Jewelry

Tana Acton

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Through her unique perspective as both a dancer and choreographer, Tana Acton combines air, movement and light to create pieces that are at once delicate and solid. Acton’s contemporary jewelry can be worn casually or dressed up. Each piece of fine art jewelry is created from a single “thread” of precious metal; either sterling silver, 12k gold-filled, or copper. The filament is wrapped precisely and tautly on a frame structure or “loom.” The pieces may or may not have a kinetic element housed in the structure or riding on the crossing wires. The “fabric” created has a faceted effect from the light finding each individual crossing, yet leaving space and air to breathe through each piece.

Above: Gold cuff by Tana Acton. Photo by HCCC.

Ashley Buchanan

Ashley Buchanan

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As a maker, it is Ashley Buchanan’s intention to challenge the conventions of handmade jewelry through the use of inexpensive materials and new approaches to design and surface decoration. Because silhouettes allow Buchanan to reduce objects and images down to their most basic form, she is able to reference the history of jewelry but with a clean, contemporary aesthetic. This is reinforced through the use of powder coating, a process commonly used on an industrial scale to coat or color large metal objects with a durable, uniform finish. By using a limited color palette of black, white, grey, and the occasional pop of yellow, Buchanan alludes to common colors of metal such as silver, gold and oxidized metal.

Above: Ashley Buchanan, “Red Pearl Sketch Brooch.” Silver and powder coat. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Kat Cole

Kat Cole has an interest in the anti-aesthetic aspect of a place: the abandoned buildings and factories, scrap yards, piles of trash and detritus found in the streets. This is the evidence of human inhabitants, both past and present. Using found materials in her work allows her to create a direct connection between art, object and place.  The tins, rusty bolts, scraps of plastic and metal are transformed in conjunction with vitreous enamel and steel to make jewelry and sculpture that is distinctly of a place and time.

Above:  Kat Cole, “Red Dangle Structure Brooch.” Mixed Media. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Coupee

Nikki Couppee

Nikki Couppee’s work examines jewelry in terms of class, value, and emotional connection. To accomplish this, Couppee substitutes mundane materials for gemstones and precious metals in the hopes of making her work more accessible to the broader public. Plexiglass and brass are used as industrial counterfeits for finer, more traditional jewelry making materials. Her goal is to create pieces reminiscent of antiquity, but much more obtainable to the average person. Couppee utilizes low-cost materials to produce pieces available to everyone and can use as a means to express emotion outwardly through physical adornment.

Above: Nikki Couppee, “Pink and Red Drop Earrings.” Mixed media. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Gretchen Diehl

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“I consider my work to be an exploration of drawing as a form of storytelling. My subject matter is inspired by my vivid and often frightening dreams, people and animals I have known and loved, as well as verbal and visual misinterpretations. The result is usually surreal in nature and narrative. The work has a tendency to represent things as they are, not as they appear. My subjects typically abandon their physical forms to present to the viewer something more intuitive and less confining. My ultimate goal is to simultaneously seduce and repel, drawing the viewer in with beautiful images and stunning them with an unexpected intimacy.”

Gretchen Diehl, “Toucan Necklace.” Plastic and silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Maria Eife

Maria Eife

Using new technologies combined with traditional craft skill and values, Maria Eife creates jewelry that is an exploration of materials, processes and structure. Her most recent collection, Loops and Cages, is the result of virtual, three-dimensional play. Using CAD software, Eife creates complex forms that are reproduced in plastic and metal. 3-D printed nylon is a flexible, and lightweight material suited perfected for jewelry. The precious metal line is designed in the same fashion, but is then printed in wax and cast using the lost wax technique.

Above: Maria Eife, “Woven Bangle.” 3-D Printed Nylon. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Melle Finelli

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Through fabrication and forging metal, Melle Finelli is able to manipulate her materials to create form and space, capturing movement in solid form. Melle loves the engineering challenge of putting each new piece of jewelry together, combining multiple techniques in order to create a balance of precision and chaos. Through piercing, bending, forging, and pounding, she creates miniature sculptures.

Above:  Melle Finelli, “Hidden Nest Pendant.” Silver. Photo by  HCCC.

