Bright Star & Buffalo is a metalsmith company founded by a powerful mother-daughter duo, Natalie and Kelsey. Kelsey, the mother, has been working in metal mediums for over 40 years while Natalie, the daughter, studied silversmith techniques, ceramics and design in college. After their families purchased rural property in the desert of Arizona, Natalie and Kelsey decided to cultivate a life where they could express themselves creatively on a regular basis. Inspired by the wild, geology, symbolism and holistic living, Bright Star & Buffalo was born (and named after their two goats, Bright Star and Buffalo!). Their intention is to help you stay connected to the truth of yourself through beautiful, everyday reminders. We are thrilled to welcome Natalie and Kelsey to the shop! Last week, we had the opportunity to get a glimpse of their life in the rural desert of Arizona. Read our interview below and be sure to view their collection of hand forged home goods.
What is your background?
Natalie's is in interior design, creative writing and jewelry design/fabrication. Kelsey's is in sculpting, welding, jewelry design/fabrication and small business management.
What is the significance of the name, Bright Star & Buffalo?
Bright Star and Buffalo has multiple meanings for us...when we moved to the country we acquired miniature goats - we named our first goat babies "Bright Star" and "Buffalo". When we decided to pursue designing and creating together - we decided it was a perfect name for our business as well. It very much describes our individual characters - Natalie the Bright Star - Kelsey the Buffalo. I tend towards cosmic energy, big energy, ideas, travel etc.. Kelsey tends towards earthy pursuits, slow and steady, strength, endurance and so on.
In a few words, how would you describe your work?
Our work is both rough and refined. It is hand made and we want you to know and feel that - yet we want the our attention to design and craft to be evident as well. You know the ideas of "slow food" or "slow living" - well we like to think of our work as "slow design".
You live in the rural desert near Flagstaff, Arizona - how does your environment impact your work?
This is definitely a high desert environment and you can feel the desert vibes in our designs. The landscape screams copper, bronze, sage green, rough stones, truly miraculous sunsets, crisp lines, stark contrasts and a wild intensity in heat, wind, dust and critters all of which informs our work.
Favorite artist(s) in any field, living or dead?
Wow - so difficult to simply name one (actually we get two, because there are two of us;). Natalie: Marc Chagall. Kelsey: Georgia O'Keeffe
What's the first thing you ever remember making?
Natalie: A mandala with bits and pieces from my moms studio.
Kelsey: A ship in a tree made from found objects.
Natalie: Creating with my daughter.
Kelsey: Hanging out at the beach.
How do you live with beauty and intention?
Our life's intention is to bring beauty into the world - from attitude to action. This is a subjective beauty - of course - but to us it means: kindness, generosity, hard work, playfulness, joy, less suffering, ritual, practice, gratitude, humility, creative expression, fine craft, love, abundance and so on (big goals!).