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 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.
I felt a call to become a metalsmith after two decades as a digital 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.
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. Learn more about the memories and images that inspire my jewelry design on my blog.
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 my affinity for poetry and its power to express emotion is undoubtedly the most significant influence on my metalwork; all my life, I have studied, memorized, read aloud and written verse. I enjoy incorporating my original poetry in my jewelry work, using serifs and stanzas to create scintillanting surfaces that reveal, upon closer inspection, a deeper meaning.
Concept Sketches for a modern mourning brooch.
LEFT: Bumble Bee sprued up for casting in silver RIGHT: Bumble bee after casting in sterling silver
Etching in Progress
about 12 hours ago
Betty gets fired. Look back in my feed to see how I incorporated this into a brooch. Enameled copper, torch fired. . . . . . . . . .#silversmith #snagmember #metalsmith #handmade #handmadejewelry #narrativejewelry #narrativejewellery #enamel #enamelpin #brooch #retro #1950s #artjewelry #artisanjewelry #contemporaryjewelry #contemporaryjewellery#instasmithy #riojeweler #thompsonenamels