Tarina Frank

Tarina Frank

Tarina Frank is a Houston-based artist who works primarily in metals and paper.  She began drawing and painting as a child when living and traveling on a 30-foot sail boat with her parents. Frank’s interest in jewelry and mechanisms has led to a series of work that revolves around ideas of constant change and identity.  She explains, “Our current generation is addicted to the fast pace and instant gratification of the internet and the ability to broadcast information about themselves on social media. In the online world, we are celebrities, and everyone can see what we ‘like,’ who we are dating, and what we are eating.  My jewelry allows you to wear your status updates, your relationships and your political views on your chest.

Above: Tarina Frank, “Photo Gem Earrings.” Inkjet print, acrylic, and silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Terry Fromm

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Terry Fromm loses herself in the process of making. Fromm’s jewelry and metal art are constructed from a variety of metals which are often manipulated so that they mimic the looks and characteristics of softer materials. Inspired by flowing forms observed both in nature and in draping textiles, Fromm creates finely crafted jewelry and sculptural containers by transforming flat, stiff sheets of metal into simple, sculptural forms with an illusion of softness and movement. The metal is formed by hand–through hammering, heat and twisting–into elegant, casual and intriguing works of art. The resulting pieces have soft flowing contours that can stir a quiet inner sense of balance and beauty.

Heidi Gerstacker

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Heidi Gerstacker uses traditional goldsmithing techniques to construct wearable art from sterling silver. The designs are about organic imagery simplified to suggest abstract shapes and forms. The earrings, necklaces and pins demonstrate the interplay of light and shadow: the positive and negative space of the metal. Gerstacker has begun to think about color as form. She is inspired by the ordinary being extraordinary. A stroll through an urban neighborhood provides a variety of visual influences. Some may be natural–others are man-made–but either can spark an idea. Gerstacker takes these impressions and transforms them into a modern line of jewelry to share her vision with the wearer‘s style.

Above: Heidi Gerstacker, “Butterfly Earrings.” 24k gold and sterling silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Gesser

Erin Gesser

Gesser is a Louisiana native and contemporary jewelry artist. She has experienced a lifelong, daily desire to create art in various forms. Her passion for creating wearable art in the form of jewelry led her to study at metalsmithing schools throughout the United States and Italy. Her techniques include hand forging and hand fabrication. All of her work is assembled and finished in her studio. Gesser likes to express herself with a large palette of materials to create elegant, wearable art in the form of jewelry. Simple geometric shapes often define many of her pieces. Gesser prefers working with sterling silver, fine silver, precious and semi-precious gemstones. In addition she often incorporates Keum-boo, an ancient Korean gilding technique used to apply thin sheets of 24kt gold foil to fine silver.

Above: Erin Gesser, “Lava Rock Necklace.” Lava stones, sterling silver and silver leaf. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Henry

René Lee Henry

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René Lee Henry’s jewelry is inspired by the stylized architecture from the modernist era as well as exploring the effects of time and decay on man-made structures. Combining these two influences, this body of work encompasses geometric and biomorphic forms, using hard lines along with organic colors and textures to create an architectural environment declined by age and neglect. Using polished surfaces marred with corrosion, the pieces reflect a once hopeful future that has been left in ruins.

Above: Rene Lee Henry, “Interconnected Series #5.” Mixed media. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Maia Leppo

Maia Leppo

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Maia Leppo is a contemporary jewelry artist who seeks to question the traditional forms found in jewelry. By deconstructing the shape of the gem, and reconstructing the resulting template into fabricated jewelry, she questions the perception of value and the ways that value is assigned to these products. Specifically, how this value changes based on materials, trends, and personal preference.

Above: Maia Leppo, “Trumpet Necklace.” Steel and silicone. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Jera Rose Petal Lodge

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Jera Rose Petal Lodge is a jewelry designer working to create steel and silver wire-based artworks. Her pieces range from small scale production and limited edition work to large scale sculptural jewelry pieces. The forms Lodge uses are frequently geometric in nature which utilizes patterns and repetition to create bold, graphic shapes. Design and function are her primary concerns and the strength and durability of steel allows her to create forms that are lightweight and visually delicate yet sturdy and easily wearable. Lodge often uses cold connections to introduce elements of motion, sound and playfulness into her jewelry.

