Jess has been a full-time metalsmith since 2006 and lives Palm Harbor FL with her husband, two boys and dog Ziggy. She graduated from the University of the Arts in 2006 with her BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing. After Jess graduated she worked as a goldsmith at a jewelry store in PA where she honed her craft and knowledge in commercial jewelry. In 2009 she moved to Florida and pursued her love for art jewelry. Jess is strongly influenced by the nature around her. Delicate floral forms can be seen throughout her work. She uses many different processes including enameling, engraving, casting and etching to create her unique one of a kind jewelry.
How It's Made:
It all starts with a detailed sketch. This is the most important step in my process and I take a lot of time to sketch out each of my ideas. Next, I transfer the sketch onto sterling silver sheet and cut it out with a jewelers saw. Using gravers to cut lines and other small tools I manipulate the metal into floral forms and shapes. My favorite part is watching the blooms come to life. Then it's time for the most exciting part. Working with fire and heat. This is like a dance, using both hands to move the torch and add solder I carefully attach each element of the design together. Finally the piece is then sanded, tumbled, polished, oxidized and cleaned. This last step takes awhile and each step is important in creating the most beautifully crafted piece of jewelry. Some of my pieces end at this stage while others go though a process of prepping for enameling. I use vitreous enamels which is powdered glass that is sifted over the piece and fired in a kiln at 1450 F. Some will then be adorned with hand painted flowers and some will shine in their gemmy transparent glow. It's after multiple firings that the piece is then finally refinished, oxidized and ready to wear! I feel that meticulous craftmanship and having my fingerprint on each step in the process that I do is very important. In short, this work all comes from my two hands and that is very special to my heart.