EDUCATOR / ARTIST / JEWELER / RESEARCHER / AUTHOR
Jennifer’s interest in art began at an early age when her grandfather introduced her black and white photography at the age of 12. That sparked a flame for creating that has since grown into a life long passion for art and teaching. She continued studying photography and printmaking while attending the University of New Mexico. During her graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison, Jennifer studied with professors that encouraged her to continue mixed media and jewelry skills. They gave Jennifer the opportunity to develop a strong base in metals techniques and design, and a better understanding of integrity to one’s craft.
She began her teaching career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduate school, she began teaching at Savannah College of Art and Design. Due to the strong interest of students wanting to major in Metals and Jewelry, Jennifer proposed and developed The Metals and Jewelry Department. While in Savannah she also maintained a small studio in the historic City Market.
After departing Savannah Jennifer began teaching at the Vermont Art Exchange in North Bennington, Vermont. At VAE she taught several classes and workshops in jewelry, printmaking, and drawing.
Jennifer moved to Seattle in 2000 and has a studio in the Ballard neighborhood. Currently, she creates jewelry, sculpture, teaches classes and workshops in the western Washington area, including North Seattle College. She has been teaching art and jewelry classes, workshops, lectured, and exhibited throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
University of Wisconsin – Madison, Masters of Fine Arts
University of New Mexico, Bachelors of Fine Arts
Tamarind Institute / UNM, Graduate Printmaking Internship
JEWELER / EDUCATOR / AUTHOR
I was born in rural Virginia. At 8, I moved with my family to the remote Quaker community of Monteverde in the tropical mountains of Costa Rica. There we walked barefoot to school, hauled goods and people on horseback, and thought nothing of cooking dinner on a wood stove when the erratic electric power was out. Life included pie socials, building bees, few cars, no TV, and Christmas gifts made by hand. If things broke, you fixed them, if you needed something you didn’t have, you created it out of what you did have or did without it. From this upbringing, I inherited a delight in the engineering puzzles of inventing and building and easy patience with the general processes of making things.
Growing up, my hands were always busy with embroidery, crocheting, weaving, and other fiber arts. I received professional instruction in painting and drawing as well, but only discovered metalwork and jewelry when I moved to Seattle, Washington in 1996. Early in my experiments with metal, I gravitated to chains. I find chains appealing as the unruly stiffness of wire is transformed into flexible, portable, and comfortable structures of satisfying weight. The manual dexterity gained from decades of handwork and needlework served me well and translated nicely to linking and knitting with wire.
Today I still live in Seattle, now writing articles and teaching classes on chain making, with work showcased in numerous books & magazines.
ARTIST / EDUCATOR
When I was a kid, I watched “The Dark Crystal” by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and decided to create worlds and feed imagination. At the time, I was creating dioramas in shoeboxes with anthropomorphized flotsam -whatever was around me. My path hasn’t strayed much from this. I still draw and paint whatever is around me.
Professionally, I got my start as a commercial artist at university, reconstructing plants from fossil records before working across departments and school organizations as an illustrator. I went on to work a wide variety of jobs to supplement a freelance career a changing industry. I worked in the Sonoran Desert, West Africa, the Bering Sea, and the Amazon- allowing these places to feed a visual language that persists today.
I have my hand in a lot of creative projects: Book illustration, murals, curation among them.. but I primarily exhibit my artwork and teach Art/ Design classes in the Puget Sound area. My work can be seen on Instagram @AJPower_Studio or on my website www.ajpowerstudio.com.
CREATOR / EDUCATOR
Like many makers Chris is a self taught. However he will openly credit the many amazing mentors he has encountered during his journey. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Chris has a deep connection with the outdoors and many of his creations are inspired by nature.
Chris started at an early age (10-12 years old) in woodworking, mostly carving Ozark style figurines and animals. Later, he ventured into more construction related projects like furniture and residential and shop construction.
In 2016 Chris started Lion Punch Forge as a hobby after he, his brother, and father bought a coal fired blacksmith shop. Eventually learning to weld, do basic fabrication and light machine work to make his own replacement parts. Eventually Chris wanted to make his knives more intricate and started teaching himself goldsmithing and metal forming.
Making jewelry allowed Chris to rediscover his love for geology. He quickly picked up lapidary arts such as faceting gemstones, slabbing and making cabochons. Most of the year Chris can be found treasure hunting for his own gemstone and lapidary rough.
Now retired from 20 years of public safety, Chris is self employed running Lion Punch Forge Full-time. Chris’s experience as an instructor in Public Safety has transcended into the world of making. Making Youtube videos, Instagram posts and hanging out in Facebook groups Chris openly shares information and provides assistance to anyone who asks. When asked what he thinks is the most important aspect of a business is he will quickly answer, “people.”
Chris is inspired by the metalsmith and maker communities and values he fundamental skills. Believing that it is through the mastery of basic skills that one achieves the level up. Chris take this into account when designing tools.
While designing the Lion Punch Forge line of tools it’s important to him to evaluate the fundamentals, simplistic design and creates them with a unique bespoke and heirloom quality.
ARTIST / EDUCATOR
Jan Smith is an artist that works primarily with metal and enamel. Her work evolves from an intimate connection to place and reflects the observations of the complexity of patterns, surfaces, and colours of her environment. Her work is imbued with a language of mark-making referencing the natural world and the marks create a language or code.
She received a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, N.S. In 2016 Jan was part of the summer visiting artist series at NSCAD University and had a solo exhibition at the Anna Leonowens Gallery. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally in curated and juried exhibitions. She has been a guest artist at Okanagan College and at Pratt Fine Arts. Her work has been published in New Earrings: 500+ Designs from around the world, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulet, Metalsmith Magazine: Exhibition In Print, Behind the Brooch, Art Jewelry Today, the Lark 500 Series, Color on Metal and the Art of Enameling.
Her teaching experience includes printmaking and enamel classes for both adults and children including enamel classes at Vancouver Community College, Danaca Design, VMAA at Katami Design. Jan loves the diversity and seductive qualities of the enamel and enjoy sharing an understanding of the material with students.
ARTIST / EDUCATOR
Michelle Lierre is a goldsmith and the filigree artist behind Lierreworks, specializing in handmade, one-of-a-kind, heirloom quality jewelry. Her mission is to learn the major filigree styles of the world, tell their stories, and pass on their traditions. She creates from her home in Mount Vernon, Washington, while small children are napping.