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Stellar Metal

Jeweler. 

I was born in the Sangre de Cristo mountains outside Taos, NM. My father was a jeweler

and I have early memories of sitting in his shop, mesmerized by the art of metal smithing. My

mother is a renaissance woman of many crafts, though her focus is mostly illustration. Artists

run rampant on both sides of my family.

In an attempt to break the cycle of the starving artist, my family pushed me toward

academics, but I couldn’t deny my need for creative expression. While attending college in

Santa Fe, I was drawn into taking some jewelry classes, where I discovered an immediate

attraction to the art form that had been such a huge part of my early childhood. Shortly

thereafter, I sought out a jewelry apprenticeship, which I found with the artist Noah Pfeffer.

Within six months I left college to work for him full time. I continued to work and learn with him

for nearly 10 years, even moving to Arizona in 2010 when he did. The time I spent working

with Noah laid the foundation for my work- he taught me in the tradition of southwestern

jewelry which one can still see the influence of in my work today. He supplied me with a great

variety of jewelry skills including basic fabrication in gold and silver, lost wax and tufa casting, and even lapidary and bead making.

 

Since returning to Taos in 2015 to be near my family, I have studied and worked with the

jewelers Maria Samora in Taos and Ray Winner in Arizona. I spent four years working with

Maria Samora in traditional gold smithing and fine contemporary jewelry. She is well known

for her cutting edge designs and high fashion style in the Native Arts world. Ray Winner is an

incredible metal smith and jewelry designer of nearly 50 years who I would consider to be a

master jeweler. We’ve only worked together sparingly but he continues to be a mentor and

great friend to me. Working under several artists has given me a large spectrum of skills and

styles to draw my own creative style from. Mentorship has played a huge role on my path in

jewelry making.

I had been making my own jewelry for several years on the side of this work for other

artists but it was only in 2020 that my focus shifted fully to my own business. Like many in the

world I experienced a sudden change to my career when the pandemic hit and the work I

depended on from other jewelers disappeared. I have refined my style and skills greatly over

the last few years on top of building my company and I feel that I have really found my artistic

expression.

All in all I have been making jewelry for about 18 years now and don't foresee tiring of it.

Jewelry is called the "Queen of Crafts" because the possibilities are endless. I will always

have a great love for the one of a kind and handmade nature of fabrication yet I plan to

continue evolving my work by incorporating new tooling and continuing my education in the

field. All methods and styles, ancient and modern, have their place in jewelry as far as I’m

concerned. The unique style of my work and the term I've coined to describe it- "primal

contemporary"- reflects this sentiment. I want my work to look futuristic and timeless all at

once, like an artifact dug up from a tomb of some intergalactic tribe many years from now.

My greatest inspiration comes from the natural and intuitive art of precolonial/land based

societies, the symbology of ancient civilizations, and the clean lines and geometric details in

renderings of future worlds and fantastical space exploration, and my travels in the present

day, from city to nature.