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 the Society of North American Goldsmith As Good as Gold exhibition (2020), and the Enamel Guild North East Under Fire 3 exhibition (2020), and has appeared in Belle Armoire Jewelry (2018, 2019, 2020 featured artist). 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 partner and creative director. She sells her one-of-a-kind jewelry through her website with select pieces on offer at the Metal Museum. She works out of her 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 jewelry work. I grew up on a defunct farm, wading in waving pastures, playing among rusty tractors and sheet-covered Victorian furniture. Bleak but familiar horizons sighed with power lines and cornsilk. I explored my grandmother's farmhouse with its secret room and bookcase that overflowed with 19th century poetry tomes; even before I could read, the engraved drawings of gossamer ghosts and sinking ships filled me fascination and horror. I studied penned letters from long-dead ancestors, thrilled by their inky accounts of tragedy and minutiae. I tinkered in my grandfather's rickety workshop, the ceiling strewn with a hoarder’s cache of glass knobs, hubcaps, and keys – when the wind blew, it all winked and tinkled like a scrap heap chandelier. Enchanted in this landscape of artifacts, I puzzled over 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.
How and When to Buy
My collections are comprised of a limited number of one-of-a-kind pieces. I release new collections about every two months, and I announce the exact date and time about one week in advance of the sale on Instagram and via email. Sign up for my email list or follow me on Instagram so you never miss a collection. For more information, see my FAQs.
Because my pieces are one-of-a-kind, once a piece is sold, I won't make another just like it. However, I often return to a collection later and create new pieces around the same look and theme. So, if there's a particular piece that speaks to you and it is sold, come back often – I will probably make another like it in the future.