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07 January 2010

Archives October 2008 : Jeweler of the Month

Jeweler of the Month :
Julia Woodman

Julia grew up on a North Carolina Farm, where she was introduced to art at an early age, including, drawing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and ceramics. Julia went onto Fashion School in New York, where she studied fashion pattern making and sewing. Following her marriage, Julia moved around the world with her army officer husband, Dick, and her two children. To keep herself busy, Julia became accomplished in needle point and in 1968 was commissioned to produce the dining chair seat covers for the North Carolina governor's mansion.

Upon Dick's retirement, they moved to Atlanta, GA. Julia enrolled in the School of Art and Design at Georgia State University. Taking only a few credit hours a quarter, nearly twelve years later, Julia received her BFA and MFA in metalsmithing under the tutelage of Richard Mafong. During this time, Julia also took metalsmithing workshops at the Penland School of Crafts from many masters, including Heikki Seppa. While at GSU, she won first place in the Presidential medallion Design competition in 1990 and won first place in the National Student Sterling Design competition twice. Following her schooling in Atlanta, Julia won a Fulbright Scholarship to spend a year studying in Finland at the Lahti Polytechnic Design Institute, Upper Goldsmith School, where she became the first American to be certified a Finnish master silversmith.

Today, Julia teaches at Spruill Center for the Arts, Chastain Arts Center and specialized workshops at Penland School of Crafts and Florida Society of Goldsmiths. She has won several national awards and her work is in private collections throughout the US and in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia.

What was your first piece?
My very first piece was a cuff bracelet, made of 6 bread & butter knives and one gravy ladle. (pictured to the right)

Who are your jewelry heroes?
Heikki Seppa and Camillia Okim

What is your design inspiration?
I use nature primarily and many times I take pictures of old masters, maybe early 20th century, turn them upside down and draw the negative spaces. I then manipulate them using tracing paper.

What is your favorite part of making jewelry?
My favorite part of the execution of my pieces is the design, then figuring out how to put the thing together.

What is on your bench now?
On my bench now are hooks I've designed for an enormous necklace for Barbara Becker Simon to hang up on her studio wall. (she'll be happy to know I'm working on it)

What is your most indispensible tool?
My favorite tool is a no brainer, its my 50 ton hydraulic press. I need all the help I can get.

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