Member Spotlight


“As cliché as it may sound it’s true, I’ve been interested in jewelry since I was a child. Mom once told me of a sleepwalking episode when I was franticly knocking on their bedroom door insisting I check on her jewelry. Fixing and transforming inexpensive mall jewelry is my first recollection of “making” anything jewelry related.

The initial drive I remember having towards making jewelry was inspired by always finding pieces I wanted to wear only to discover they either didn’t fit or there was a feature that I wished was a bit different. In high school I jumped at the opportunity to take a jewelry making class. I found the process too tedious but I blame that on my desire for perfection leading me to emery paper my first pair of earrings to a knife-edge.

The process got under my skin and I continued to take every jewelry making class I could. My teacher even allowed me to do independent study. I was awarded best three-dimensional pieces in the Art Scholarship Alert Fund competition through The Lansing Art Gallery.

After taking a year off from school, I enrolled at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I studied under Sharon Church, Rod McCormick, Bruce Metcalf, Todd Noe and many other artist/instructors who have influenced and inspired me through the years. While there I was awarded Addie Grosman Memorial Award, Roosevelt Paper Award and I was an Alexander Award Nominee. In 1995 I took my BFA in Metals focusing on crafts and jewelry and just started making in my studio while keeping various part and full time jobs.

I love learning and have taken a variety of classes on the East Coast and right here in Michigan. I studied stone setting and repair through Gemological Society of America. Most recently I completed the Applied Jewelry Professional certificate program. RISD offered a CAD class – this was my first experience with Rhino. At Kendall College of Art and Design I participated in a Design Workshop from Alan Revere. My favorite two classes were Carving Jewelry Forms with Sharon Church at Kendall and Ferrous Musings and Fusings with Chris Nelson at Studio JSD.

I’ve been a bench jeweler at a store in Lansing. I spent a summer as a costumer at Interlochen Arts Camp. The best job I had was head designer at a costume jewelry manufacturer in Providence, RI. I currently squeeze in studio time when I can. Family is on the front burner at the moment. You can see my work in person at The Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center, Shiawassee Arts Center and at the occasional in person event. I found MSG in 2013 and am grateful to be a part of this wonderful group. I am very appreciative for the opportunities it has presented including participating in Ann Arbor Art Fair (2016 and 2017) and Art of Fire (2019). is where you can find me and my work on-line.

I use an array of metals and materials including sterling and fine silver, gold, iron as well as leather and various fibers. I apply traditional hand fabrication techniques like cutting, forming, joining and stone setting processes along with fiber techniques to my materials of choice. My favorite technique is the current one I’m learning. The two favorite pieces I’ve ever made were a vegetable tanned leather and nickel silver pendant and a cast multiple bracelet in bronze. Both are pictured here and were created during my time at U of A but I continue working with the leather and metal design idea today.

I love the power jewelry has as an art form. Jewelry serves its function when it is worn and viewed by others. Jewelry has the ability to be a reminder to the wearer. It can commemorate a special event in a person’s life. It can serve as a talisman of an important person or religious figure to the wearer. It can provoke emotions and ideas. It has physical mass; it can be oppressive or light as a feather. One can wear jewelry on the outside of clothing to be seen by others. One could wear a pendant under cover to be there for the sole purpose of the wearer.

I am eager to see what the future holds for all of us…”

Member's Website:

Title: Forged Iron Ring w/ Diamond
Materials: Iron, 14KW, Diamond
Dimensons: 6/8 x 5/8 x 5/8 (inches)
Date: 2016
Photographer: Kate Wilcox-Leigh
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Title: Leaf Lace Pendant Large w/ Medium
Materials: Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Leather
Dimensons: 16 x 1 1/8 x 1 7/8 (inches)
Date: 2015
Photographer: Kate Wilcox-Leigh
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Title: Cast Multiple Ring
Materials: Sterling Silver, Simulated Alexandrite
Dimensons: 5/8 x 3/8 x 5/8 (inches)
Date: 2003
Photographer: Kate Wilcox-Leigh
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Title: Leather & Nickel Pendant
Materials: Leather, Nickel Silve
Dimensons: 22 x 3 1/2 x 5 (inches
Date: 1995
Photographer: Kate Wilcox-Leigh
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Title: Polymer & Nickel Pendant
Materials: Polymer, Nickel Silver
Dimensons: 30 x 1 1/2 x 4 (inches)
Date: 1995
Photographer: Kate Wilcox-Leigh
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Title: Multiples in Bronze
Materials: Bronze
Dimensons: 7 x 1 3/4 x 1/2 (inches)
Date: 1994
Photographer: Kate Wilcox-Leigh