In 2018 I was the recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. With the funds awarded me, I produced a collection of rings made with stones collected from 7 locations in the state of Minnesota. The body of work, called Minnesota Stones, consists of 35 rings, with hand-cut stones set in sterling silver. The pieces are all hand fabricated, carved in wax and then cast, or a combination of the two processes.
By highlighting stones from Minnesota, I hoped to build appreciation for common minerals as opposed to gems traditionally used in fine jewelry. Such gems are often mined under questionable ethical conditions. Through sourcing and cutting readily available local gem material, I wanted to create beautiful, wearable art while making a statement about the jewelry industry’s obsession with rare and high-value gems.
I will be showing this work at a one-day exhibition at the White Page Gallery on February 23rd. More info about the show here.