Nancy Gardner has been making fine jewelry in Mendocino since 1985. As a child in Clarence, New York, she spent hours playing with her grandmother’s jewelry, which was kept in a brown velvet box in the attic. Nancy received her BA in design, concentration in metalsmithing at the State University of New York, Buffalo, and went on to learn old world goldsmithing from master craftsmen in Italy and Portugal. She has participated in a number of international shows and has taught silver and gold jewelry fabrication both in Europe and at the Mendocino Art Center. With a particular attraction to Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles, Nancy brings a lifetime of technical expertise and an ongoing respect and love for her materials to her artistic process. Her one of a kind jewelry, much inspired by her elegant Grandmother, can be seen at her unique working studio and gallery space, the Mendocino Jewelry Studio.
Design is the Voice of My Creativity
“I feel strongly about the positive role artists play in society. I believe in the importance of bringing beauty into the world.”
Nature inspires Conni Mainne, especially in the verdant environment of Mendocino on California’s northern coastline which she calls home. Her keen sense of grace and line and her affinity with sacred geometry are reflected in the lyrical forms she creates in 18k gold and a new blend of silver and 5% platinum. The striking shapes found in botanicals, surf, nautilus, clouds, stars and moon infuse Conni’s jewelry with a mystical quality of the natural world.
“As I think about the word beauty, it becomes synonymous with grace. In essence, jewelry should grace the wearer. The wearer chooses, moment to moment, what ornament might grace them anew. A personal moment. A creative moment that wearer and maker share.”
Charlotte obtained an art education degree from the University of Denver and went on to do graduate work at San Francisco State University. She has been working in precious metals ever since, exhibiting in California, Oregon and Washington. She moved to the coastal mountain area of Northern California in 1974. Her experience of living close to nature has remained very important to her. Her contemporary designs have been inspired by our human connectedness to all living things.
My work is constantly evolving, but it commonly draws inspiration from my interest in heirlooms. I grew up in a home full of antiques and spent a lot of time in roadside antique shops with my parents. These heirlooms were very important to my parents, so they taught me to appreciate and treasure them as they did. Naturally, I became interested in these objects and the simple purpose for which they were used. This has played a considerable role in my subject matter and process as an artist. Much like the objects that inspire my jewelry designs, I aim to create modern heirlooms that evoke a feeling of nostalgia and comfort to its wearer.
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Karen L. Davidson has been designing and making fine jewelry for 40 years, and is now creating and making fine 22k, 18k, platinum jewelry with precious gems and opals in Arcata. All of Karen’s stones are natural in both origin and color. She is known for her “eye” in selecting gems and has judged the Cutting Edge contest for the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).
Karen frequently uses Boulder Opal from Queensland, Australia accented with Paraiba Tourmaline from the original, small 1990 find. She loves sapphire in purples and oranges for accents as well.
Her design studio Cabochon won 11 international awards for gems and designs including four Cutting Edge and five Spectrum winners for the AGTA. Cabochon was located in Milwaukee and Spring Green, Wisconsin until Karen’s move to California in 2009.
Karen is a Graduate Gemologist, certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) since 1976.
Brienna has had a lifelong love affair with the arts and fashion. Her natural curiosity and unique abilities led her to study and experiment with many different art forms such as photography, ceramics, fiber arts, metal arts, jewelry, and fashion. In 2004, after 12 years of life experience, travel, community college, and art classes, Brienna received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) in sculpture, with a minor in fiber arts.
After leaving KCAI, Brienna founded Beatrix Designs Millinery, specializing in uniquely designed, exotic millinery using traditional millinery techniques. Beatrix Designs was featured in the San Francisco Fashion Week and also appeared in several fashion shoots and boutiques in Northern California and Oregon.
Pushing the envelope of traditional millinery, Brienna began to work with precious metals, incorporating them into her hat making. She began to weave, knit and wrap metals into intricate designs on fascinator headpieces along with silks, furs, vintage laces, and feathers. As she expanded her creative visions, her headwear creations bridged the gap between millinery and jewelry. She began to employ textile techniques using gold and silver, as her focus on jewelry began to take form.
In the garden or in the studio I want to have my hands in the earth. I like the directness and malleable qualities of clay. I enjoy the creative act and the challenge of transforming ideas into reality. I want my work to add beauty and usefulness to people's lives, whether it's the ceramic tile on their hearth or their favorite coffee mug. The product is always a collaboration between materials, process, ideas and skill. There is an excitement in the alchemy of the kiln's fire, and the result is always a surprise.
Each piece of jewelry made by Dana Driver is a wearable piece of fine art composed of panache, inspiration, and most of all, a delightful touch of whimsy.
