With this painting, you can have your art and wear it, too. “I wanted to make art that could be seen on a daily basis,” says Jennifer Pasquini, the Portland miniaturist who painted this 11/2-inch harborscapes. Her miniature works of art can be worn as necklaces or brooches. Each comes in a frame that she can customize with 18-karat gold, sterling silver or gemstones.
When silversmith Ruth Von Büren enrolled in her first metalwork classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology after coming to the U.S., she hardly spoke any English. It turned out not to matter because neither did the teacher. “A famous silversmith from Denmark was the teacher,” she says. “Since he couldn’t speak much English, he’d show us how to do something, and then we’d try to do the same.”
For jewelrymaker Susan Goodwin, crafting pieces is about recognizing what the material has to offer.
Look closely at Mel Stiles’ jewelry and you’ll see the traces of the architect she once was. “A lot of my designs are more contemporary, more modern and use bold color combinations,” she says. “I’m very interested in composition and form and the function of the material, which I think comes from working as an architect.”
Stiles, a Pennsylvania native, received a degree in architecture from Pennsylvania State University in 1996 and moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she discovered jewelry-making. “I took my first class in silversmithing in 1998 and started making jewelry at home,” she says.
In school, metal artist Nicky Falkenhayn figured out she didn’t have to choose between art and sport. “As a young adult, I was torn between going to art school or doing sports,” she says. “I decided to do sports first because when I got older I could do art, but when I got older sports would be harder.”
Gloria Kelman creates works of art with silver clay. It doesn’t feel like silver when you’re shaping it,” she says. “But, when you’re done there’s this A-Ha! moment when you take it out of the kiln and hear that metal clink.”