2021 Jewelry Artists
I am a professional metalsmith and jewelry design artist. Influenced by industrial design and abstract geometric form, I create unique, wearable art pieces with an underlying sense of delicacy. I was taught at The University of Kansas, through their metalsmithing and jewelry design program, as well as Lahti Technical Institute of Design in Finland. There, I learned traditional goldsmith and silversmith techniques which I use in my work today. I draw my designs from life around me. All of my work is handmade, giving each item individual attention, so no piece is exactly the same. Made to last, I work hard to make sure that my pieces are as durable as they are timeless. All materials and stones are ethically sourced with the utmost care, focusing on both an environmental and humane impact.
I work primarily in 14K gold, but also with 18K, 22K and platinum. My work is a mixture of fabrication, various casting and metal techniques (i.e. lost wax, reticulation) and lapidary. I do all of my own stone cutting for the inlay pieces and some of the free form cabochon cuts. The cutting I do with unusual gemstones utilizes the natural characteristics/textures and focuses on the unique features of the stone.
I begin my work by growing or collecting seeds, pods or buds, then I take impressions of these. I use portions of these impressions or alter them, cast them individually, then use them as repeated elements by soldering them to various forged elements. I then use a wide variety of metalsmithing techniques to create the final design in silver and gold with stones vitreous enamel and pearls.
My joy of creating jewelry is ever ongoing. There is no end to my imagination.
Julie Jerman-Melka & Jeffrey Melka
I have known ever since I was a child growing up on the shores of Lake Superior in Upper Michigan that I would work with my hands. The decision was solidified when I took my first metals class at Northern Michigan University in… well let?s just say it?s been a few years. It has been my passion ever since. The journey has taken me to Vail, Colorado where I worked as a goldsmith for 15 years. It has also taken me to Fort Collins, Colorado, where I lived, worked, and earned my MFA at Colorado State University, which enabled to teach and share my love of metalsmithing at the college level, which I did until my recent relocation back to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, where I work and maintain my studio. The shores of Lake Superior have always been my source of inspiration and I feel fortunate to be back in the area that is so special to me.
Unique structures and natural objects inspire me to create jewelry where organic components are set within a contemporary frame.
I hand-form every piece of polymer clay jewelry with no use of commercial molds. I use several techniques including caning, engraving, weaving, layering, and many others for which I don?t have names.
All of my pieces have gemstones…vibrant colors as well as natural surface stones. At the end of the day, seeing a client walk away with excitement in their eyes and a smile on their face because of a piece of jewelry I have created by hand is why I love what I do!
Lewis Center, Ohio
Enamel cloisonne jewelry uniquely designed and handcrafted with 24-karat yellow gold wire and transparent enamels, fired at 1500F, and set in 14-karat yellow gold with precious stones.
Gail and Alex Marksz
We work with sterling silver and 14-karat gold sheet and wire in ranges of 10-30 gauge. Our techniques include but not limited to fold forming, synclastic forming, raising, repousse, granulation, annealing, forging, fusing, braising and soldering.
San Bornton, New Hampshire
As a self taught metalsmith, I enjoy exploring mixed metals, surface treatments, and various forming techniques. Motivation stems from process and material. Influences are drawn form all of the applied arts, however, clean lines and simple forms characterize all of my work. Recent pieces combine silver and 22k gold, offering subtle contrasts of color, surface, and form.
Joan Michlin & Skip Ennis
All designs shown are created by this husband and wife team. They met in college in 1976, with BFA from Memphis College of Art and AA from Fleming College in Florence Italy. They express their fascination with light, energy, and powerful form by using nature’s finest elements to produce a collection of jewelry that sings with excitement.
Cloisonné enamel is my favorite medium because it allows me to combine glass and metal. I start by creating a rich texture on fine silver, intricately applying enamel, and firing at 1450 degrees. I use cloisonné wire and apply the enamel with a very fine paintbrush, a technique called wet packing. Most of my enamel has six layers or more, which is fired after each application. When the enamel pieces are finished, I set them in silver and add semi-precious stones. Each piece is made with the intention to integrate form, texture, color, and movement.
Mary & Spencer Watson
Prospect Heights, Illinois
Our work features finely handcrafted, unique pieces that are created with care and purpose. Mary uses metalsmithing fabrication processes such as hollow/fold-forming, piercing, soldering, hammering, texturing, polishing and stone setting for each jewelry, small scale sculpture and vessel creation. Spencer creates images on individually hand-picked lake stones using hand cut stencils and a sand blasting process.