Sorted by size, color, and suitability for her designs, Dana selects the best stones to tumble, carve, drill, and inlay with fine silver or 22kt gold.
By inlaying precious materials such as gold or silver, she transforms something as mundane as a rock into a work of charm, elegance, and creativity.
And to top it off, we are enamored with the idea that many of her pieces have moving parts that encourage playfulness and exploration.
I have been combining traditional metal and basketry techniques for over 30 years. I am primarily self-taught in lost wax, metal, jewelry and basketry techniques. The melding of hard and soft materials and my Japanese American heritage now challenges, dominates and drives my creative spirit.
Each piece is first created in wax and then it is “lost wax” cast into bronze, fine silver, sterling silver or gold. The metal casting is polished and finished and then natural basketry materials may be added to complete each piece. I utilize traditional basketry techniques such as coiling, twining, weaving and knotting when the metal work is complete
Ling Yen Jones
Asian faces, windows and art influence my design. I am inspired to create my large round face bracelet. I like how it features a face and has the added elements of stones. The Windows piece is fun and features hollowform construction and amazing Australian opal which to me acts like the outside world. The pieces I make can be pleasing to wear and fun to look at. I enjoy how inspiration hits. It can be like a mirror, and I go inside and it reflects my inner self while other times it is an impulse and it feels like my soul is singing. I see it inspiring reflections in the self and soul.
My work techniques are hollow form construction, piercing, pearl knotting, handmade chain, soldering, stone setting and hand finishing.
My work features, faces inspired from the faces of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints and windows like hollowform construction. And feature earrings, necklaces, pins, and rings.
Sandy Oppenheimer is a self-taught artist who “paints with paper” in an intuitive and playful manner. She takes her inspiration from the great painters of the past, beautiful handmade papers from around the world and from the fortunate life she lives.
Sandy first started creating her collages while living in Italy in the village of Pietrasanta. She had moved there with her husband, sculptor John Fisher, and became part of a thriving international enclave of artists living near the heart of the marble mountains of Carrara. John was a marble carver, and Sandy had been working in ceramics prior to Italy. Thousands of miles from her pottery studio, she began exploring the enchanted hills with paints in hand. Day after day, she recorded what she saw in watercolor. Eventually, she found herself adding small bits of paper to her paintings which led her to mixed media. In 2003, she was invited to a papermaking village in Japan for a three-month artist-in-residency. She put down her brushes, picked up scissors and began “painting with paper” and never stopped. She continues to develop her artistic language with intention, delight, and gratitude.
Jan was born in California and raised in the foothills of Santa Barbara among the sycamores and oatfields of the 1950's. After years of horses, ballet and fiestas she moved to Northern California to study metalcraft, ceramics and architecture.
Her first full-time job in San Rafael, CA was doing stained glass restoration, which led to a lifetime pursuit of this craft. Wanting to make larger sculptural things she began creating mosaic furniture based on original shapes. She has lived on the Mendocino Coast for 29 years and sells her glasswork and furniture here exclusively.
"In the pursuit of art and craft, at first it was about being decorative but as time goes on, it is about love."
JOANN HAGERTY HUMPHREY has made a career for herself in the arts over the past 35 years as an entrepreneur of various media. A native of Baltimore, JoAnn obtained an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute of Fine Art in 1972 and further studied at the Otis Art Institute and The Fashion Institutes of Los Angeles and New York.
After her MFA she moved her studio to Los Angeles to pursue her love of fashion and design. This lead to several successful business ventures including a line of women’s and children’s clothing, fine millinery, and custom bustier garments for theatre and dance. Her pieces have been sold throughout the US at department stores and boutiques such as Neiman Marcus, Fred Segal, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys.
In 1997, JoAnn developed the JHH Collection, a line of unique jewelry inspired by her private collection of vintage buttons that enhance her one-of-a-kind works of art. Each piece is made from 18k gold, white gold, rose gold and semiprecious and precious stones.
Throughout her life, JoAnn has also made a career in teaching fine art to children. Following her MFA, JoAnn began teaching in local schools in the Baltimore area including the Ridge School for Emotionally and Physically Handicapped Children. She eventually created her own after-school art program that flourished within private and public schools across the Los Angeles area from 1990 to 2008.
After relocating with her husband to Fort Bragg, along the North Coast of California, JoAnn has been prolific in her production of new works in ceramics, sculpture and oil painting. The beauty of the California coastal landscape is reflected in her new pieces. Her work can be seen locally as well as at her home studio, where visits are welcome by appointment.