In my handmade jewelry, I create poems in precious metal that speak
to the undercurrent of the soul. I use a torch, traditional tools, and original verse to craft meaningful and artistic works that when worn, connect us to our histories, to our legacies, to those we love, and those we have lost.
Whether a piece of modern mourning jewelry whose touch re-connects us to our people – or a wearable moment that stirs a memory, real or imagined – I seek to smith stories that prompt questions, emotions, answers, and notions that call us to consider the delicacy of our existence.
I felt a call to become a metalsmith after two decades as a digital illustrator and web designer. I found myself longing to create something real; tangible artifacts to be unearthed long after I'm gone. When my teen stepson took his own life, I channeled my sorrow into my burgeoning metalwork. I forged a bracelet in his honor. I felt its weight and permanence in my hands as I formed it, and in the months that followed, I wore it every day. Each time I touched it, I felt connected with him. From within my grief, I found my voice. Soon, I was making jewelry for others who were grieving.
"Teresa makes every piece feel like a collaboration, which is very exciting for me. She welcomes a dialogue to produce work based on very personal narratives. The resulting pieces are not only breathtaking but also pay tribute to relationships, love, humanity." –Virginia
Themes from my rural Ohio childhood often find their way into my work. I grew up on my grandparents' defunct farm, wading in waving pastures, playing in a barn full of rusty machines and sheet-covered victorian furniture. I explored my grandmother's bookcase that overflowed with family ephemera and disintegrating poetry tomes; even before I could read, the 19th-century engravings of gossamer angels and tempest-tossed boats drew me into a lost world of mortality and miracles. I studied letters from long-dead ancestors and tried to imitate their inky penmanship. I tinkered in my grandfather's rickety workshop, its ceiling strewn with a hoarder’s cache of glass knobs, hubcaps, keys – when the wind blew, it all winked like a scrap heap chandelier. Enchanted in this dusty landscape of artifacts, I imagined all the stories behind the abandoned baubles and beds, the tintype lives, and the lost loves.
"I love it and will cherish it my whole life." – Stephanie
At university, I trained in the aesthetic of the Swiss school of graphic design. Though my body of 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 poetry and its 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.
"This will be worn at all times. I am so in love with this beautiful keepsake." –Lisa
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.
Teresa Kiplinger is a studio jeweler, a poet, and a noted graphic designer. She explores themes of legacy, isolation, memory, and loss in her evocative wearable stories. Often inspired by imagined elegies and the ephemeral objects left behind after death, her work is reminiscent of humble reliquaries dedicated to unknowable souls.
She uses traditional metalsmithing methods with a mix of processes to incorporate her own verse and illustrations in her work, such as electro-etetching and painting with torch-fired liquid enamels. Soulful women from the heartland to Hollywood wear her pieces. She accepts custom commissions and also offers a line of personalized memorial pieces for everyday wear.
Her distinctive work has appeared in exhibitions and Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine, and she is a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), the Enamelist Society, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree at Kent State University, and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Kent State University Visual Communication Design program. She works out of her studio near Cleveland, Ohio.
LEFT: Bumble Bee sprued up for casting in silver RIGHT: Bumble bee after casting in sterling silver
Concept Sketches for a modern mourning brooch.
Etching in Progress
about 17 hours ago
Wish you were here. . . . . . Pendant necklace, 2.25” x 1”. Liquid enamel, steel, sterling silver. Look back in my feed for more pieces in this collection. . . . . . . #instajewelry #artjewelry #RioJeweler #instasmithy #customjewelry #narrativejewelry #thisisCLE #landscapes #TESmember #SNAGmember #enamelist #handmade #madeinOhio #silver #ohio #enamelistsociety #tesmember #Metalsmith #ohiogram #artjewelryforum #jewelryartist #silversmith #artisanjewelry #jewelrydesigner #jeweler #artjewelery #wearableart#contemporaryjewelrydesign #darkfashion