Student-made jewelry on sale in time for Valentine’s Day

Joanna Kamvouris

The Jewelry/Metals Co-op will feature student-crafted bracelets, earrings, enamels, metals and more during a two-day sale on Feb.11 and Feb. 12 in the art building atrium.

Julie Deutschman, president of the Jewelry/Metals Co-op, said sales are organized by co-op officers with the help of graduate students majoring in metals and any other metals majors who are interested in participating. Each semester the group makes sales, but this pre-Valentine’s Day sale is a limited-time event.

“The co-op was created to give jewelry/metals majors a chance to get their work seen by the public and to gain experience with the production side of jewelry making,” Deutschman said. “We use the money from the sales to purchase new studio equipment and for transportation for metals and related trips.”

Jessica Todd, a second-year graduate student majoring in crafts, said she incorporates her personality into the work she sells.

“I use a lot of photo-etching, a process where you transfer printed images onto the surface of the metal using a paper made to create circuit boards, and then etch into it with acid,” Todd said. “Some of my images are recognizable, and some are abstract patterns I’ve drawn from my own photographs.”

Lori Gipson, a third-year graduate student and treasurer for the co-op, said she is in charge of tracking the inventory and also crafts a variety of different pieces for co-op sales.

“My art work uses a traditional metal-smith technique and would be considered more sculptural,” Gipson said. “I have been able to transfer the technique to a jewelry scale for production work. This lets me make items that are more marketable while still keeping my aesthetic and still relating to my other work.”

Gipson said inspiration for her artwork comes from her every day life.

“I also like to make jewelry that is fun and quirky; one of the best selling designs is a pair of earrings with one being a question mark and the other an exclamation point,” Gipson said, “I get my ideas by asking myself what I would like to wear or by thinking about what is popular at the moment and then doing something that relates to it but is still unique.”

Caitlin Binkhorst, senior art history major, said each student, including herself, incorporates a unique style into the pieces on sale.

“Several artists incorporate found objects in their work,” Binkhorst said. “I make hair clips that are made out of fabric, sometimes we have hand died silk scarves and other textiles.”

Binkhorst said most of the proceeds from the sale go to the artists. She said the co-op takes a percentage which goes straight back into the Co-op or Jewelry studio to buy better displays for the sales or equipment for the studio.

“There are pieces as low as $10 and as high as $100,” Binkhorst said. “They are all quality hand-made pieces that are unique and made out of quality materials.”

Binkhorst said the sale will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the atrium.

“For art students, this is a great opportunity to see the work that is made in the metals department,” Binkhorst said. “It is also an important opportunity to see the direction that we are going with our production work, and to purchase a piece from a friend. We hope to inspire art students to be interested in jewelry and metals and the infinite possibilities of their creation.”

Contact Joanna Kamvouris at [email protected].