Jewelry Artists - 3
Valerie Sobel is an artist of many trades. She shares her time between mixed media painting and textile art. She finds inspiration in nature, world culture and historical fashion, to create objects that people can enjoy and use in their daily life. The designer works with natural materials such as wool, silk, linen and cotton. Her concern for the environment also led her to explore the use of discarded pieces of fabric and second hand clothes which she deconstructs, and fashions into new elements. She often combines a variety of felting techniques as well as sewing, embroidery and beading.
I like my work to tell you that it was made by hand - the shaping, texturing, and glazing - and as you can see, not even two parts to a pair are exactly alike. The basic material is clay plus ideas suggested by nature.
My goal in designing and fabricating jewelry is to achieve a line and flow reflecting forms that occur in nature. The materials themselves create their own flow. I feel like I am listening to the metal or stone. I play with them until the form tells me to stop. My jewelry is a expression of my spirit, to be in harmony with the natural world.
Irene Storch began studying fine arts after moving to the Bay Area from Germany in 1981. Eventually her interests expanded into jewelry-making. Equally inspired by the designs and materials of modern technology as those of nature and ancient crafts (like wearing wire-wrapping) her jewelry symbolizes the interaction between the two.
With food constantly on her mind, Carolyn’s work bridges many of her passions. Having obtained an MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from CSULB in 1998, she immediately switched directions and worked on obtaining a Certified Master Chef certificate from Epicurean school in Los Angeles as well as the Level Two certification from the Wine Spirit Education Trust. All the while, she began repurposing miniature food items from Japanese gumball machines and the British dollhouse industry into jewelry. Concurrently with expanding her gallery presence with whimsical, culinary wearables, she worked as a freelance writer for the Napa Register, Metalsmith magazine, and a number of international wine journals. Her first book, Oysters, A Global History came out in 2017. Her second book, A Feast for the Eyes: Edible Art from Apple to Zucchini has just been released.
Karen Trown Jewelry is designed to be modern and edgy, yet also delicate. Industrial shapes, patterns and textures, as well as those that occur in nature, are the predominant inspiration for my work. I follow a very organic design process. Most of my designs are a result of experimentation with materials, shapes and fabrication techniques, which I use to create forms that appeal to me both visually and texturally. I’m committed to sustainable practices and use recycled and natural materials whenever possible. I design and handcraft all of my jewelry in my studio located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sarah Williams was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Having grown up in an artistic household and community she was encouraged to explore many avenues of art. Sarah attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art. After graduating college, she spent several years traveling and painting around the world. Through her travels she cultivated inspiration for her design aesthetic within her medias of painting and jewelry design.
I think of my jewelry as wearable sculpture, and I strive to make it fun and different. Some pieces are inspired by nature, while others have an industrial quality. Using inlay and overlay techniques, I mix metals--mostly bronze, steel, silver, and copper--to create pieces with contrasting colors. My jewelry starts as metal clay, a material developed in 1990 that consists of powdered metal mixed with binding material and water. Its claylike consistency allows it to be shaped and textured into any form whatsoever. Then it is fired in a kiln where the binding material burns off leaving solid metal that can be ground and polished into jewelry. Some of my pieces are crafted in the spirit of Damascus Steel. Others have the look of Mokume-gane--a Japanese technique for mixing metals to create wood grain patterns, as well as concentric circles and marbled patterns.
Iris Willow makes handmade enamel jewelry in her studio in San Francisco. Her colorful jewelry adds a splash of color to any outfit. Her pieces begin as copper that she kiln-fires at 1500° to fuse with vibrant powdered glass enamel. She sometimes integrates screen-printed designs into her jewelry or uses fine silver rivets to combine two pieces together allowing for movement between the pieces. Her jewelry is finished with sterling silver ear wires and chains.
San Francisco-based Eko Wright’s passion for jewelry making comes from the way a torch and tools can transform a sheet of metal into wearable art. Her minimalistic forms created with sterling silver are influenced by the Japanese concept of the elegant, tranquil and imperfect simplicity of nature. She appreciates both tradition and cutting-edge fashion, and sterling silver is the perfect medium for translating these aesthetics into jewelry. Her work honors nature, the material and the wearer, and she seeks to engender serenity in all her pieces.