Teresa Kiplinger is a studio jeweler, a poet, and a noted graphic designer. She combines precious metals, humble alloys, enameled images, and original verse to create haunting and expressive art jewelry. Inspired by personal narratives, fragmented memory, and ephemera, her evocative memento mori call us to consider the fragility of our existence. Her work was selected for SNAG's juried As Good as Gold exhibition and has appeared in Belle Armoire Jewelry (Winter 2018, 2020) and the Metal Museum Sales Gallery. She is a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), the Enamelist Society, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Kent State University (1992) and served on the inaugural advisory board for Kent's Visual Communication Design program. In 2004 she co-founded a creative services firm for nonprofits where she continues to serve as creative director. She works out of her metals studio near Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Inspired by personal narratives, fragmented memories, and ephemera, I combine enameled imagery and original verse to create expressive jewelry objects that call us to consider the fragility and brevity of our existence.
From the Artist
Themes from my rural Ohio childhood are prevalent in my work. I grew up on my grandparents' defunct farm, wading in waving pastures, playing among rusty tractors and sheet-covered furniture. Bleak but familiar horizons sighed with power lines and cornsilk.
I explored the bookcase that overflowed with my great grandpa's poetry tomes; even before I could read, the Victorian engravings of gossamer angels and tempest-tossed boats drew me into a lost world of mortality and miracles. I studied disintegrating letters from long-dead ancestors, thrilled by their inky accounts of tragedy and minutiae. I tinkered in my grandfather's rickety machinist's' workshop, its ceiling strewn with a hoarder’s cache of glass knobs, hubcaps, and keys – when the wind blew, it all winked like a scrap heap chandelier. Enchanted in this dusty landscape of artifacts, I imagined the stories behind the abandoned baubles and beds, the tintype lives, and the lost loves.
My great grandpa, reciting Poe on the farm, c. 1970.
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.
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.