Jeweler of the Month:
Amy graduated from Auburn University in 1992, and put her Aerospace Engineering degree to good use at McDonnell Douglas. She was a diligent worker, but Amy soon discovered her passion was creating things, not calculating coefficients. After leaving the aerospace field, Amy began her own custom home building company at 22. As a top builder in the Atlanta market, she honed her creative skills while helping her clients express their personalities through the design of their living spaces.
While searching for additional ways to nourish her creative spirit, Amy discovered silversmithing, a medium that combines problem solving and artistic expression. Her first class was at Spruill Center for the Arts with Helen Blythe-Hart. Amy doesn't sketch or plan out her designs before she fires up her torch. Instead, she lets the materials guide her in the creation of each piece. This spontaneous and organic approach results in very special designs that are never repetitive.
The signature rolled edge of an EllaKay piece is only one way in which Amy's work is unique. Her use of a variety of metals and stones ensures that each and every item she creates is more than just striking jewelry.
What was your first piece?
Her first piece of jewelry was a ring with purple glass that she still keeps and wears often.
What is your creative process?
I start with a stone and make a bezel with burned edges. There may be a total of 50 bezels made up with stones and from there I put them together to make large statement necklaces, pendants, cuffs or rings. I really enjoy working with sterling silver and have added bronze,copper and gold to some designs because of the warmth that it adds to the piece. My favorite part of jewelry making is putting the pieces together and coming up with a harmonious design. When the colors come together and they flow this is most exciting.
What is your favorite part of making jewelry?
The most favorite part of my jewelry are the juicy Nancy Antley Creation's stones. She has the most beautiful, bright, bold unusual stones.
Who are your jewelry heroes?
My jewelry hero is Helen Blythe-Hart because of her boldness in design and her attention to detail.
What is on your bench now?
What is on my bench now is a gorgeous necklace with bubble gum pink stones mixed with these crazy brownish pink graphic stones. I am anxiously awaiting an order of hot pink topaz to put with this piece.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from travel and shapes and colors in nature and architecture. One of my favorite architects is Gaudi from Spain and much inspiration was drawn from a 2 week trip with a girlfriend to Spain. Also, I enjoy the Southwest and the beach as well. After arriving home from a trip I go straight to my studio and start punching out ideas that have come from the awakening of the spirit that the trip has evoked.
What is your most indispensable tool?
The most indispensable tool is a difficult question as these tools are all so wonderful and every time I go to JFF Dallas introduces something that is even better than the last. I would have to say that I love the mini torch though. It is so fun and liberating to fire it up and start sculpting.