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Member Spotlight

IdelleHammondSassSL

Idelle brings a very long and strong art background to her jewelry design business. A graduate of the New York High School of Art and Design, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in painting and mixed media Idelle has spent a lifetime drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting, and designing. Her first class in metals was at the Evanston Art Center with Christine Bartley 1976. It changed the course of her career.

Early on Idelle honed her career doing trade work for the jewelry industry in Chicago. Her jobs ranged from working as a wax carver for a jeweler in a jewelry trade building, to working in a small shop doing 18K gold fabrication for a designer, to rendering and design work for gem dealers to model making and design for wedding ring manufacturers. At one point she was employed to design and manufacture high value recognition jewelry for Mary Kay’s top saleswomen using precious metals, diamonds and colored gemstones with each piece designed specifically for each individual.

During this time Idelle was awarded a scholarship to the Penland School of Craft to study with renowned jewelry designer Mary Ann Scherr. The 3-week immersive course came at just the right time for Idelle and it shaped her future in jewelry design. It also proved to be her favorite class ever.

When asked her favorite technique Idelle quickly responded “I really love fabrication”, but elaborated that she finds sweat soldering to create mixed metal pieces and hydraulic forming among her favorites as well. Over the past few years she has been exploring enameling, and while in her words she has “just scratched the surface” she has enjoyed it and it has kept her engaged.

Idelle’s favorite piece is the sculptural “Eternal Light” that she was commissioned to create in 2018 for the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation for the High Holidays.

“The creation of the ritual and sculptural objects used both at home, in a Synagogue or other public spaces, is an important facet of my metals practice. I was inspired by the forest, and how the interplay of the trees and light create depth. I created copper trees and sculptural forms and layers of copper in an asymmetrical arrangement. The bare trees are lit from behind through frosted Plexiglas flanked on each side by sculptural fold formed panels of etched, heat treated copper set into a cherry base.

My intention was to treat light as an emanation, as if coming from an unseen source. The first light - the light of creation - is something we could not have witnessed, but we can experience how light begins to glow and illuminate the world as the sun rises. The light offers hope, the promise of a new day and the world being born anew; rekindling our connection to divine presence.

First used in 2018 for High Holiday service, it is now part of the collection of the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation. “Forest Dawn” was recognized with a Jurors Choice Award in the 2018 Lewton-Brain Fold Forming Competition.”

Idelle has been a member of MSG since 1996, having served on the Board of Directors for 13 years in various capacities including Vice President and Jewelry and Objects Exhibition Chair.

Idelle’s work is exhibited for sale at the Sleeping Bear Gallery in Empire, MI as well as on her website at www.idellehammondsass.com or by appointment.

Idelle continues to teach metalsmithing through Ann Arbor Recreation and Education an in her own studio. No longer doing fine art fairs, Idelle says she misses them, especially seeing people and getting feedback.

Member's Website: www.idellehammond-sass.com

Title: "Giving Spirit" Tzedakah Box
Materials: Sterling Silver, 18k, tourm.quartz
Dimensons: 6" x 2.5" x 3" (inches)
Date: 2006
Photographer: Jonathan Wallen
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Title:
Materials: Sterling silver, 18k, tourm.quartz
Dimensons: 6" x 2.5" x 3" (inches)
Date: 2006
Photographer: Jonathan Wallen
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Title: "Sparks of Renewal"
Materials: Sterling silver, 18k bimetal
Dimensons: 18" x 3 x 2 (inches)
Date:
Photographer: Jonathan Wallen