! Having a kiva fireplace in the bedroom is so luxurious and cozy in the winter. I also just love being in bed and relaxing at the end of the day — having a simple, clean, comfortable bedroom is really important to me.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Having a space that’s a reflection of you and what you love is my best advice. It’s not about what’s trendy, it’s about having a collection of objects that pull you in and bring you joy. That’s what will ultimately make a space feel like home. Scent is very important to me, so having delicious-smelling candles and a diffuser is a must; they can really change the mood of a room from season to season. And of course, having soft, warm, cloud-like bedding is a must! Nothing feels better at the end of the day than getting into a clean and comfortable bed.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’m releasing my Fall/Winter Collection in mid-September, which I’m very excited about. This new work feels the most focused, and I think I’ve finally tapped into something a little deeper in terms of style and theme. I’m looking forward to releasing it into the world!
Shop Hannah's look with our Terracotta Bedding Set
Photography by Jenna Peffley. Styling by Melete Finch.