My creative work is inspired by ancient cultures, practices, symbols and texts. It fascinates me how ancient cultures developed in their spiritual beliefs through art and symbolism and how they transformed the spoken word into writing with the first alphabets. I bring these elements into my jewelry to honor and respect their creativity and development in ancient times and as a connection to them through time. I also work to incorporate the beautiful and rich textures of the natural world into the jewelry creating a connection with elements of this beautiful planet we live on. The malleability of the metal clay lends itself to incorporating these elements into my work beautifully. To honor and protect the resources our planet provides I strive to use repurposed and sustainable materials whenever possible.
Karen Hartwell is a jewelry artist who has been working with metal clay for 10+ years. Although she holds a full time corporate position in the Human Resources field, her passion is for creating unique jewelry with metal clay. Her early creative explorations were in Native American bead weaving, polymer clay, and miniature basket weaving for jewelry. Each medium led her to the next until she found her creative home with metal clay. She achieved her certification in Precious Metal Clay with the renowned Celie Fago in 2004. More recently she has studied with accomplished metal clay artists and teachers over the years and has studied traditional metal-smithing at the Worcester Center for Crafts and Metalwerx studio in MA. She operates a studio outside her home where she also teaches workshops and has guest instructors in. Her art focuses on ancient cultures, texts and symbols and elements of the natural world. You can view her work at www.karenhartwell.com.
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