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Suzanne Linquist

“My goal is to create abstract sculptural jewelry that is lively, visually interesting, and comfortable, work that adds a bit of happiness to life. Jewelry doesn’t mean much unless it is worn, and I like to think of the person who puts on one of my pins, necklaces, or pairs of earrings as enhancing the piece, adding who they are to the piece’s artistic identity.”

As an art history graduate student, what fascinated me most were the metal objects I saw illustrated in books and exhibited in museums. Occasionally, when I was lucky enough to get into a museum’s back room, I could put on a pair of white gloves and pick up a metal piece; a censor, a centuries old weapon or broach, feel its weight, turn it in the light and study the parts that moved. Who made these pieces, I wondered, and more important, how did they do it? To find out, I enrolled in a beginning jewelry class and immediately fell in love. I loved the studio, tools, materials and most of all, the creative act that began with an idea and ended, to my astonishment, with an actual object. The notion of making something was extremely compelling and very different from my bookish past. I began to think it possible to move away from academics and make a career for myself as a jeweler.

Most of the time I’m in my workshop thinking up new designs, solving technical problems and filling orders. But occasionally I step back from what’s in front of me. Then I imagine myself as one small part of the long line of craftspeople, makers of objects that have been significant for individuals and the social groups they’re a part of, a long line of makers that stretches forward and backward through time as far as we can imagine.

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