“Jewelry has the power to be the one little thing that makes you feel unique.” – Elizabeth Taylor.
In this Art Discovery virtual series, artists Shelli Kahl, Diana Ferguson, and Paul Farmer share their inspiration and visions of how to make a stunning statement with jewelry.
With a keen eye, these jewelry makers have perfected the art of selecting just the right stone, bead, or metal and pairing them with just the right setting to create dynamic, unique compositions.
For Shelli Kahl, the art of jewelry making started as a hobby nearly 20 years ago and has since transitioned into a passion for working with metal, stones, and fire. And the idea of unique compositions is never more apparent than in her signature silver reticulation, a technique that produces an incredibly beautiful texture of peaks and valleys in metal designs.
“I really love texture. Smooth, shiny sterling silver is beautiful, but texture gives the metal uniqueness,” Shelli said. “It’s roughly a 17-step process to take the silver from smooth to textured, and because the wrinkles never come out the same, it makes each piece one of a kind.”
And texture is also an important part of what drives Paul Farmer. He’s known for a very specific, and seldom-used form of jewelry making called granulation, a process of creating little tiny spheres of gold from thin wire, melting it into little balls called granules and creating different patterns on the gold.
But while granulation is an important part of his designs, for Paul, the jewelry is ultimately about the stones he uses.
“I get my inspiration from the stone,” Paul said. “I love finding unique, colorful stones and I want to accentuate the patterns and uniqueness of each stone through granulation.”
While the unique elements of metal and stone are inspiring to Shelli and Paul, Diana Ferguson has found passion in her signature geometric beadwork. Using glass cylinder beads and FireLine, Diana focuses on a technique called peyote stitch to create colorful jewelry with unique dimensions and textures. And those beautiful designs are often created through intuition.
“When it comes to planning and creating, a lot of times it’s simply intuition,” Diana said. “I have a mantra: process plus exploration plus technique plus serendipity equals my art. There’s a lot of serendipity in what I do and it’s joyful to me.”
Watch the full Art Discovery below to hear some of the stories behind these artists’ works, some inspiration, and even some torches. And to learn more about each of the featured artists, check out the following links: