Teresa Kiplinger


studio jeweler

"You have an amazing way of bringing people together – even when that's an impossible task." 

I was delighted to receive this note from one of my clients, because connecting hearts and souls through my jewelry is my goal.

I create custom, handmade memorial and message jewelry to help us re-connect with what matters most. I forge our stories in precious metal. I create physical, ever-present reminders of someone we've lost, tactile conduits to someone we love.

A voice from within loss

I felt a call to become a metalsmith after two decades as a digital illustrator and graphic designer. I wanted to create something touchable, that would outlast me.

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 months that followed, I wore it every day. Each time I touched the raised words on my wrist, I was reconnected with him. Soon, I was making bracelets for others who were mourning. From within my grief, I found my voice, and I wanted 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 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. 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. 

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 

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.

Principles and Poetry

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

But, I think the most significant influence on my metalwork is my affinity for words and poetry – and their power to express emotion. All my life, I have analyzed, memorized, recited and written verse. I enjoy incorporating my original poetry in my jewelry work, using the visual rhythm of stanzas to create scintillating patterns that reveal, upon closer inspection, a deeper meaning.

Learn more about the memories and images that inspire my jewelry design on my blog.

Wear your story

Let's not let the modern world distract us from our meaning, reduce us to a tweet, or a beauty contest or a shopping list. Wear my meaningful jewelry to remember what matters most. 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.

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.


Teresa Kiplinger is a metalsmith, a poet, and a noted graphic designer. Specializing in custom narrative and contemporary mourning jewelry, she draws inspiration from lovelorn letters, forgotten heirlooms and ancient reliquaries. She combines handwriting and original verse with elements of graphic design such as typography, photography, and illustration in her work. Soulful women from the heartland to Hollywood wear her expressive, wearable stories in precious metal. She accepts custom commissions and offers a line of ready-to-wear as well as personalized pieces.

Her work has been featured in exhibitions and Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine, and she is a member of North American Goldsmiths (SNAGas well as AIGA. Teresa earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree at Kent State University and she currently 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.

Inheritance, pendant necklace, 1” x...

Instagram The Latest from Teresa Kiplinger on Instagram

4 days ago

Inheritance, pendant necklace, 1” x 1”. Enameled steel, bronze.

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