Above: Jera Lodge, “Asymmetrical Necklace.” Steel and silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Ayala Naphtali

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Ayala Naphtali draws inspiration from ancient alphanumeric systems, contemporary architecture, and her own personal cultural history. She is intrigued with balance and proportion and feels as if each piece must find its axis on the wearer. The work is designed to be elegant with minimal and bold forms. Naphtali’s work is an exploration of form and materials: each equally important. She is committed to the use of materials for their color, texture and versatility. Coconut shell, dyed andcarved, is used to achieve such rich color and texture while forging, fabricating and casting are used to create pieces with dimension and volume.

Above: Ayala Naphtali, “Lampin Brooch.” Coconut shell, silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Piatti

Denisa Piatti

Denisa Piatti was born in Slovakia, where she studied goldsmithing with a focus on traditional techniques in jewelry making. Piatti was introduced to a wide range of jewelry featuring atypical materials, which she applied in her own work. Today Piatti combines precious with non-precious materials to form one of a kind jewelry pieces. Piatti aims to stimulate the wearer to ponder about what makes jewelry precious, and believes her jewelry is for anyone who appreciates unique design combined with a high level of craftsmanship – demonstrating value in things other than just the sparkle of diamonds and gold.

Above: Denisa Piatti, “Seaweed Bits Earring.” Silver and Acrylic. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Gillian Preston

Gillian Preston

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Gillian Preston’s process begins by blowing a plate of glass in a hot shop choosing and applying layers of color that will serve as the canvas for her glass wearable’s. Glass powders are inset into these sandblasted into the glass and fused to the plate in a kiln. A few firings in a kiln complete the process as each piece takes its one of a kind shape. Broken Plates makes reference to the work’s origin as each wearable was cut and created from a piece of hand blown plate glass, resulting in a highly unique line of jewelry that captures the qualities of blown glass.

Above: Gillian Preston, “Glass Geo Cuff.” Blown glass and brass. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Caitie Sellers

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Caitie Sellers. Sellers’ work is informed by her observations of the many places she’s lived: from rural Virginia to Central America. She is interested in themes of urbanization, architecture, and social development. Sellers uses the local landscape to inspire her work for both the body and for the wall, drawing inspiration from free way systems, power lines, and the everyday industrialism we see past every day, but fail to recognize. “She seeks to find the familiar among common themes and ubiquitous materials such as brick, wire and asphalt. She transforms imagery of architecture and urban infrastructure into jewelry with her fine mastery of such metals as copper and silver.”

Above:  Caitie Sellers, “Highway Earrings.” Sterling Silver. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Amber Tiemann

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Amber Tiemann began with painting and always found herself drawn to working with color. Tiemann prefers bright, bold colors along with the use of enamel, polymer clay, resins and colored stones within her work. Crisp, strong lines enhance the modern aesthetic within her jewelry. Design inspiration comes to Tiemann in different ways; sometimes it’s from the clean lines of industrial design while mid-century modern art also has a great influence in her design process finding herself constantly inspired.

Above: Amber Tiemman, Gold druzy tear necklace and Red coral earring. Silver, coral, enamel, and swarvoski crystal. Photo by HCCC.

Laura Wood

Laura Wood

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Laura Wood makes jewelry to express her creative interests which, for many years, has been the human body. Wood began her career in the arts studying dance. This led her to make adornments for the body, activating pleasure and enjoyment through wearing. Each piece is very much an effort in creating body-conscious work. Material exploration and the lineage of jewelry history also inspire Wood to challenge herself in the work while evolving alongside a world with new technology and processes. Wood strives to enhance the silhouette of the body and create work to be worn as a celebration of performance and adornment.

Above: Laura Wood, “Lace Brooch.” Brass, sterling silver and powdercoat. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Rebecca Zemans

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Strong yet delicate, ancient but modern, Rebecca Zemans’ designs are contemporary with a classic look. They derive from Zemans’ fascination with the similarity of biological organisms viewed through a microscope and celestial bodies viewed through a telescope. Zeman’s creates comfortable everyday jewelry that complements and expresses the exceptional qualities of the individual. Each piece tells its own story; every blow of the hammer, every bent curve of silver or gold, every precious stone collected from a far-away land becomes part of a one of a kind wearable work of art.

Above: Rebecca Zemans, “Infinity Cuff.” Gold fill wire. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.