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Hello! Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Jess, and my 27th birthday will be (rather, was. KR) on Jan. 21! I'm originally from Maryland, but have also lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington state, and am now settled in Indiana where I am trying to slowly set up my own totally sustainable mini-homestead. Yay! I support myself entirely through silversmithing, and I've been making jewelry for about six or seven years now. I actually got my BFA in "Crafts" which I think is kind of awesome, but I've also self-taught new skills and techniques over the years just for fun. I'm kind of ADD when it comes to my work, making a wide range of styles depending on my moods. I make an entire line of Less Than Three <3 jewelry, which can be seen at [link] , as well as a rather eclectic bunch of other things ranging from small charms to trilobite pendants to 100% recycled spoon jewelry, all of which is mashed into one Etsy shop under the name of MetalSmitten at this link  . I never get bored :D


When you create a piece, how do you go about it?
Often what happens is that I randomly become semi-obsessed with some weird thing and then use it repeatedly in various ways until I find a new obsession. I'm inspired by anything pretty - including the classical beauty in Art Nouveau or other known styles of art, or the inherent sparkliness of the natural world, or the beauty of simplicity, or what have you. Many times I'll find a single aspect that I love, like maybe a particularly unique stone or an old beat-up spoon, and I'll make a piece of jewelry centered around that one part. I almost never sketch out ideas first, instead I prefer to let the focus of the piece dictate what the rest of the item will look like.

Where do you work and what materials do you use?
I work out of my Slightly Creepy Basement Studio (TM). It's really not so bad except for the rare spider that sneaks in, but it works out very nicely so that I can keep all my equipment and materials (and open flames) separated from my cats. :D I am proud to say that I have almost an entirely complete metalsmithing studio setup now, after more than six years of careful combing through Craigslist and classified ads. This allowed me to build up my studio one tool at a time, rarely paying full price for any given tool, and letting me accomplish this without going into debt. The silver itself is one of the few things I have to continue to buy, but I always prefer to get recycled (refined, not mined!) metals and try to be as eco-friendly in my field as is possible.

Do you have any tips for beginners?
If you're interested in learning metalsmithing, I really recommend taking a class if one is available near you. That way you can play with the class's tools before investing a ton of your own money into buying them. I've found that most people either LOVE metals or HATE them, so it's good to figure out which camp you're in before you make any big investments. Also that way, someone else can show you how to properly use a torch (true silversmithing uses open flame, not a soldering iron!) and you're much less likely to burn your house down. :D

Which piece in your gallery are you most proud of and why?
DINOSAUR IMPACT by metalsmitten
My IMPACT pendant has always been one of my favorites, probably because I'm so dorkily attracted to the stone, which is actually agatized Dinosaur bone. For serious. They call it Dino Bone or Dino Gem Bone, and it's kinda difficult to find since most dinosaur bones didn't agatize (where clear or colored agate, a type of stone, forms inside the bone instead of the bone decomposing or fossilizing or whatever). This pendant also has a genuine chunk of meteorite positioned over top of the dino bone in a hovering-over-your-head sorta way, and the bail is decorated with what I like to call "impact swirlies." I really love the idea of using dino bone and meteorites together in jewelry, it's something I've never seen anyone else do and I hope to expand on that some day.

I'd love to one day be able to start making more art-jewelry instead of mainly-functional jewelry; it's a goal of mine one day to help blur that line between Art and Craft just a little bit more. In a world where most people's main exposure to art is product advertisements, and their main experience with craft is popsicle-sticks and googlie eyes, I would love to help show people again what true Art and true Craft means. Art should not be a luxury. Craft should not be synonymous with Made-in-China. And when their powers combine, they should be Awesome.

Some of metalsmitten works are

Spoon Ring with Rhodo Garnet by metalsmitten

Wild Thing Labradorite Pendant by metalsmitten

Spoon Pendant with Opal by metalsmitten

Less Than Three Rings by metalsmitten
Add a Comment:
 
:iconnatzca-design:
natzca-design Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2011
Wow! Great work. Congratulations, and I can't wait to see more! =)
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:iconmetalsmitten:
metalsmitten Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
thanks everyone! :) you guys are awesome :)
Reply
:iconcrazed-fangirl:
crazed-fangirl Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Sadly I can't see IMPACT either. :( Gem bones and meteorites (tektites, too) are some of my favorites.

Bht the spoon jewelry I can see is AMAZING! I have some friends addicted to the classic spoon rings. I'll have to show them these. ^_^

Amazing work!
Reply
:iconkubusrubus:
KubusRubus Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Professional General Artist
fixed :)
Reply
:iconcrazed-fangirl:
crazed-fangirl Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks!
Reply
:iconimnium:
IMNIUM Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
:clap: :clap:
Reply
:iconssst:
ssst Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
:iconbummy2::iconbummy3::iconbummy1:

Thats really lovely work!
Reply
:iconalexluna:
alexluna Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Student Interface Designer
Yays ~metalsmitten! One of my favorite Guilders! Thanks for the article KR!
:iconswingonastarplz:
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011
The '[link]' part doesn't work in the most proud piece in gallery question's answer :whisper:
Reply
:iconkubusrubus:
KubusRubus Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Professional General Artist
what link part?
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011

Which piece in your gallery are you most proud of and why?
[link]
My IMPACT pendant has always been one of my favorites, probably because I'm so dorkily attracted to the stone, which is actually agatized Dino..

Shouldn't there be a link rather than the only [link]? There's no link directed through that.
Reply
:iconkubusrubus:
KubusRubus Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Professional General Artist
fixed
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011
:w00t:
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:iconbiltongboy:
biltongboy Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011
also picked that up! But all together very nice!!

We loves you metalsmitten!
Reply
:iconkubusrubus:
KubusRubus Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Professional General Artist
fixed
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011
:nod:
Reply
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March 8, 2011
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