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.
JEWELER / GLASS ARTIST / TECHNOLOGIST
Helen Cowart is a traditionally trained artist who fell in love with kiln-formed glass. She creates art for viewing and wearing; pieces that are connected and speak with the same voice.
Helen’s work is informed by her environment, both internal and external. Much of it is meditative, creating a place for the viewer that is quiet and thoughtful. She also creates to express her delight in color, line, shape, and texture.
Helen attended Parson’s School of Design for her freshman year and graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Studio Art. At FSU, she took her first jewelry class in her senior year.
After graduating, she worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years. Feeling the need for change in her life, she returned to jewelry briefly in 2009, and in the process of using precious metal clay was introduced to kiln-formed glass. Falling in love with the glass, Helen spent the next 7 years learning and creating with the medium.
She moved to Seattle in 2015. At the beginning of 2016, she took the beginning jewelry class at Pratt Fine Arts as a refresher and it reignited her interest in working precious metals. Since then her focus has been to combine her glass and metal art.
SIMON, The Wonder Dog
Environmental Safety & Human Resources
IZZY, Spiritual Advisor