Teresa Kiplinger


studio jeweler

A voice from within loss

When my teen stepson, Adam, took his own life, I channeled my grief into my burgeoning metalwork. I forged a bracelet in Adam's honor, etched with a message to him. I felt its heat and permanence in my hands as I formed it, and in the long months that followed, I wore it every day. Each time I touched the raised words on my wrist, I was reconnected to him; this tactile conduit lifted me out of the superficial world and brought me back to what is important. Soon, I was making bracelets for others who were mourning. From within my grief, I found my voice, and I want to share it with others.

A present-day bean field on the back acres of my grandparents' Ohio farm.

Eclectic Influences

I grew up on my grandparents' defunct Ohio farm where I spent my summers wading through waving pastures and coaxing butterflies to my fingertips. On snowy Saturdays, I explored my grandmother's bookcase that overflowed with disintegrating poetry tomes and family ephemera. I recall unfolding century-old letters from long-dead ancestors and trying to imitate their penmanship with magic markers. Even before I could read, I puzzled over the crumbling books and their 19th-century engravings of tempest-tossed boats and gossamer angels. Studying these humble artifacts, I became lost in the stories – the tintype lives and the lost loves. Decades later, I am the keeper of the bookcase and its strange contents, and my Saturdays have scarcely changed. Learn more about the memories and images that inspire my jewelry design on my blog.

A time-lapse video of my illustrative etching work influenced by the engravings in my grandmother's 19th-century book collection. Music courtesy of Joseph Minadeo.

One of my early attempts at "fancy" 19th-century handwriting, around age 8. I recently discovered this paper, folded for decades in one of my grandmother's antique books 

Principles and Poetry

I felt a call to become a metalsmith after two decades working with computers as a graphic designer. I wanted to create something that I could touch, that would outlast me.

At university, I trained in the aesthetic of the Swiss school of graphic design. Though my metalwork does not always reflect the notoriously minimal Swiss style, its principles are ever present, from my obsessive sensitivity to typography to my attention to negative space.

My affinity for poetry and its power to express emotion is perhaps the greatest influence on my metalwork. All my life, I have studied, memorized, read aloud and written verse – I just can't help but design jewelry that incorporates words and handwriting.

A treasured home recording of my great grandfather reciting Poe, circa 1973. I am told he often did this after a long day working on the farm.

Wear your story

Your life is a remarkable story of heartbreak and joy. Do not let the world reduce it to a tweet, a shopping list, a beauty contest. Wear my handmade, heirloom quality jewelry as a touchable, constant reminder of what's important. Place an order for my personalized bracelets and necklaces, or contact me to learn how I can create an original design to preserve your legacy in precious metal.


Teresa Kiplinger is a studio jeweler, a poet, and a noted graphic designer. Inspired by lovelorn letters, forgotten hoards, and treasured reliquaries, she works in sterling silver, bronze and steel to create heirloom-quality wearable stories. Specializing in narrative and modern mourning jewelry, she combines handwriting and original poetry with elements of graphic design such as typography, photography, and illustration in her distinctive designs. Her expressive work has been featured in exhibitions and Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine and is worn by soulful women from the Heartland to Hollywood. She accepts custom commissions and offers a line of ready-to-wear as well as personalized pieces.

Teresa is an active member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), AIGA, and MJSA. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree at Kent State University and she works out of her studio near Cleveland, Ohio.

• Teresa on Instagram @tkiplinger 
• Teresa on Facebook
• Read what Teresa's clients are saying.

• Contact Teresa to learn how she can create an original design just for you.

A Widow in Her Weeds....

Instagram The Latest from Teresa Kiplinger on Instagram

about 9 hours ago

A Widow in Her Weeds. Cuff bracelet, sterling silver, bronze. . . . . . .#snagmember #riojeweler #metalsmithsociety #metalsmith #studiojewelry #artjewelry #statementjewelry #statementbracelet #personalstyle #narrativejewellery #narrativejewelry

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