1st Place Winner - Exhibiting Artist
Sterling silver, fine silver, copper, brass, enamel, and vintage button
3.25 x 3 x 0.5 inches
Photographed by artist
My brooch is a koi fish. My inspiration piece from the Halstead kit was the sterling silver “polka dot” grid. It made me think of feathers and fish scales, and my koi fish design was born. I thinned the brass sheet, and cut corresponding “scales” to alternate with the sterling silver so that the final fish could be in a white, gold, and black color scheme, like a “real” koi fish. I found a vintage brass button with a tiny frog on top, which I thought would be perfect to live in the lilypond with my koi fish. The fish head snaps open (put a fingernail under the edge and pop it up), and the frog button can be safely “hidden” inside the mesh head, or swim ahead of the koi mouth attached by the kit chain and jump rings. On the back side, I etched a lily pond design, and bezel set a leopard frog cloisonné as a nod to my primary work as an enamel artist.
I grew up in Idaho with “rockhound” parents, spending many family vacations hunting opals, agates, onyx, and other treasures all over the U.S. western states. I began my metalsmithing and enameling journey with classes at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, and have further developed my skills in workshops from artists I admire including Harold O’Connor, Merry-Lee Rae, Linda Darty, Jeanie Pratt, and Charity Hall. I work slowly in my free time while raising a family in southern California. Currently, you can find me teaching classes in Enameling at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. I have been exhibiting my work since 2014, my awards in recent years include a Runner Up in the Halstead Design Challenge 2017. I am a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and the Metal Arts Society of Southern California (MASSC).