Kathy Adams 2013
Naja Featured Artist Interview:
Naja Art Gallery 2013
When did you start to make jewelry and why?
In March of 2009 I had designed and made a long black vest that needed “something”. I decided to spruce up the piece with beads or tassels and had so much fun playing with the beads I was hooked. I found the design work with beads was very peaceful. I went to the April 2009 Rocky Mountain Bead Bazaar and met Travis Ogden at the Naja booth. My husband bought me a flex shaft and some small tools and Travis told me about the school next door to the Naja and I was off and running. I took my first formal metals class at the Denver School of Metal Arts in 2010.
Why did you pick working with metals as your art form versus another medium?
I had worked with fabrics and sewn since I was 10 years old. I find sewing and jewelry making quite similar. Setting a stone in a bezel is like setting a sleeve in fabric. No wrinkles allowed! I like working with the color, texture and patterns in whatever art form I’m working in. The thinking, planning, sketching (using graph paper) is my favorite part of the metal process. I also love the shopping for stones jewelry making requires. I don’t care as much for the final cleaning of metal and some stone setting is challenging.
Do you have formal training in art/metals? If so where did you receive it from?
I didn’t attend college in metals; I was a long time kindergarten teacher as well as a principal in the Denver School District. My metals training include taking as many workshops and classes as I can find. I’ve taken many classes at DSMA and I’ve worked with Jewelry Artist, Connie Fox (www.jatayu.com).
Do you have an all time favorite piece that you’ve made? Where is it now?
There are three pieces that I consider my all time favorites. Sadly, I sold two. I’m sorry I did! My all time favorite is in this exhibition – it is #16, a brooch made using sterling silver, copper beads, copper fire brick, coin pearls and a CZ.
Do you have a favorite part of the creative process?
As I stated earlier – I really enjoy the thinking, designing and shopping processes! I also love working with the color palettes that metal and stones allow – if I don’t relate to the colors I can’t make it. At the moment I’m into oranges, browns and anything “coppery” colored.
What does a perfect day in your Studio look like?
When the solder flows, Baby!
Who or what has inspired your work?
There is a wonderful video on Connie Fox’s blog called “Steal like an Artist” that has inspired me. I “steal” ideas that inspire me. I don’t take the exact design that I see and admire – I look at the pieces and try to figure out how they were made, how they work. Then I make my own interpretation from the idea.
What’s on your bench now?
A pair of earrings that I’m working on that uses 14 gauge Sterling Silver square wire which I’m really attracted to. I’m moving around some Royal Plum Agate with some Lapis doublets. I’m getting ready to set the stones this week. I also have a bunch of scraps, tools, loose stones, etc. setting on the bench. I walk by and move a stone, playing with the design throughout the day.